Future State is a new series of public events produced by California Watch, the groundbreaking nonprofit news organization founded by the Center for Investigative Reporting. As one of the largest watchdog news organizations in the country, California Watch is uniquely positioned to draw on a diverse range of critical thinkers, opinion leaders and the public to bridge political and regional divides and address the major challenges facing our state.
Over time, Future State is designed to build connections among communities that don’t have a forum for real, thought-provoking communication: rural and urban, the wealthy and impoverished, new arrivals and established families. We will expand these connections into open networks capable of generating solutions for the challenges we face.
The Center for Investigative Reporting is committed to helping communities find solutions to the problems about which it reports. This series will aim to drive solutions-oriented dialogue based on fact and data – not politics or special interests.
Public forum: What’s the future of Sonoma’s developmental center?
Wednesday, Jan. 30
Ramekins, 450 W. Spain St., Sonoma
California Watch is inviting the public to share its thoughts, insights and experiences about the troubled Sonoma Developmental Center, the state’s largest board-and-care facility for the severely disabled.
Few people in California are more vulnerable than the patients at the Sonoma center. The people who live there suffer from cerebral palsy, severe autism, and other mental, intellectual and physical disabilities. Many have no family to take care of them.
For more than a year, California Watch reporter Ryan Gabrielson has been investigating the Sonoma facility. The stories have revealed widespread problems with the center’s treatment of patients by staff members and a little-known state police force charged with investigating crimes at the facility. Patients at one unit in Sonoma suffered clear evidence of sexual assault, but their cases were never properly investigated.
Now, the Sonoma facility is facing severe sanctions and possible closure of its largest housing units. The center employs more than 1,000 people from the region.
What does this new development mean for the city of Sonoma, the developmental center and its patients, and the people who live in surrounding communities?
We invite you to a forum that will feature a panel discussion with community members and experts. The panel will be moderated by Phil Bronstein, the executive chairman of the Center for Investigative Reporting, the parent organization of California Watch. Gabrielson will also outline his stories and answer questions.
When: Jan. 30
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Where: Ramekins, 450 W. Spain St., Sonoma
*This event is free, but space is limited and registration is required. It is part of California Watch's Future State – a series of public events that aims to drive solutions-oriented dialogue based on fact and data on issues facing California's future.
Event and Screening: ‘California State of Mind’
Co-presented by The California Film Foundation
Wednesday, Dec. 5
The California Museum and Rio Americano High School, Sacramento
California has long embodied the American Dream: a place where creativity, innovation and possibility prevailed. But today, public schools have gone from first to worst, universities are overcrowded and financially failing, and roads are congested and crumbling. Water and environmental resources are shrinking as demand increases and pollution spreads. The political process seems to be in a state of paralysis, and the massive budget crisis has created real gridlock.
California Watch will spotlight the documentary “California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown” as a starting point to engage audiences. This all-day event will bring together investigative journalism, documentary filmmaking and fresh content to provide a compelling framework for exploring today’s key issues. The award-winning film is much more than an examination of the past – this entertaining biography of Gov. Pat Brown is a provocative portrait of a man whose bipartisan can-do optimism can re-energize a critical dialogue.
Topics will range from Brown’s legacy to the future of our state, with the day culminating in a special screening and panel discussion of “California State of Mind.”
5:30- 9:00 p.m.
The screening will feature a special 56-minute version of “California State of Mind.” A panel discussion will follow, exploring Brown’s legacy, the film, and the current state and future of California.
If you would like further information please contact Kristin Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org
Higher Education in the San Joaquin Valley and Implications for California
Thursday, Nov. 8
Merced and Merced College campuses
Over the past decade, the San Joaquin Valley has emerged as one of California’s most dynamic regions. From its prolific agricultural topography to its growing and diverse population, the Valley's future development has the potential to remold the state. You are invited to participate in the first of a series of interactive community conversations exploring the critical role the valley will play in key areas defining the future of our state.
On Thursday, Nov. 8, representatives from California Watch, UC Merced, The Campaign for College Opportunity, the Merced Sun-Star and Merced College will dive deeply and compellingly into one of the most important issues in the San Joaquin Valley and the state as a whole: higher education.
Topics will cover a broad range, including lifelong learning and professional development, the state of K-12 education, and the future of and access to higher education.
If you would like further information or would like to join us for any portion of either event, please contact Kristin Crawford at email@example.com.
2-4:30 p.m.: The Current State of K-12
Panel 1: The State of K-12 in the San Joaquin Valley
Panel 2: Developing Pathways to Sustainable Futures
5-7:30 p.m.: The Higher Education Reward
Reception: 5-6 p.m.
Panel 1: The Return on Investment for Education in California
Panel 2: Big Bets: Colleges and the Future State