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Randall Lewis Video Seminar Series

CSSD has expanded its outreach through a series of video interviews with speakers from our Randall Lewis Seminar Series discussing the important topics they presented at their seminar.  For some seminars in the series, a full video of the actual seminar is presented.  CSSD’s first sustainability conference, held in February of 2015 is also included in this effort.

In addition to posting links to the video interviews on CSSD’s and SPP’s websites, video links are distributed via email to SPP and CSSD subscriber lists as well as to city mayors and city managers in the region, county CEOs and board supervisors and the regional councils of governments. They are also distributed through a national PR newswire service, which provides access to 280,000 newsfeeds subscribers and journalists, and California CEO digital magazine’s 12,500 subscribers and 8,000 alliance partners.


Randall Lewis Video Series


"Infrastructure Among Other Challenges for California's Future"

Posted on November 16, 2017
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Michael Storper
Dan Walters
Opinion Columnist, CALMatters

Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers. At one point in his career, at age 22, he was the nation’s youngest daily newspaper editor.

He joined The Sacramento Union’s Capitol bureau in 1975, just as Jerry Brown began his governorship, and later became the Union’s Capitol bureau chief. In 1981, Mr. Walters began writing the state’s only daily newspaper column devoted to California political, economic and social events.

In 1984, he and the column moved to The Sacramento Bee and in 2017, Mr. Walters and his column shifted to CALmatters.org, a non-profit organization devoted to California public policy issues. He has written more than 9,000 articles and his column appears in dozens of California newspapers. Mr. Walters has written about California and its politics for a number of other publications, including The Wall Street Journal, and in 1986, his book, “The New California: Facing the 21st Century,” was published in its first edition. The book later underwent revisions and became a widely used college textbook about socioeconomic and political trends in the state.

He is also the founding editor of the “California Political Almanac” and the coauthor of “The Third House: Lobbyists, Money and Power in Sacramento,” published by the University of California. Mr. Walters frequently appears on CNN, Fox, and other networks, commenting about political developments in California.


"California's Housing Crisis: Is There a Legistlative Solution?"

Posted on October 18, 2017
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Michael Storper
Liam Dillon
Staff Writer, State Capitol Bureau, Los Angeles Times

Liam Dillon covers California state politics and policy for the Los Angeles Times and is based in Sacramento. He specializes in writing about the state’s housing affordability crisis, and regularly appears on panels, radio and television across California to discuss the issue. Prior to joining The Times in 2016, Dillon covered local politics in San Diego at the Voice of San Diego, a nonprofit news outlet, and in Southwest Florida at the Naples Daily News. Dillon is a 2005 graduate of Georgetown University and grew up outside Philadelphia.


"Responding to California's Major Fire Challenges"

Posted on November 17, 2016
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Michael Storper
Mike Esparza
Retired Interim Chief, City of Riverside Fire Department

With the City of Riverside Fire Department (RFD), Mike Esparza worked his way up from Firefighter to Fire Marshal, then Deputy Chief and Interim Chief, with responsibility for leadership/oversight of a $40 million budget, 241 personnel and 14 stations. He retired in December, 2014.

As a Retired Annuitant, he is Assistant Chief for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES), Fire & Rescue Branch. His primary OES job is to help coordinate the master mutual aid system at large-scale fires, ensuring that mutual assistance is operating within the guidelines and parameters of the California Fire Assistance Agreement.

Esparza served as Vice Chair, California State Board of Fire Services, and on the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission Taskforce dealing with wildfire protection. Recently, he was appointed to the governor’s new California Fire Service Task Force on Climate Impacts.


"The Updated Future of the Inland Empire"

Posted on June 10, 2016
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Hans P. Johnson
Hans Johnson
Center Director &
Senior Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California

Joseph Hayes
Joe Hayes
Research Associate,
Public Policy Institute of California

Nearly ten years ago, PPIC researchers Hans Johnson, Deborah Reed and Joe Hayes described the near future of our region in The Inland Empire in 2015. In updating their outlook for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, Johnson and Hayes will discuss the demographic and economic forces that continue to make the region a major focus of state growth.

Substantial, if slower, population increases reinforce the challenges associated with job creation, housing, an educated workforce and overall economic development. Johnson and Hayes will share their views on the Inland Empire’s economic future.


"How and Why L.A. Lost Its Economic Mojo: Lessons for Other Southern California Regions"

Posted on February 24, 2016
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Michael Storper
Michael Storper
Professor of Urban Planning, UCLA Ruskin School of Public Affairs

In a recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Michael Storper, UCLA professor of urban planning noted that:

"For most of the 20th century, Los Angeles was one of America's top economic success stories. From 1910 to 1970, as greater L.A. multiplied its population 21 times, it fostered high-quality growth, zooming up the ranks of income per inhabitant to become America's fourth-ranked metropolitan area. It was at the center of the core technology industries of the moment: movies and aerospace. Its regional rival was its northern neighbor, San Francisco, where trucking and transportation, communications equipment and corporate and banking headquarters put Bay Area residents even higher on the income scales: No. 1 in 1970. For decades, though, the difference between No. 1 and No. 4 were minor. California's two big-city regions were a pair of economic miracles. Not anymore."

What happened to Southern California? Professor Storper, co-author of the recently published book "The Rise and Fall of urban Economies: Lessons from San Francisco and Los Angeles will share insights into the reason for L.A.'s decline and lessons learned that will benefit other regional economies as they work to grow their local economies.


"Grading City Hall"

Posted on January 29, 2016
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Mariel Garza
Mariel Garza
Editorial Writer
Los Angeles Times

Robert Greene
Robert Greene
Editorial Writer
Los Angeles Times

Holding local elected officials accountable for their performance in doing the public’s work is incredibly important, but also a very challenging task. In August of last year, just over two years after the election of a new mayor, controller and city attorney, as well as seven new City Council members, the Los Angeles Times issued a report grading the performance of the top elected officials in City Hall. Hear how and why the Los Angeles Times published this report and why holding local officials accountable for their promises and actions, or inactions, is important to ensuring good governance at City Hall.


"Municipal Bankruptcy: Lessons Learned"

Posted on January 1, 2016
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Daniel Keen
Daniel Keen
City Manager
City of Vallejo, California

Kurt Wilson
Kurt Wilson
City Manager
City of Stockton, California

The fiscal stress on California cities has forced some into bankruptcy and others to the brink. Locally, the City of San Bernardino is emerging from its recent bankruptcy. What happens when a City is forced into bankruptcy? What issues and challenges must be faced and resolved? How have two prominent California cities dealt with bankruptcy and how have they dealt with these issues to successfully emerge from bankruptcy? The city managers of Vallejo and Stockton will share their cities’ experiences and lessons learned on their roads to recovery as well as the ongoing challenges they face going forward.


"Californians and Climate Change: Latest Findings"

Posted on October 30, 2015
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Panel Discussion:

Karthick Ramakrishnan
Karthick Ramakrishnan
Professor/Associate Dean, UCR School of Public Policy

Dean Bonner
Dean Bonner
Associate Survey Director, Public Policy Institute of California

Penny Newman
Penny Newman
Executive Director, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice

Brinda Surathy
Brinda Surathy
Director, Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability, Pitzer College

Juliann Allison
Juliann Allison
Associate Director Center for Sustainable Suburban Development, UCR

A review and panel discussion of “Californians and the Environment,” the most recent results of the Public Policy Institute of California’s Statewide Survey on how Californians view the environment. How do residents of the “Golden State” respond to the threat of global warming and climate change; do they support continued reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, state goals for expanding the use of renewable energy sources; how do they feel about the drought and water conservation? Panelists respond to the report and it's implications for social and environmental justice in Southern California.


"California’s Justice Realignment: Proposition 47 And the Rising Crime Rate"

Posted on October 23, 2015
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Michael Hestrin
Michael Hestrin
District Attorney, County of Riverside, California

After several years of decline, crime in the Inland Region of Southern California increased in 2015, with crime rates in Riverside County increasing markedly in the first half of 2015, as reported by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. What’s driving these increases and how it is impacting public safety? Hestrin will discuss the changes to California’s criminal justice system that began with the passage of the state’s “realignment” legislation in 2011 transferring felons convicted of lesser offenses to county jails, and passage of Proposition 47 in 2014, which reduced a number of felonies to misdemeanors crimes.


"California’s Drought: Inland Empire Agencies Hit a Turning Point"

Posted on July 23, 2015
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Joe Grindstaff
Joe Grindstaff
General Manager
Inland Empire Utilities Agency

John Rossi
John Rossi
General Manager
Western Municipal Water District

California’s historic drought has caused severe problems across the state. The regulations enacted by the Governor have had a major impact on how residents of Inland Southern California live their lives and how cities and water agencies manage their local water supplies. Grindstaff and Rossi discuss California’s drought, the impact of state-imposed conservation regulations on Inland residents, businesses and communities, and what to expect in terms of new water policies and programs as the drought continues.


"A County’s Shared Vision Statement Breaks Down Parochial Interests"

Posted on June 15, 2015
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Greg Devereaux
Greg Devereaux
CEO, County of San Bernardino

Developing an inclusive vision for an entire county is an enormous undertaking requiring regional leadership and a process to gather input and gain consensus from an array of constituents. Devereuax, who has successfully served California state and local government in various administrative leadership positions over a 35 year career, successfully led that process for San Bernardino County. He shares his experience, the process, the challenges, the outcomes and the steps the county is pursuing to facilitate the realization of that vision in collaboration with local cities and agencies across the county.


"Walkability: The Path to a Sustainable California"

Posted on April 27, 2015
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Juliann Allison
Juliann Allison
Associate Professor, Political Science, UCR

Using results from a recent 2-year walkability project (“Walk Riverside” conducted in collaboration with the City of Riverside), Allison discusses New Urbanism and how “Walkability” is the centerpiece of affordable and equitable ground transportation. Sustainable communities provide “walkable” access to a diverse set of places and allow people to fulfill their daily and weekly needs within a 15- minute walk from home. They facilitate social interaction and physical fitness, improve local economies, reduce crime, and support overall wellness and sustainability.


"Affordable Housing For the Middle Class: A National Crisis"

Posted on March 11, 2015
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Steve PonTell
Steve PonTell
President/CEO, National Community Renaissance

PonTell is a respected national voice on the affordability and availability of housing, and the need for collaborative solutions to the housing crisis, and nowhere is the housing crisis more evident than in the nations most populous state, California. This problem is particularly acute in the Inland Region of Southern California. Some ascribe it to the state’s greater economic performance, others to natural land constraints and still others to population pressures. These factors have played a role, but the largest factors have been policy choices that have driven up the cost of land, housing and rents to unsustainable levels.


"Future of Cities 2015 Conference"

Posted on March 12, 2014
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Ed McMahon
Ed McMahon
Senior Fellow, Urban Land Institute

CSSD’s conference on sustainability was a call to action for cities and governments to address the challenges and importance of sustainability to local communities. The event drew over 250 attendees and focused on moving local governments from good intentions to implementing actions that deliver desired sustainability outcomes. Presenters included Ed McMahon, senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute and nationally recognized authority on sustainability, and Julia Parzen, co-founder of Urban Sustainability Directors Network and author of “The Guide to Greening Cities.


"Government Examines the Task Ahead of Future City Managers"

Posted on December 16, 2014
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Ted Gaebler
Ted Gaebler
Author, Consultant and Former City Manager of Rancho Cordova, CA

Gaebler, a successful former city manager, co-authored the best-selling and widely known book Reinventing Government (1992). His book has been used throughout the world in helping local, state, and national governments rethink their means of providing governmental services and economic growth. Now a consultant to several California cities, Gaebler examines the role of the city manager, how it has changed and evolved, and the key issues facing city managers now and in the future. He shares his viewpoints on the importance of this position and the challenges city managers face, such as shared governance, the cost of city government, looming pension expenses, regional cooperation and what it takes to make a city an attractive place to live, work, play and do business.


"Regional Cooperation the Key to Sustainable Suburban Development"

Posted on December 10, 2014
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William Dodge
William Dodge
Former Executive Director, National Association of Regional Councils

Dodge, author of “Regional Excellence: Governing Together to Compete Globally and Flourish Locally,” discusses the value of creating regional compacts as a means and structure for collaborating across local jurisdictions to accomplish common goals. In a 2010 paper published in Public Administration Review, “Practitioner’s Perspective – Regional Charters: The Future of Local Government,” Dodge advocated the creation of regional charter councils to address current and unforeseen challenges.


"California’s Drought: A Perfect Storm"

Posted on October 9, 2014
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Celeste Cantú
Celeste Cantú
General Manager, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority

Cantu, a recognized water authority in California and nationally, presents the challenges and opportunities facing the Inland Southern California region in dealing with the current and inevitable next drought. She discusses California’s Water Bond and the Delta ecosystems, the current drought on the Colorado River and the issue of climate change and its impacts on watershed management, the use of urban planning to protect watershed resources, and processes for societal consultation and participation, such as landscaping with CA native plants.