The California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley is an unprecedented public-private partnership sharply focused on improving the region’s economic vitality and quality of life for the 3.9 million residents who call the San Joaquin Valley home. Founded in June 2005 by Governor Schwarzenegger with Executive Order S-05-05, the Partnership is an effort to address the unique challenges facing the Valley as well as the region’s importance to California.
Though the Valley is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, the economic well-being of Valley residents has trailed behind state and national averages; its poor air quality has repeatedly failed to meet EPA standards. Despite these challenges, the Valley historically was neglected by both state and federal leaders, receiving substantially less per capita funding than the averages for California and the United States.
The creation of the Partnership was designed to address the region’s challenges while establishing a solid framework for the future. Included in Executive Order S-05-05 was a request by Governor Schwarzenegger for the new Partnership to submit a Strategic Action Proposal that provided recommendations to improve the economic condition of the Valley.
In October 2006, the group delivered its recommendations in its Strategic Action Plan (SAP): “The San Joaquin Valley, California’s 21st Century Opportunity.” Three overarching goals were developed for the Valley with the advent of the SAP: develop a prosperous economy, create a quality environment, and achieve social equity.The two-year grant that launched the Partnership was finalized in 2009; but the Partnership continues the 10-year SAP by acquiring other grant funding.
Two grants awarded in November 2009 ensured the continuation of the Partnership’s work. Moreover, Partnership staff continues working toward establishing a sustainable funding plan for the Partnership, one that will allow for full implementation of the SAP.
The Partnership was extended indefinitely and governance guidelines were established in July 2010 with Governor Schwarzenegger’s Executive Order S-10-10.