Regional Policy & Innovation Center coming to San Diego in September


SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego Foundation Tuesday announced the launch of the San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center, a nonprofit organization intended to engage government, corporations and philanthropy in new ways to enhance the long-term sustainability and prosperity of the San Diego region.

The center is intended to conduct research and recommend policy solutions to assist local leaders in attracting federal and state funding, and in addressing regional issues such as improving infrastructure, creating jobs and generating other long-term socioeconomic and environmental benefits.

The center will also “support recovery from the cascading economic effects of COVID-19 and meet the needs of underserved communities by attracting funding and resources to the region,” a San Diego Foundation statement said.

“During the current COVID-19 crisis and past wildfire disasters, community foundations demonstrated their value in mobilizing funding for rapid response and recovery,” said Mark Stuart, president and CEO of The San Diego Foundation.

The Policy & Innovation Center will officially launch on Sept. 27, when national, regional and local leaders — including John R. Allen, president of The Brookings Institution and Nathan Fletcher, chair of San Diego County Board of Supervisors — come together to share strategic opportunities for the region to support multi-jurisdictional cooperation, attract new federal funds and become a national model for new partnerships.

The launch will be followed on Sept. 28, by a daylong government and agency convening featuring presentations from Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program scholars and working sessions to explore federal funding opportunities to meet local recovery needs and attract both public and private sector investment for long-term regional priorities.

“This takes us one step further to balance our role as a community grantmaker with our long-term community changemaker vision for San Diego,” Stuart said. “For lasting, systemic change, we must and will forge strategic public-private partnerships with philanthropy, government, business and others.”

The organization will be advised by a government advisory council with members selected from the county and the region’s 18 municipalities, as well as San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, Port of San Diego and San Diego Airport Authority after the Sept. 28 convening.

“We are united in our commitment to develop effective, practical and equitable solutions for improving infrastructure, creating stable high-paying jobs and generating transformational social, health, economic and environmental benefits,” said Susan Guinn, president and CEO of the innovation center. “We will use research and data as an enabler to secure federal and state funding that we as a region have seldom done with one voice.”

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