The San Gabriel Valley Civic Alliance was founded in 2010 as a result of business, labor and government leaders seeking to forge stronger connections. There was a sense of regional disconnect and a new organization emerged to bridge the varying interests. The San Gabriel valley has long been considered a “fragmented” region and we sought to change that perception. The organization was incorporated following research conducted by
The Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs.
Excerpts and observations from the 2010 study follow.
With almost 2 million people, 31 cities, 5 unincorporated communities, 7 major freeways, and 630,000 jobs, the 400-square-mile San Gabriel Valley is a Southern California economic hub, population center, and transportation crossroads. Sandwiched east of the Los Angeles basin, north of Orange County, and west of the Inland Empire, the San Gabriel Valley is also centrally located within the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area.
Unlike the San Fernando Valley—which is largely comprised of the City of Los Angeles—or the Inland Empire—which includes major entities like San Bernardino and Riverside—the San Gabriel Valley lacks a “kingpin” city with the power and resources to make decisions singlehandedly and drive regional policy. Consequently, the concept of “regionalism” is of particular importance in the San Gabriel Valley. Infrastructure projects that touch various cities, like freeway expansion and rail line construction, cannot be realized if approached by single entities or on a city-by-city basis. Various stakeholders must instead collaborate on large projects while thinking regionally.
Furthermore, considering the great ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural diversity of the San Gabriel Valley, coupled with the potentially competing interests of so many cities and communities, a great diversity of viewpoints and approaches exists. As a result, the imperative to develop regional strategies, priorities, and solutions is reified.
Considering outstanding questions and potential liabilities tied to launching a new organization on the same scale and basic structure as SGVCOG or the Partnership, the “civic alliance” model represents a feasible starting place for addressing these needs in the San Gabriel Valley while pushing for more inclusive and representative regional coalition building.
Embarking on our fifth year, the Alliance is poised to continue building on its record of unique, multi-sector collaboration. We look forward to addressing the challenges of the day by providing positive outcome solutions.