We are off to the start of what promises to be another good year at the Rose Institute. As usual, we began our Fall semester by holding an open house for interested students, followed by an intensive application and interview process. In the end, we narrowed about seventy applications down to eight hires—five freshmen and three sophomores. There were many excellent applicants and difficult decisions to be made, but we are confident that this next cohort of “Rosies” has the talent and determination to maintain the proud traditions of our Institute.
In the meantime, the Rose Institute has advanced a number of important projects since April. These included:
• An ongoing study of contract cities, examining which California cities contract for what service and from whom. We expect to have a preliminary report, focusing on the Inland Empire, completed within a few months.
• The updated version of our Redistricting in America website, funded by a grant from the Koch Foundation, which was completed over the summer.
• A “best practices” manual for local election administration, written for the City of Glendale in conjunction with our Glendale election administration project. We hope to be able to offer the completed manual to other local governments, as well.
• A quality of life survey completed for the City of Glendale assessing citizen sentiments.
• Successful Inland Empire Center forecasting conferences held in the Coachella Valley, Temecula, and Ontario. Each conference was hosted by the Rose in conjunction with CMC’s Lowe Institute of Political Economy and the UCLA Anderson School, and featured national, state, and local economic forecasts along with a variety of panels of local leaders in politics, business, law, health care, and education.
• Publication of two issues of The Inland Empire Outlook (April and October), also a joint project of the IEC featuring articles on issues of regional interest.
• Technical work designed to upgrade the public accessibility and usability of the Miller-Rose Initiative Database as well as the Burnweit database on California state legislators.
• Data collection and analysis for the 2013 Kosmont-Rose Cost of Doing Business survey.
• Continued attention to the New Hire Training program and the Rose Institute speaker series. In Fall 2013, we will be hosting former Pennsylvania governor and Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge discussing homeland security issues at the state and local level, as well as a panel on voting rights in light of the Supreme Court’s summer decision on the Voting Rights Act.
• The initiation of our Rose Award Fellows program using funds raised in honor of Ray Remy ’59, our most recent Rose award winner. Under this program, three students received stipends to enable them to serve in summer internships related to state and local government. These first Rose Award Fellows included Ian O’Grady, Elise Hansell, and Ryan Driscoll.
Over the summer of 2013, the Rose Institute senior staff also conducted a planning exercise identifying challenges and areas of potential activity. A number of interesting ideas came out of that exercise, and will be implemented over the next year. In general, the ideas were built around themes of increasing student research capacity, increasing the Rose Institute’s visibility, and increasing the Institute’s public policy impact. Among other things, we plan to improve our connections with faculty, Rose alumni, other state politics institutes in California, and experts in a variety of fields; renew the Institute’s history of holding policy-oriented conferences; and write more white papers on specific policy questions identified by the Institute. More on this next time.
The year 2013 represents the 40th year since the Rose Institute was founded in 1973. We will celebrate the occasion on October 17 with a commemorative dinner, and we are expecting that it will be a great time. We won’t forget, though, that the very best way to celebrate will be by carrying the legacy of the Rose Institute forward into the future, playing an important role in the education of CMC students and making a positive difference for our community and state.
– Director Andrew Busch