The California Influencer Series

2018 Election: Who are the Influencers and what can you expect from them?

Welcome to election season.

The California primary is just a day away. And the November election is just around the corner.

This election year, The Sacramento Bee will put a sharp focus on the policy challenges that most affect our community and its future.

We know – because you’ve told us – that on issues ranging from housing affordability to education to healthcare, you want deeper insight into potential solutions our officials can pursue. And you deserve a better understanding of where our candidates stand on the policy that matters most.

To deliver this, we today are launching an important and long-lasting conversation between you and the leaders and influencers in our state – the California Influencer Series. The Bee and its sister news organizations in California have selected 60 influential Californians to discuss the issues and engage in a thoughtful conversation about solutions our government and our communities can pursue together.

Our Influencers include former Governors Pete Wilson and Gray Davis, current University of California President and former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Rosalind Hudnell, VP of HR at Intel Corp and Chair and President of Intel Foundation. They represent many entities in our state. Some are large employers and some represent employees. Some are academic leaders and some are community organizers.

They include leaders in the faith community as well as people who have dedicated their careers to public service in our state. For some, such as Antonia Hernandez, President and CEO of California Community Foundation, our growing income inequality is most pressing. She’s not alone in her concern. For others, it’s quality of jobs or the rising housing costs. The full list of California Influencers is here.

You are a crucial part of this conversation and we must listen more effectively than we ever have.

On Monday, The Bee will send a survey to our subscribers, asking what issues are most important to you this election year. We also want to know what questions you have.

To capture them throughout the series, we also are partnering with a digital media company that makes the process of engaging easy. We will use your guidance to set the course of the conversation through Election Day, as we survey the Influencers and bring them together for live public events to discuss solutions to the challenges you identify.

This is an important election year in California. We hope you will join us in keeping the conversation focused on the policy issues that matter most.

Lauren Gustus is Editor at the Sacramento Bee.