The California Strategic Growth Council team is filled with gratitude for the leadership of Louise Bedsworth, who on April 30, 2021 stepped down after nearly three years as SGC’s Executive Director and nearly a decade in State service. Louise shared the following reflections on her time at SGC.
Dear SGC Community and Partners,
I am sitting to write this note as I start my final week as SGC’s Executive Director. Holding this position has been a privilege and an honor. Rather than say farewell, I want to say thank you.
Thank you to our Council members for your leadership. Thank you for contributing your vision, wisdom, and agency capacity to realize SGC’s potential. SGC’s strength stems from its collaborative structure and we have been lucky to have the continued commitment of our Council members. I want to especially thank you for deepening SGC’s commitment to racial equity through your actions.
Thank you to SGC staff for your dedication and drive and your commitment to advance equity in all that you do. Your passion to realize sustainable, equitable communities for all comes through day after day. Your work to meet the needs of SGC’s partners and our organization – especially through the challenges of this past year – has been inspiring.
Thank you to our member agencies and departments for your partnership. SGC’s work would not be possible without our network of key staff and implementation partners. Through this collaboration, we all benefit from your deep expertise and creativity. Thank you for creating the opportunity to share the policy and program innovations that arise through our collaborative structures.
Finally, and especially, thank you to the communities, community members, and stakeholders for pushing us, collaborating with us, and leading us to realize SGC’s vision. SGC is built on the idea that achieving the State’s vision for an equitable, sustainable future happens from the ground up. While in many cases, the State sets the direction, communities are what make it happen. I have learned my most valuable lessons around partnership, collaboration, equity, and leadership through our projects and partnerships with all of you.
With this incredible roster of leaders, staff, and partners, I know I leave SGC in very capable hands. Thank you for all you are doing to realize healthy, thriving, and resilient communities for all.
All the best,
Louise became SGC’s Executive Director in July 2018 and has led SGC through a period of significant growth and expansion of its integrated community investment and research programs, collaborative policy development, and racial equity work.
The members of the Council commended Louise for her accomplishments and collaborative leadership style during SGC’s public meeting on April 29. Kate Gordon, Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research noted that she came to the State in large part because of the opportunity to chair the Council, and especially to work closely with Louise. Gordon said, “Louise, with your steady hand you made the transition from one administration to the next so much smoother. You are incredibly thorough and thoughtful, perhaps due to your academic background, which helps to ensure we’re thinking through all the issues. At the same time, your laser focus on collaboration ensures we’re implementing our programs with community and equity at the forefront.”
Prior to taking the helm at SGC, Louise served as Deputy Director at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) during the Brown Administration. After joining OPR in 2011, Louise led work on a number of collaborative research initiatives and climate change adaptation and resilience, including development of the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program and implementation of the State’s $70 million grant awarded under the National Disaster Resilience Competition.
Louise will join the Center for Law Energy and the Environment at Berkeley Law School, where she will direct the Land Use program and support the California-Climate China Institute. She will examine ways to scale and replicate the success of California’s climate programs, especially those based at SGC.
The California Legislature on April 29, 2021 issued a well-deserved resolution in honor of Louise’s many achievements in State service. Read the text of the resolution below the photo and please join the SGC team in commending Louise for her leadership and accomplishments, wishing her well on her path ahead, and thanking her for dedicated work in service of Californians.
By the Honorable Nancy Skinner, 9th Senatorial District;
and the Honorable Buffy Wicks, 15th Assembly District;
Relative to commending
WHEREAS, Louise Bedsworth is stepping down as Executive Director of the California Strategic Growth Council after three exemplary years in that role and ten years of dedicated public service to the State of California, and it is appropriate at this time to highlight her achievements throughout her years in office and extend to her a heartfelt thank you for a job well done; and
WHEREAS, In her role as Executive Director of the California Strategic Growth Council, Louise Bedsworth drove the Council toward courageous, inclusive, and innovative policies that promote sustainability, health, and equity across the State; and
WHEREAS, As Executive Director, Louise Bedsworth held responsibility for the distribution of over $1 billion in funding to support affordable housing, transit, and active transportation; urban greening; research; community capacity building; and technical assistance, and under her tenure, the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program developed 5,609 housing units, 4,955 of which are affordable; created new bike lanes; improved transit lines; and upgraded or created pedestrian walkways through integrated projects; and
WHEREAS, Louise Bedsworth additionally managed the Transformative Climate Communities Program, a statewide program that empowers the communities most impacted by pollution to choose their own goals, strategies, and projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, and she also oversaw the Climate Change Research Program, which engages both researchers and community partners in all stages of the research process to advance California's climate-change goals; and
WHEREAS, Under her leadership, Louise Bedsworth led the Strategic Growth Council to become the first state agency to unanimously adopt a Racial Equity Action Plan and commit to regular public discussions about race and equity through unanimous adoption of a Racial Equity Resolution; supervised the development of California's Fourth Climate Change Assessment and the Statewide Summary Report, focusing on building community resilience and translating information into action; and authored the 2015 Environmental Goals and Policy Report; and
WHEREAS, Louise Bedsworth also helmed the Community and Watershed Resilience Program, resulting in a $70.3 million federal grant for community resilience work in Tuolumne County following the devastating Rim Fire; received and ran a United States Environmental Protection Agency grant to evaluate "Implications of Extreme Events Under Climate Change on Air and Water Quality in California"; and helped design and lead the implementation of the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program to develop a cohesive and coordinated response to the impacts of climate change across the State; and
WHEREAS, The contributions that Louise Bedsworth has made to the State of California have been invaluable, and having demonstrated a model of leadership that is kind, people centered, and visionary, she will be greatly missed by the staff of the Strategic Growth Council and her colleagues at the State of California; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED BY SENATOR NANCY SKINNER AND ASSEMBLY MEMBER BUFFY WICKS, That Louise Bedsworth be commended for her distinguished record of professional service with the California Strategic Growth Council and extended sincere best wishes in all her future endeavors.
Dated this 29th day of April, 2021.
Honorable Nancy Skinner
9th Senatorial District
Honorable Buffy Wicks
15th Assembly District