Southern California has a wealth of research and policy expertise, on matters ranging from housing and transportation, to immigration, economic development, technological change, and civic engagement. However, many discussions on these topics occur in specialized fragments and silos, with few opportunities to engage and inform the larger public.

SoCal Policy Forum (SPF) is a platform that regularly convenes policy experts in Southern California on timely issues that can better engage and inform the larger public.

The goals of SPF are to:

1)   Bring coherence to policy conversations and deepening relationships and commitments across Southern California,

2)   Draw attention to current and looming issues that can benefit from expert attention,

3)   Bring a diversity of views that are grounded in evidence and experience, and

4)   Explore solutions worth testing and implementing.

SoCal Policy Forum is a partnership of the Southern California News Group (SCNG) and the Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside, in collaboration with a range of policy and research centers across Southern California. 

The partnership involves 3 components:

1)   A website with curated content that leverages the digital assets of SCNG and the diversity of expertise in the region. A select group of experts (policy generalists as well as specialists) will be invited to join SPF and to contribute answers to a common question, with responses ranging from 150 to 300 words each.

2)   A quarterly feature that prints pieces from select contributors in the Opinion sections of up to 11 SCNG newspapers (including Los Angeles Daily News, OC Register, Pasadena Star-News, Press-Telegram, Press Enterprise, The Sun, and more).

3)   Quarterly events sponsored by SCNG and community partners that are focused on particular issues, inviting our expert contributors as well as other public and private stakeholders, to participate in forums that lead to improved understanding and meaningful change.

Our first two topics (Summer 2019 and Fall 2019) will focus on 1) Housing affordability and homelessness, and 2) Reducing poverty and economic inequality. We hope that this venue provides a meaningful contribution to improving policy conversations and decision-making in Southern California.

 – Frank Pine, Executive Editor, Southern California News Group

 – Sal Rodriguez, Opinion Editor, Southern California News Group

 – Karthick Ramakrishnan, Director, Center for Social Innovation, UC Riverside

About SCNG

Southern California News Group is the largest news content provider in the five-county Los Angeles metropolitan area. As a leader in circulation among top publications nationwide, SCNG now owns and operates 11 local daily newspapers and more than a dozen community weeklies.


The Center for Social Innovation, UC Riverside aims to provide a credible research voice that spurs civic leadership and policy innovation. We also aim to integrate researchers, community organizations, and civic stakeholders in collaborative projects and long-term partnerships that boost collective impact.