As we come to the end of the Pacific Council's 20th anniversary year, I find myself reflecting on the incredible things we've accomplished together. Over two decades, we have grown into a collective of the West Coast's foremost leaders, rising to become a key organization among international policy institutions and contributing to debate on some of the world's most pressing issues.
But the Pacific Council is not just a forum for discussion: it is a community of passionate people with a diverse array of backgrounds and expertise who share one overwhelming commonality - we are committed to having a positive impact on the world and on policy.
Our collective voice can make a difference on key policy issues. In 2016, we will take on several such issues, including:
- Policy directions for Guantánamo Bay. In 2013, we were granted observer status to the legal proceedings taking place at Guantánamo Bay and we have sent 19 Pacific Council observers to the facility since then. We are now launching a Presidential Task Force to formulate bipartisan policy recommendations on the future of the GTMO base proceedings. Our time to contribute to this issue is now: we intend to have our recommendations addressed, debated, and ideally adopted by the 2016 presidential candidates.
- Addressing the global water crisis. Over the past year, we have laid the groundwork for a dedicated water policy project. We visited policymakers in Washington, D.C., invited leading experts to brief members, and connected with major local influencers - including the Hilton Foundation - on the issue. Water will be one of the defining, and most divisive, issues to face the world in decades to come. This isn't just a policy issue or an environmental issue - it is a human issue. That's why we're taking action now.
Please make a special, one-time gift to the Pacific Council today to help us invest in essential programs like these that will change public discourse and policy. Donate now.
The Pacific Council is looking toward the future. Together, I know we can express the true potential of the West Coast on the international stage.
I hope we can count on your support to help make that vision a reality.
Pacific Council Membership Committee Chair
President & CEO, United Way of Greater Los Angeles