Justin Ewers

Deputy Director - Policy & Communications

Justin Ewers is the deputy director of policy and communications for the California Economic Summit, an effort to create jobs and encourage sustainable communities across California. As lead author of the Summit's Roadmap to Shared Prosperity, Justin leads a policy and reporting team responsible for a broad range of Summit initiatives--from aligning workforce training programs with industry needs and expanding access to affordable housing to developing new ways to pay for infrastructure projects.

From 2010-2012, Justin worked on a CA Fwd communications team supporting Speak Up California, a statewide conversation about the importance of governance reform. He also served as the lead author of the Smart Government Framework, a strategic action plan for reforming the state’s governance system.

Prior to his work for California Forward, Justin spent a decade as a journalist, most recently as California correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, where he covered state politics and Silicon Valley.

Justin holds a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University.


Summit releases 2019 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity to take on “defining challenge of our time”
The new Roadmap captures the best ideas from every region to outline a comprehensive, triple bottom line solutions that take on California's major economic challenges. Read More

2018 Summit Preview: The One Million Challenges
With a new year and new governor, what's next in Summit housing, workforce, water, and middle-income job initiatives Read More

2018 Summit Preview: Elevating the CA Dream. Ensuring Resiliency in Every Community.
Outlining a strategy to address rising costs, growing economic inequality, and expanding impacts of climate change Read More

CA Fwd releases report assessing Sonoma’s progress toward “resiliency” after 2017 fires
Additional detailed analysis to be presented at 2018 Summit in Santa Rosa Read More

CA Fwd report highlights ideas for getting more housing out of last year’s housing package
Implementation efforts, the best chance this year to make a dent in the housing crisis, reach critical juncture Read More

CA Economic Summit sets sights on upward mobility, launches 2018 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity
Updated strategy takes on the biggest challenges that are widening the prosperity gap across the state Read More

Looking for a toolkit to get engaged in housing issues? San Mateo County has one for you.
Check housing progress with map of county where median house price is more than $1.2 million Read More

A Way Home for CA: What people are saying this week about the housing crisis - August 25
With pressure increasing to get a deal done, some volatile political issues are converging in the housing debate Read More

CA Economic Summit urges Legislature to act on housing “package,” highlights what must come next
Housing leaders also call for addressing major unresolved issues like the high cost of building Read More

A Way Home for CA: What people are saying this week about the housing crisis - August 18
California's housing options keep getting more complicated, as wealthy cities push back on new development and political issues threaten new funding sources Read More

A Way Home for CA: What people are saying this week about the housing crisis - August 4
If communities are going to approve more housing, they'll need more of the property taxes that go with it. But how to get it to them? Read More

A Way Home for CA: What people are saying this week about the housing crisis - July 28
A look at how three coastal cities are responding to the housing crisis. (Hint: Only one of them is committed to building homes for everyone.) Read More

A Way Home for CA: What people are saying this week about the housing crisis - July 21
The governor and legislative leaders promise to build "package" to address housing crisis before session ends  Read More

A Way Home for CA: What people are saying this week about the housing crisis - July 14
Sacramento talking about what would end up in a pending cap-and-trade "deal" including housing legislation  Read More

Ideas in 50+ housing bills “not sufficient” to address scale of crisis, says CA Economic Summit
California needs stronger legislation to incentivize more communities to say yes to housing Read More

A Way Home for CA: This week in the housing crisis - July 7
Big housing bill moves forward in Legislature while another might take fight for more housing in one county backward Read More

A Way Home for CA: What people are saying this week about the housing crisis - June 30
Biggest housing story of the week highlights how California policy has failed to get enough housing built Read More

A Way Home for CA: This week in the housing crisis - June 23
A promising set of proposals unveiled in San Diego, affordability gap grows in other cities, state still doesn't act Read More

San Diego mayor pushing one of state’s most aggressive packages for addressing housing crisis
With broad coalition support, one of the state’s expensive coastal cities looks to accelerate housing approvals and expand supply Read More

Five reasons why Silicon Valley needs more housing of all kinds, everywhere, now.
New housing isn't affordable to majority of residents, making crisis worse Read More

Civil rights groups call Legislature to account on housing crisis, urge expansion of homeownership
Legislators outline their plans to reverse sharp declines in homeownership since the Great Recession Read More

Momentum building in San Diego as coalition pushes for workforce housing
High housing costs and the need to increase supply are uniting local groups often at odds  Read More

Is Legislature doing all it will take to tackle housing crisis? Not yet, says Summit coalition
Diverse group argues current batch of housing bills won't address scale of affordability problem Read More

Governor’s housing department releases list of options for addressing California’s housing crisis
A third of California renters spend more than half their income on housing costs, says new report Read More

The next emerging issue: How can the Summit help create more middle-income jobs?
California faces a middle-income jobs gap, a growing issue to be taken up at 2016 California Economic Summit Read More

The One Million More Acre-Feet Challenge: How the Summit aims to help restore California’s water balance
Action plan takes on California's water systems and management problems, made even worse by state's five-year-long drought Read More

The One Million Homes Challenge: How to advance the Summit’s “all of the above” solution
To help the millions of Californians afford housing, coalition created a framework to build more homes of all types Read More

The One Million Worker Challenge: Where the Summit will go next after year of success
Next steps in closing California's skills gap and addressing need for more graduates  Read More

New McKinsey report offers 15 big ideas for tackling California’s housing crisis
Housing toolkit quantifies how many housing units the different policy options could produce Read More

Registration launches for 2016 California Economic Summit in Sacramento
Fifth annual Summit will bring together statewide coalition committed to expanding upward mobility in California. Read More

Mid-year progress report on Summit’s One Million Challenges
With five months until the 2016 Summit, update relays progress on goals of one million more skilled workers, homes, and acre-feet of water over the next decade. Read More

REAL Coalition joins Summit in supporting career tech education in the state budget
One of California's largest business groups joins Summit in support of workforce funding in state budget before lawmakers this week.  Read More

Summit commends lawmakers for taking on housing—urges them to do more
Leaders support recognizing the scope of the housing problem but also push for broader, all-of-the-above strategy to address shortage. Read More

Summit leaders join Assembly Dems in pushing for new $1.3 billion affordable housing plan
Funding for affordable housing should be part of a more comprehensive solution to the state’s expanding housing crisis. Read More

California business leaders push for workforce training support in state budget
Legislators considering about $250 million in new state budget funding for career technical education programs at community colleges. Read More

Summit pushes Legislature to advance workforce training ideas in this year’s budget
Ensuring recommendations of a task force on workforce are adopted in this year’s state budget and related legislation is a key goal for the Summit in 2016 Read More

Summit shares ideas on ending sprawl, expanding water conservation with environmental leaders
Symposium highlighted need for allies beyond usual environmental groups in effort to craft land use and water plans for sustainable growth. Read More

11 steps for cutting housing costs highlighted by San Diego Housing Commission
Report lays out options that could increase the supply of housing, reducing the price of new homes for more San Diegans. Read More

California Economic Summit launches One Million Challenges in 2016 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity
The Roadmap lays out what the Summit aims to accomplish this year in areas vital to expanding sustainable economic growth in every region. Read More

Governor doubles down on Summit workforce training approach in new budget
Jerry Brown recommends hundreds of millions for workforce programs supported by the Summit and aimed at closing regional skills gaps. Read More

The unique role the Summit can play getting California back to water sustainability
California needs to conserve, capture, and re-use an additional one million acre-feet of water every year over the next decade. Read More

What it will take to make California homes more affordable
Summit will fine-tune a plan to start closing state's housing affordability gap which threatens its long-term economic health Read More

California Economic Summit introduces One Million Challenges ahead of Ontario event
This year's Summit will target three of California's most pressing challenges: workforce, housing, and water. Read More

Governor signs local infrastructure financing bill in win for Summit
Law will expand development tool cities can use to pay for a range of vital projects, from affordable housing to transportation infrastructure.  Read More

How is progress on the Summit Roadmap to Shared Prosperity?
An update on a productive year advancing the Summit's five-year plan as a way to amplify their collective impact and focus state economic policy on the triple bottom line. Read More

Early signs of a deal emerge in special session on road maintenance
As the California Legislatures tries to wrangle a $60-billion backlog in state road and highway maintenance, bills are coming together to form a possible deal to help raise infrastructure funding while making sure they're spent in an accountable way.  Read More

What’s missing from California’s transportation special session
Fixing the state’s roads will take more than money--it will also take better governance. Summit team weighs in with ideas.  Read More

CA Fwd report: The coming revenue debate must look beyond politics
California has a rare opportunity to weigh in on a range of new tax proposals for infrastructure and other needs, but also to evaluate how well the proposals promote fairness and fiscal stability while encouraging economic growth. Read More

Summit: Employers want, need bigger role in workforce training
For California to develop the workforce necessary to remain globally competitive, employers must be given ways to play a larger role in the state’s workforce training system, the California Economic Summit emphasized in a letter to the task force charged with making community colleges more responsive to the state’s economy. Read More

12 new ways to close infrastructure funding gaps highlighted by CA Fwd and Economic Summit partners
Paying for badly needed maintenance for California's transportation system would benefit from using "fourth sector" models, which combine public, private and nonprofit resources for public good.  Read More

Summit releases plan for addressing affordable housing crisis, urges lawmakers to act
Housing team supports package of legislation to raise more housing funds but calls for more permanent solutions to growing problem. Read More

CA Fwd report: Prosperity depends on new approach to investing in infrastructure and education
New report highlights revenue options for making investments in top priorities for state regionally and statewide Read More

Consensus building around new infrastructure financing authority: “These tools can work”
Robust infrastructure funding tool being seen as smart alternative to defunct redevelopment authority Read More

Cities take notice of new authority to build transit and other needed infrastructure
Summit releases fact sheet on how to use new Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts Read More

Three things to watch for as lawmakers implement California water bond
Summit offers recommendations for smarter investment of water funds Read More

CA Fwd report: Financing California’s future means thinking beyond Prop 30
Part 1 of new report prompts conversation about long-term, equitable revenue system Read More

Antonia Hernández: Summit Roadmap will “amplify collective impact across California”
Summit co-chair and foundation head on how plan supports sustainable growth Read More

Governor’s budget proposals offer strong support for Summit agenda
Workforce and infrastructure take a priority spot in Brown's spending outline Read More

Year in Review: Summit hits targets, set to release 5-year prosperity roadmap
Rundown of Summit 2014 wins and preview of 2015 Read More

A win for Summit, Governor signs bill to enhance local infrastructure development
Legislation will help cities pay for roads, transit, maintenance projects Read More

Lawmakers approve legislation giving cities more robust tools for building infrastructure
Local financing power can fund roads, transit-oriented housing and more Read More

Lawmakers could make it easier to pay for local infrastructure before session ends
Bill would bring enhanced tools for paying for vital projects Read More

Water bond deal is done. But will it actually improve California’s water system?
What's in, what's not and maximizing return on water investment Read More

Three ways to ensure California’s prosperity emerge from Summit’s Capitol Day
Water, workforce & sustainable communities big themes on annual meeting of minds Read More

With water bond down to the wire, CA Fwd endorses Water Fix Coalition framework
Not just smarter water investments but smarter governance Read More

Summit releases how-to guide on proposed new infrastructure financing tools
Ideas empower local leaders to address local infrastructure issues Read More

Summit calls for review of CEQA Guidelines
Effort to update interpretations of key environmental regulation near completion Read More

Size of California’s water bond does matter but how it’s spent matters more
The bigger issue explained as legislators and governor debate water bond size Read More

Major progress made toward top Summit priorities in state budget
State housing, workforce and infrastructure benefit from budget deals Read More

Summit ideas for California infrastructure continue to survive budget talks
How budget could boost infrastructure investment Read More

Summit leaders support more housing funding in state budget talks
Goal is creating a permanent source for affordable housing money in an expensive state Read More

How the Summit is working to advance its 11 drought recommendations
Where the drought, California water policy and Summit work intersect Read More

Studies show minimal economic impact from drought but water story doesn’t end there
California's long-term water problems go well beyond this year's drought Read More

Phil Isenberg says knowing who pays for your water could help end California’s water wars
The answer could change water politics for the better Read More

CA Fwd on rainy day fund: More consistent solution to boom and bust problem
Fund should provide some more certainty to a recovering economy Read More

Two big wins for California Economic Summit in governor’s revised budget
State economy should benefit from infrastructure, workforce changes Read More

Missing from this year’s water debate: Celeste Cantú knows a cheaper, better way
Why cities in Santa Ana watershed mostly unaffected by drought so far Read More

For first time in 30 years, California making almost no investments in affordable housing
It doesn’t have to be that way Read More

Water debate leading somewhere unexpected: Optimism
Drought causes conversation on water not happening before Read More

How strengthening the state’s rainy day fund can help California’s economy
What is the most effective way to get this done? Read More

What we’ve all been up to since the 2013 Summit
Highlights from the Summit’s progress so far in 2014 Read More

With water bond debate beginning to boil, three issues that must be resolved
$11 billion water bond has bare majority Read More

Who should distribute billions for water projects—and how?
One water bond proposal avoids earmarks and distributes funds differently Read More

Nature Conservancy aims to shift focus on drought to one number: 1.5 million
The California water system is out of balance every year Read More

How California’s $687 million drought emergency legislation aligns with Summit
Brown signs water laws targeting multiple issues Read More

How the Summit can drive a new approach to CEQA reform
Four ways to improve the CEQA process  Read More

Eleven Summit ideas for reacting to California drought while advancing sustainable prosperity
Response to water crisis demands long view, results Read More

Embracing critical review, Caltrans details modernizing agency
Reforms align with Summit infrastructure goals Read More

California drought and water bonds loom large at environmental meeting
Discussing the 4 R's and the water crisis Read More

Summit report: Nine things California can do in 2014 to advance prosperity
Plan gets down to business of helping boost economy Read More

Where governor’s budget intersects with Economic Summit goals
How Brown's proposals align with Summit's plan Read More

What will be in Governor Brown’s five-year infrastructure plan?
Proposed budget gives glimpse into Brown's priorities Read More

Year-end report details nearly 600 commitments to support Summit’s emerging prosperity strategy
The best thinking from across California Read More

Summit sends Governor letter outlining strategy for infrastructure crisis
Plan would hold projects accountable with metrics Read More

Road repair ballot initiative would raise $3 billion a year. Even that’s not enough.
License fee increase would drop into infrastructure gap Read More

Three big ideas to emerge from the California Economic Summit
These ideas will drive the next step Read More

How to make high-priced California housing more affordable - An action plan
The high costs of expensive housing  Read More

Linking the state’s urban and rural regions: An action plan for California’s “working landscapes”
Sustainable approaches are critical for working landscapes Read More

How to drive economic growth by connecting capital with ideas: A capital action plan
To drive investment in local economies, businesses and entrepreneurs must have access to capital.  Read More

How to ensure California’s regulations support the triple bottom line: An action plan
This may be one of California’s most complicated, perennial policy challenges Read More

How to grow manufacturing jobs in California: An action plan for advancing manufacturing
High-tech manufacturing revival needs some fuel Read More

How to rebuild the state’s aging transportation and water system: An infrastructure plan
Roads and water at high risk Read More

How to prepare skilled workers for high-priority jobs: A workforce plan for California
California’s economy may be rebounding, but jobs aren’t growing everywhere they are needed Read More

Lt. governor and governor’s job czar lead Summit discussion about honing state economic strategy
“I’m enthusiastic about the progress that’s been made.” Read More

A new economic strategy for California: A summary of the 2013 Summit Action Plans
Breaking down what issues the Summit is tackling  Read More

What have we been up to? Update on 2012 Summit progress—and a look ahead at 2013
Rundown of latest Summit work Read More

CEQA Roundup: A few provisions get applause as governor quietly signs CEQA reform bill
Year of CEQA Reform yields step forward Read More

Water bonds, still in early stages, bob toward 2014 ballot
Legislature building a better water bond, out of shadow of Delta Tunnel plan Read More

CEQA Roundup: A win for the Kings and Steinberg. But for CEQA reform?
What does final arena bill do? Read More

CEQA Roundup: After meeting with governor, Steinberg puts comprehensive CEQA bill on hold
Senate leader shifts focus to arena Read More

CEQA Roundup: With vote coming this week, amendments reveal Steinberg’s scaled-back ambitions
Checking out the final reform bill Read More

CEQA Roundup: What would Steinberg’s bill actually do for infill?
Examining how far CEQA reforms would go as clock runs down  Read More

CEQA Roundup: With time running out, Steinberg doubles down on infill, tries to pull back business
Updating CEQA for infill projects, Steinberg made clear, is in.  Read More

Viewpoints – Chris Taylor: Bay Bridge doesn’t have to mark end of big California public works
California finds itself facing a $765 billion hole Read More

CEQA Roundup: Reform bill amendments reveal what’s been taken off the table
Changes to CEQA bill ratchet back reforms Read More

CEQA Roundup: Have negotiations really stalled?
CEQA may be nearing a political impasse only the governor can resolve Read More

Viewpoints - Anthony Rendon: How to bring accountability to the state water bond
Rendon tackles California's water situation Read More

A look at past proposals for tackling California’s infrastructure challenge
It’s not a new problem. That, at least, everyone can agree on.  Read More

Coming water fight: Promising signs from capital in water bond early stages
Legislature aligning with Smart Infrastructure Strategy Read More

CEQA Roundup: Debate over big changes to CEQA is happening, just not publicly
Still large, unresolved differences among the business interests, environmental groups, and labor unions Read More

Viewpoints - Glenda Humiston: Linking urban & rural areas will drive California’s economic growth
State infrastructure plan a golden opportunity to boost rural & urban economies Read More

What gets voters past ‘No’ on infrastructure spending in Bay Area county
Region gets managing infrastructure right but still faces $6B shortfall Read More

Viewpoints – Julie Kim: Time is right for California to tap private infrastructure financing
How California can cut its $765 billion infrastructure deficit almost in half Read More

Regional innovations - Redwood Coast: How to build an economic blueprint across a region
We go in depth on Redwood Coast's rural region prosperity plan highlighted at forum Read More

Viewpoints - Mark Pisano: California demographic changes demand new way to pay for infrastructure
California's population on collision course with shortfalls Read More

CEQA Roundup - The Good, Bad & Potentially Bad: What business thinks of reform bills
Taking stock of CEQA reform progress Read More

Road to the Summit: A good problem to have - Silicon Valley wrestles with its growth
Even California's tech boom hub lacks skilled workers Read More

CEQA Roundup: Reform wins unanimously in Senate, what to watch for next
The state Senate demonstrated overwhelming, bipartisan support for CEQA reform this week Read More

CEQA Roundup: Steinberg bill advances, as does enviro-backed legislation to expand law’s scope
The two bills that propose the most comprehensive changes to the law survived the committee process  Read More

Regional innovations - Sonoma: How a region can rally around closing the achievement gap
Nearly one in two Latino students in the county don’t graduate from high school. Read More

CEQA Roundup: Faced with budget uncertainty (again), how much can Steinberg do?
Senate leader juggles CEQA reform & budget questions Read More

Road to the Summit: Bay Area focuses on infrastructure at regional forum
Infrastructure, in particular, emerges as region's top priority Read More

CEQA Roundup: What the CEQA debate is really about
While some environmental groups have pushed back on Steinberg's proposals, other environmentalists feel the bill doesn't go far enough Read More

CEQA Roundup: For a moment, everyone lines up behind Steinberg
Senate leader's CEQA reform bill gets past committee Read More

CEQA Roundup: What Steinberg bill does (and doesn’t) do
With this week's bill, has Steinberg found that sweet spot?  Read More

CEQA Roundup: Rifts among Dems start to show
Senate leader reacts to Gov. Brown surprise statement  Read More

Regional Innovations - San Luis Obispo: How to rally region’s leaders around strategic plan
SLO lays down its foundation for growth  Read More

CEQA Roundup: Is reform really on “life support?”
CEQA bills take hits from all sides; compromise bill still out there Read More

CEQA Roundup: Reform now in three flavors before legislature
Reform action moves to committees Read More

CEQA Roundup: Five things to watch for
Debate moves onto next round as Legislature returns from recess Read More

Regional innovations - Fresno: How to rebuild a mental health system in crisis
Budget cuts during the recession sent ripple effects through the area Read More

CEQA Roundup: Questions linger about speeding up CEQA process
SF supervisor takes own reform path while debate continues Read More

Regional innovations - Butte Region: How to build a “citizen army” to tackle community challenges
Crowd sourcing from the community Read More

CEQA Roundup: Muscle-flexing in Sacramento complicates reform debate
CEQA debate gets even more convoluted Read More

Silicon Valley says bring on the smart energy
For Silicon Valley leaders, the challenge was irresistible Read More

CEQA Roundup: Debate resets with Jerry Hill appointment
What new environmental chair means to CEQA reform Read More

CEQA Roundup: What’s next after Rubio?
The CEQA legislation has taken a backseat to the news story of Rubio's Senate departure.  Read More

Regional innovations - San Diego: How to bridge a mega-region’s urban and rural divide
San Diego, the Imperial Valley, and Baja California needed to find a way to work better together Read More

CEQA Roundup: Senate leader Steinberg intros CEQA bill hours after Rubio resigns
Senator to work as lobbyist; reform bill on its way, says Steinberg Read More

Regional innovations - Inland Empire: How to build out the Latino talent pipeline
The Inland Empire is playing catch-up  Read More

CEQA Roundup: Deadline looming but no word yet on reform specifics
Deadline looms for California Environmental Quality Act reform Read More

CEQA Roundup: Stakes go up after Texas showdown with new opposition forming
Governors, labor, newspapers & new pro-CEQA coalition weigh in as legislative deadline nears Read More

Dueling websites tell different stories about CEQA
CEQA reform sites highlight environmental law "successes" or "abuses" Read More

CEQA Roundup: Battle taking shape after Gov. Brown’s speech
Busy week as environmental reform adversaries trade fire & legislation introduced Read More

There’s a better way than CEQA: Urban Planner’s Perspective
The California environmental law causes urban sprawl, says planning leader Read More

New coalition of school & public works agencies signs on for CEQA reform
Group calls for specific reforms in CA environmental law Read More

CEQA Roundup - Who’s saying what this week
Roundup of news on efforts to reform or defend California's enviro quality act Read More

California jobs comeback gets top billing in Governor’s State of State
Brown highlights job growth but says much to be done with regulations, CEQA, workforce Read More

Middle ground exists on CEQA reform - Environmental attorney
Attorney wrote the book on CEQA, says compromise possible on abuse Read More

CEQA reform is long overdue – Environmental lawyer’s perspective
Attorney says CEQA lawsuits holding back environmentally conscious growth Read More

Where things stand on CEQA: Steinberg still pushing for reform
Senate leader gives update on environmental law reform after aborted attempt last year Read More

CEQA reform isn’t what it seems to be - Law professor’s perspective
California environmental law expert questions timing, motives of CEQA reformers Read More

New study finds infill & public transit projects caught up in CEQA net
CEQA lawsuit picture more complicated than groups on either side of reform say Read More

CEQA is a safety net: Environmental attorney’s perspective
Attorney says public participation via CEQA key to long-term planning Read More

California’s first patent office on track for 2013 opening
Will be center of education & legal help for CA startups  Read More

How to Get Nowhere in LA: 710 Freeway Quagmire
Finishing gap in SoCal freeway system is 50-year hard lesson in California infrastructure Read More

California’s next budget challenge is 50,000 miles long and $770 billion
Just getting California's roads, buildings in good repair vital to economy Read More

Micro-loans put capital in the hands of local California entrepreneurs
Chico nonprofit assisting small businesses attract funding Read More

Coalition gaining momentum to solve California’s water woes
There's more to fixing California water systems than building the Canal Read More

Climbing gas prices can’t slow down California’s auto sales
Supply and easing credit drive up California sales of cars. Read More

The new, new economy on California’s Redwood Coast
Rural economic development faces different challenges, same goals Read More

Coke Is It: Aiming for Water Neutrality by 2020
Beverage giant wades into California water issues because of pledge Read More

California’s Business Climate: The Comcast Kerfuffle
What does infamous Comcast statement & state's response say about the climate? Read More

California Water Wars: The View from the Mountains
Voice of California's rural north often lost in discussion of vital resource Read More