WHEREAS, the San Joaquin Valley is a region rich in resources and important to California's heritage, economy, environment and identity. It is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world - home to farmlands that feed the nation and the world. It encompasses three world-class national parks that preserve the natural beauty of the Valley and the mountains that bound it. The San Joaquin Valley is intersected by a transportation corridor that is critical to the state's interstate commerce. Its people are hardworking and representative of many cultures, races and nationalities; and WHEREAS, the eight counties and many communities that form the San Joaquin Valley enjoy assets that set the region apart from the rest of the state. But the Valley's unique geography, climate, and economy also pose specific challenges for the region that demand the attention of government leaders at the state, local and federal levels; and WHEREAS, the region's population is growing much faster than the state average. By nearly every indicator, the economic well-being of the residents of the Valley lags behind state and national averages. More than one in five San Joaquin Valley residents lives in poverty. The region's median household income is approximately $12,000 lower than the statewide median. Yet, because of past neglect, the San Joaquin Valley receives substantially less per capita funding than both the U.S. and state averages; and WHEREAS, the region is also one of only two regions in the nation to be identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an "extreme non-attainment" zone for repeatedly failing to meet air quality standards; and WHEREAS, the strength of California is tied to the economic success of the San Joaquin Valley. Improving the economy and the well-being of the people of the San Joaquin Valley requires a concerted, coordinated and creative response from leaders at all levels of government and from community members. NOW, THEREFORE, I ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of California, do hereby issue this Executive Order to become effective immediately: 1. The California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley ("Partnership") is hereby established. The Partnership is composed of eight state government members, eight local government members and eight private sector members, in addition to two deputy chairs as provided in section 2. The Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency; Secretary for Education; Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency; Secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency; Secretary of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency; Secretary of the Resources Agency; Secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency; and Secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture shall serve ex officio as the state members. The local government members shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of three elected officials submitted by each of the eight Councils of Government from the following counties: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern. Eight private sector members shall also be appointed by the Governor. All members shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor, and without compensation. 2. The Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency is the chair of the Partnership; the Governor will appoint two additional members, one local government representative and one private sector representative, to be deputy chairs. 3. The Partnership shall meet at least once quarterly for the conduct of its business. It may also host town hall meetings in the Valley in addition to or in conjunction with its quarterly meetings. 4. The Partnership shall perform the following duties: (a) Identify projects and programs that will best utilize public dollars and most quickly improve the economic vitality of the Valley, especially those that leverage federal, state, local and private sector resources in a coordinated effort to address critical needs in the Valley. (b) Work with members of the state's Congressional delegation and federal officials, including the federal Task Force for the Economic Recovery of the San Joaquin Valley, to gain federal support for projects identified by the Partnership as critical to the region. (c) Partner with the University of California, California State University, community colleges, and the state's other research and educational institutions, as well as private foundations, to provide guidance, advice and encouragement in support of studies of particular interest and importance to the Valley. (d) Review state policies and regulations to ensure they are fair and appropriate for the state's diverse geographic regions, including the San Joaquin Valley, and determine whether alternative approaches can accomplish goals in less costly ways. (e) Recommend to the Governor changes that would improve the economic well-being of the Valley and the quality of life of its residents. (f) Develop by October 31, 2006, a San Joaquin Valley Strategic Action Proposal that provides recommendations to improve the economic conditions of the San Joaquin Valley. The proposal shall be in the form of a report to the Governor, to the Board of Supervisors of the counties identified in section 1, and to the City Council of each city within those counties. The Partnership shall also send progress reports after each meeting. The reports shall focus on recommended strategies at each level of state government for sustainable economic growth that will create jobs and improve environmental quality in the region, while empowering local communities and encouraging entrepreneurialism. 5. The Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency shall provide administrative support to the Partnership out of existing resources. The Director of Finance may accept monetary gifts for the support of the activities of the Partnership. 6. Unless extended by another executive order, the Partnership shall terminate its business and cease to exist on November 1, 2006. 7. This order does not alter the existing authorities or roles of the executive branch departments, agencies, or offices. Nothing in this order shall supersede any requirement made by or under law.