About Us


  About SCLC  

Vision • Leadership • Unity • Action

“To Ensure the Region’s Economic vitality and Quality of Life”


Leadership is of prime importance as Southern Californians wrestle with critical economic and social issues.  Yet, the challenges to exerting effective leadership on issues that impact the region are many, primarily because of Southern California’s size and complexity.


Trey H. Thorton III, Assemblymember Tom Daly (Dist. 69), Governor Pete Wilson, Governor Gray Davis (Ret.), Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (Dist. 54), Assemblymember Bill Brough (Dist. 73)


The Southern California region, covering 42,330 square miles from Ventura County to the Mexican border with a population of more than 21 million people, is a large and diverse region.  So large, in fact, that the USC Center on Mega-Cities lists the LA Region as the 8th largest Mega-City in the world – and this ranking does not include San Diego County.  When you add San Diego, the entire seven-county Southern California region ranks as the 7th largest Mega-City in the world.


Southern California contains hundreds of local government jurisdictions -- cities, counties, school districts, and special districts -- each often with their own diverse interests and concerns.  Add to that, the diverse private sector interests that exist within the region -- businesses, non-profit groups, trade unions, community groups, environmental organizations and the like.


In the region, government, business, labor and community leaders within a city or county exert leadership on issues affecting their particular locale.  Regional governments look at issues affecting multiple jurisdictions.  Yet no one entity is responsible for all of Southern California.  So how does our region come together on the issues important to all segments of Southern California?  Who will lead?  How will we capture the collective strength of this great region and focus it on the issues, policies, projects and initiatives critical to Southern California?


About the Southern California Leadership Council

SCAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata, President pro Tempore of the California State Senate Kevin de León


Formed to meet this challenge, the Southern California Leadership Council was founded in 2005 as a non-partisan, non-profit, business-led public policy partnership of business and community leaders.  The Leadership Council exerts strong leadership on issues of regional significance, providing a common voice on major public policies critical to economic vitality, job growth and quality of life in Southern California.  The Leadership Council unites business and community leaders from throughout the seven-county region into one effective leadership organization whose membership includes three former California Governors and two dozen Presidents and CEO’s of top Southern California companies.


Since its inception, the Leadership Council has been providing leadership on a number of important regional issues including:

  • Economic competitiveness and the policies that help retain key jobs and key industries in Southern California

  • Transportation planning, infrastructure and financing mechanisms

  • Goods movement and the infrastructure and policies to keep our region competitive

  • Water and Energy supply and reliability

  • Climate Change policies implemented so as to preserve our global competitiveness

How the Leadership Council Approaches its Role

Governor Gray Davis (Ret.), City of Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Michele Martinez, 2017 SCLC Co-Chair Governor Pete Wilson, Ontario City Council Member Alan D. Wapner


The Leadership Council focuses on shaping public policy in the following arenas that are critical to the region’s economic vitality, job growth and quality of life:

  • Business Vitality and Job Growth

  • Resources (energy, water and environment)

  • Transportation (goods and people)

The criteria for selection of public policy issues are:

  • Important to Southern California and the State

  • Critical to economic development and job creation

  • Near-term solutions to the issue are possible

  • Business leadership necessary for success

  • Funding can be raised

  • Political will can be garnered

Once an issue is included in its agenda, the Leadership Council works to shape public policy through one or all of the following approaches:

  • We identify and develop public policy analysis and solutions.

  • We organize efforts to support these policies.

  • We inform the public debate with our analysis and perspective.

  • We meet with opinion leaders.

  • We invest in and lead implementation efforts to resolve critical issues.

  • And, we lead by example.

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