After all that, all the listening sessions and all the public input, what the Newsom administration came up with was a program-by-program list of Budget Change Proposal justifications. This is what the departments do every year internally and then submit to Finance, but apparently this year, they got put together into a glossy report and called the Resilience Portfolio. I mean this literally; I recognize the language of the BCPs we submit every year. In some ways, this is good. It means that when it comes time to report on how we are achieving the Resilience Portfolio, we will be able to report lots of progress. I suppose it is also interesting that after all the input, the Newsom administration went with “what our own agencies are currently doing plus new laws”.
I like trying to imagine the thinking of the administration. Here’s how I picture it:
Early 2019: Lets come up with something new! New, for climate change! Yeah! We’ll ask EVERYONE and survey the entire landscape and new ideas will come out and we’ll do them!
[Release Executive Order]
Mid 2019: We’re holding listening sessions. Christ there’s a lot. And all of it is the same language from the last time they lobbied us on these issues, only now they add the word Resilience everywhere. The Resilience Temperance Flats Resilience Dam!
Fall 2019: OMG there’s so much. Some of it might be neat, but we’re not set up to do that. And if we put in that, we have to balance it with something from the other side. I’m not sure we can do any of this.
Late Fall 2019: You know what is kinda organized and we might be able to do? This stuff from the agencies. They are going to have to do new stuff anyway, because of new laws. Did you know we do all this? It’s not bad.
Jan 3, 2020: Resilience Portfolio!, from the State Resilience Water Resilience Resources Resilience Control Resilience Board, the Resilience Department of Resilience Water Resilience Resources, with a tiny bone thrown to DFW because their shit was never really going in there anyway.
I suppose it is delightful that the new administration got to take a deep dive into what their agencies do and came away endorsing it. But three things. First, if they had known what the agencies do and respected the agencies, they wouldn’t have had to spend a year to get to “what the agencies do now”. Second, they have no future vision, only “please keep what we’re doing now together until we’re out of office”. Third is the worst. In addition to initially not respecting the agencies’ work, they had no respect for the stakeholders’ time. People spent thousands of hours putting together their input. Far as I can see, that was all wasted.