California Nonprofits Form Alliance to Support Military Communities
March 25, 2019

California Nonprofits Form Alliance to Support Military Communities

Association of Defense Communities Article:

More than a dozen nonprofit organizations have formed the California Defense Communities Alliance (CDCA). CDCA held its inaugural meeting Tuesday in Sacramento.

The new alliance includes groups with the shared mission of supporting DOD presence throughout California while advocating on behalf of active duty and veterans in their communities, according to a press release.

“The establishment of the CDCA gives the Governor’s Military Council a single place to coordinate statewide efforts aimed at protecting and growing California’s military infrastructure,” said Rocky Chavez, chair of the Governor’s Military Council. “Keeping California as the best military state is important to the California economy and to our nation’s defense.”

Members will work together to “advance collaboration and communication among the military, elected officials, and other community leaders to enhance statewide understanding of the many contributions defense organizations make to California and our nation,” according to the charter.

The statewide alliance held a charter signing ceremony on Tuesday in Sacramento during its inaugural meeting.

“It has been my vision for several years to form a collaborative of local community defense-supporting organizations in California,” said Gene Fisher of Ventura County Regional Defense Partnership. Uslar worked closely with Fisher to form the alliance.

Uslar said it is important for the military and elected officials to understand the importance of the military in the state.

“During the past rounds of base closures, California suffered the majority of base closures and relocation measures,” Uslar said. “It is important for us to understand the economics that come from having active bases and federal investments in our communities.”

Fisher and Uslar were quickly joined by organizations from San Diego, China Lake, Beale and Travis Air Force Bases. Several community economic development corporations and chambers of commerce are joining to ensure their communities are represented.

The establishment of California Defense Communities Alliance also has the backing from the Governor’s Military Council, an organization created by Gov. Jerry Brown to protect California’s installations and operations amid potential defense budget cuts while promoting innovation in the state’s military establishments, said Rocky Chavez, the chairman of the governor’s military council.

Using the power of multiple cities in the alliance will make those cities voices louder, said Mark Balmert, the executive director of the San Diego Military Advisory Council.

“In the coming months we will work to promote California Defense Communities Alliance throughout the state while working to ensure state and federal legislative actions help modernize and strengthen our installations,” Balmert said.

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