Founded in 2012 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy is committed to advancing post-partisanship politics, where leaders put people over political parties and work together to find the best ideas and solutions to benefit the people they serve. The Institute seeks to influence public policy and public debate in finding evidence-based solutions to the serious challenges we face. In addition to being a strong voice in public policy and public debates, the USC Schwarzenegger Institute supports new academic research related to its three main areas of focus: energy and the environment, political reform, and after-school education. Here are 14 ways that the USC Schwarzenegger Institute is making a positive impact for global change.
"I'd like to personally welcome you to the USC Schwarzenegger Institute website where our mission is advancing policy not politics as we seek real world solutions to the challenges facing society."
Adam Rose, Ph.D. and Dan Wei, Ph.D assess the impacts of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program on the economies of California and Florida. Property Assessed Clean Energy is a way to finance a wide range of energy and water efficiency, renewable energy, and hazard mitigation improvements permanently attached to residential and commercial properties.
Charles T. Munger, Jr assesses the changes wrought by the advent in 2012 of the top-two primary in three papers. The author is the president of Californians to Defend the Open Primary, which has intervened to defend every legal challenge against the top-two primary since its inception, and who also played a significant role in its passage.
Today the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy congratulated California’s citizens and businesses for cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels four years before the 2020 deadline mandated by AB32: The Global Warming Solutions Act. “California has shown the way forward to clean the air and pump up the economy. Surpassing our 2020 emissions goal ahead of schedule while our economy grows by a nation-leading 4.9% and our unemployment rate is at a historic low should send a message to politicians all over the country: you don’t have to re-invent the wheel - just copy us,” said former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who signed AB 32 into law in 2006. “Business will boom and lives will be saved. Mary Nichols and CARB should be congratulated, and Fran Pavley and the Golden State leaders involved in our efforts all should be proud - along with every Californian.”
Schwarzenegger and Ohio Governor John Kasich joined legislative leaders to celebrate the passage of a bipartisan proposal to change how Ohio draws congressional district lines. Thanks to the legislative compromise Ohioans get to vote on Issue 1 on the May 8thBallot. If passed Issue 1 would require more minority party participation in Ohio’s redistricting process and would set new criteria to limit how counties and municipalities can be split among districts.
Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was recently presented with the Haagen-Smit Legacy Award for his contributions on improving air quality at a special 50th anniversary meeting of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in Sacramento. Schwarzenegger received the award for his work fighting pollution in both California and throughout the world. Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board, presented the Haagen-Smit Award to Schwarzenegger and said the former Governor’s “career has truly been multifaceted and defies categorization as well as expectations."
The USC Schwarzenegger Institute was proud to continue its collaboration with the armed forces by hosting a round table conversation with the new Commander of the Pacific Submarine Force, Rear Admiral Daryl Caudle. On January 19th Admiral Caudle visited Governor Schwarzenegger's production company offices for a round table conversation on the the emerging undersea technology that the United States Navy is currently utilizing and testing in the pacific theater of operations. Joining the Admiral for the conversation were senior writers, directors and producers from across the entertainment industry interested in building a deeper understanding of the the United States military's operations and personnel.
Schwarzenegger Institute Expands First of Its Kind Digital Environmental Legislative Handbook by Adding Bills From Hawaii and Maine
The Schwarzenegger Institute started the year with the expansion of the Digital Environmental Legislative Handbook by adding two additional bill files to its comprehensive list of environmental laws. The USC Schwarzenegger Institute partnered with the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) to create the Digital Environmental Legislative Handbook, an online resource that local, regional and national governments can use to find smart, easily replicable, legislation that both protect the environment and help strengthen the economy. The Handbook was created to help to assist legislators who are interested in advancing smart environmental policies by sharing best practices and actual legislation that is working successfully in a number of states already.
Governor Schwarzenegger joined French President Emmanuel Macron, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and over 50 world leaders at the One Planet Summit in Paris to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement and to add momentum to the fight against global warming. President Trump did not attend the meeting but his decision to pull the United States out of the international climate agreement cast a long shadow over the proceedings and helped galvanize support for international efforts to protect the environment, reduce pollution and promote energy efficacy.
On December 15th a Schwarzenegger Institute delegation, led by USC Professor and Institute Faculty Fellow Christian Grose and Institute staff members Conyers Davis & Mebus Behrle, traveled to Arizona State University to participate in the Open Primaries National Forum and Research Roundtable. The objective of the event, which was co-hosted by the ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Independent Voting and the USC Schwarzenegger Institute and funded by the Open Primaries Education Fund, was to review current research, scholarship and on-the-ground experience of open primaries and their impact on voters and governance through an interdisciplinary day of analysis and discussion. Academics from some of the nation’s leading public policy programs and number of well-known political consultants participated in the roundtable and worked together to identify gaps in knowledge and prioritize a set of research questions for future study.
With increasing recognition of the health impacts of climate change the World Health Organization was invited to COP 23, and reached out to the Institute and Governor Schwarzenegger who have long advocated that connecting to human health to environmental protection is the most impactful way to motivate people to act.
The Schwarzenegger Institute took part in the State of American Democracy Conference at Oberlin College in November. The conference was the first in a series of conversational events that the Schwarzenegger Institute is co-organizing with Oberlin College and the Alliance for a Sustainable Colorado. Each event has been designed to examine the present health of American democracy and its long-term resiliency and durability from a non-partisan perspective. The conversations which started in Ohio and will take place in Colorado, California and Georgia, will each focus on the procedures and practices necessary to uphold a government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people. The events are attended by a cross section of leaders from the local area and nationally, including media, academia, business, NGO’s, Government and students.
Speaking on the steps of the Supreme Court last week Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger continued his campaign to end the partisan drawing of legislative and congressional districts by calling on the nation’s highest court to terminate gerrymandering once and for all. Standing shoulder to shoulder with the lead plaintiffs in the Gill vs. Whitford case, and the legal team arguing the case on their behalf, Schwarzenegger made it clear that the time has come for the Supreme Court to act. “We are here today to ask the Supreme Court to fix something that the politicians will never do,” he said. “As Einstein said, those who created the problem will not be able to solve it.”
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger visited the USC campus on October 5th to attend the third meeting of the Energy Transition Forum, the multi-year collaboration between USC's Price School of Public Policy, the Hertie School of Governance and Tsinghua University's School of Public Policy and Management that the USC Schwarzenegger Institute hosted. The former Governor enjoyed meeting with representatives of the three prestigious public policy schools and discussing ongoing research with a number of their leading energy and climate policy professors.
Schwarzenegger Institute Partners with National Caucus of Environmental Legislators to Launch First of Its Kind Digital Environmental Legislative Handbook
The USC Schwarzenegger Institute in partnership with the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) launched the Digital Environmental Legislative Handbook, a first of its kind environmental policy resource, for state legislative leaders. Governor Schwarzenegger and the Schwarzenegger Institute, recognizing the power of environmental laws passed at the state, city and local levels, spent over a year developing this project which will help legislators from across America share best practices and legislation with proven track records of success.
Governor Schwarzenegger and Mayor Garcetti Inspire Audience With Confidence About Continued U.S. Environmental Leadership
At an event hosted by Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in partnership with the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, Governor Schwarzenegger and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti teamed up to address a packed theater on the impacts that environmental and climate actions have at the city and state level. In the hour long conversation the two leaders discussed President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement where they adopted a defiant tone and stressed that President's decision would have little impact on the actions of cities, states in America and other countries around the world.
French President Francois Hollande presented Governor Schwarzenegger the highest honor in France for his work on environment, making him a Commandeur of the Legion of Honor. The Legion d’Honneur, founded in 1802 as an order of merit, is awarded to military and civilian personnel for distinguished service to France.
Understanding the power of media to communicate important public policy issues, the Price School of Public Policy and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism partnered with one another to screen the five-episode EPIX docuseries America Divided. Following the screening the two schools hosted a discussion where students and faculty where able to ask the show’s producers Norman Lear, Solly Granatstein, Leah Natasha Thomas and EPIX CEO & Annenberg Board of Trustees Chair Mark Greenberg questions about the project.
Prominent leaders from K-12 and higher education, government, media, military, sports, business and innovation gathered at the 2017 National After-School Summit, hosted by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute at the Price School of Public Policy, to put the spotlight on a simple truth — that after-school programs work. The event was held at USC’s Town and Gown ballroom on April 5, in partnership with Afterschool Alliance and After-School All-Stars Schwarzenegger explained that law enforcement considers the hours from 3 to 6 p.m. a danger zone for kids. That’s when they get involved in activities that could be detrimental to their future, such as drugs, alcohol, gangs and violence. This, he said citing past research, is why every dollar spent on after-school programs saves $3-to-$6 in public services down the road.
Governor Schwarzenegger is fed up with redistricting and is devoted to working to fix the problem. The USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy has set up page so that you can stay active in this fight.
Institute Hosts David Daley, Author of Ratf**ked:The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy
David Daley, best-selling author and the former editor-in-chief of Salon, joined Governor Schwarzenegger, the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, Common Cause and the League of Women Voters on January 31st to talk about his new book Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy. The informative discussion took place in the USC’s Doheny Library with a packed house and was viewed by 6,000 others through a live webcast on Governor Schwarzenegger’s Facebook page.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, USC’s Governor Downey Professor of State and Global Policy, kicked off the new semester by meeting with members of the USC Environmental Student Assembly (ESA) and environmental studies faculty members to discuss the best strategies for continuing the momentum of environmental progress.
USC Schwarzenegger Institute Examines California’s Historic U.S. Senate Race and the Impact of the Top-Two Primaries
The Institute believes that both research and real world perspective are relevant when studying public policy issues and hosted a forum at USC on December 2nd that examined both the data and politics behind the recent U.S Senate race. The program began with a series of presentations from leading political scientists and concluded with a spirited discussion between Sean Clegg and Bill Carrick, the lead political strategists for the Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez campaigns. Their insightful conversation was moderated by David Siders, Senior Reporter at POLITICO.
Governor Schwarzenegger and National Geographic Host Premiere for Second Season of “Years of Living Dangerously”
Years of Living Dangerously, the Emmy-winning climate change series, returns for a second season This October. To mark the occasion Governor Schwarzenegger and National Geographic hosted a star studded premiere at the Museum of Natural History in New York on September 21st. Schwarzenegger spoke at the event about how shows like “Years of Living Dangerously” frame the issue of climate change in ways that resonates with average people and helps them better understand the day-to-day impacts of climate change.
On March 30th the USC Schwarzenegger Institute released two research reports showing that political reforms like those passed by voters in California in 2008 and 2010 can reduce political polarization in legislative bodies and prompt candidates to more actively engage voters across party lines.
It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Bonnie Reiss, the much-admired Director of the Schwarzenegger Institute and lifelong advocate for good. Bonnie passed away on Monday, April 2, 2018 in Malibu, California, surrounded by her family after a brave fight with cancer. On behalf of everyone at the University of Southern California, we are honored to have worked with Bonnie, and are so grateful for her friendship and mentorship.