Firm Hoping CA Governor's Speech Was Sincere Sends Him $26m Proposal

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After hearing Jerry Brown speak at the Milken Institute Global Conference, Chris Theodore sent the Governor a proposal showing how the state could permanently influence Californians to make sustainable choices, leading to potentially billions of dollars saved from resource conservation and reduced pollutants.

Earlier this year, Chris Theodore, co-founder of The Reader Magazine, a free news magazine mailed quarterly to 390,000 Californians, heard Governor Brown speak at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles on the importance of addressing climate change and working with business to do it. Chris Theodore introduced himself to Governor Brown during the Conference through the Milken Institute's intra-network platform that allowed the 3,500 attendees to communicate with each other.    

Governor Brown received a second message from Theodore a month later through the same platform, a few days after PennySaver, a 50-year old, California-based competitor of The Reader, which has distributed a weekly advertiser to as many as 10 million California households laid-off all of its employees, permanently closed its doors and filed for bankruptcy protection.

In his message, Theodore presented a proposal requesting a $26 million grant or loan guarantee from the State with which The Reader would hire 439 of the laid-off PennySaver employees, which according to an economic impact report produced by The Reader's Board of Advisors would result in at least a $135 million annual return to the State of California from the State avoiding paying millions in unemployment, avoidance of lost tax income and through keeping dollars recirculating in the California economy.

The largest potential economic return, however, according to the impact analysis, would come from the State mitigating the impacts of climate change through permanently influencing Californian's consumption habits through editorial collaboration. The plan was also sent to David Lanier, Secretary of the $14.7 billion Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

In their letter to Governor Jerry Brown, Chris Theodore wrote, "Through this plan the State can avoid paying millions in unemployment and avoid lost tax income by using what is likely to be a smaller amount of money that gives people who’ve likely paid tens millions of dollars in taxes a chance to continue to be productive."

Garin Casaleggio, Deputy Secretary of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, called Theodore the day after receiving the proposal and a day later informed him he would look for sources of funding.

Theodore has since sent to Governor Brown and David Lanier access to an 87-page plan with a granular financial, market and operational analysis that would be needed to successfully hire these employees, manage them and provide them a solid foundation to build a future. The plan projects revenue of $3 billion and net income of slightly over $1 billion within five years from addressing the "significantly under served nature of the $140 billion U.S. local advertising market".


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Chris Theodore

Dr. Hajnalka Hogue
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