The federal government is back up and running and our nation has managed to avoid yet another fiscal crisis – hooray! While we enjoy the temporary reprieve from the brinksmanship that has come to characterize politics in Washington, we also look back at California’s last legislative session. The California Legislature and the Governor have been busy passing bills that put the state on a more progressive course. Among other things, the state has increased wages for many low-income Californians, affirmed prevailing wage policies, supported clean energy incentives, addressed issues related to housing and homelessness, and increased safety for cyclists. We’re looking forward to the next legislative session, with the hope that the legislature will tackle issues of local economic development in the wake of redevelopment’s demise and address the looming prospect of CEQA reform. With the prospect of a more friendly policy environment on the horizon, this month we take a look at the rising prominence of the San Diego-Baja California region as an international hub for manufacturing and trade. We look at how philanthropic groups are partnering with cities to find new ways to test good ideas. And we look at examples of how large institutions can use their purchasing power to promote social justice and foster economic development. These stories remind us that even in the face of political uncertainty and a nascent economic recovery, great ideas are still being put into practice.