It's Halftime in California: Let's Win the Second Half

02/16/2012 12:15 pm ET | Updated Apr 17, 2012

Governor Brown talked about "declinists" in his State of the State speech last month and also said that reports of California's demise were greatly exaggerated -- to use an old Mark Twain refrain. It can be difficult to remind ourselves that we Californians really are in this together when "in the thick of an unending budget crisis, a dragging economy, and a growing sense of a darker tomorrow," as A New California Dream author Patrick Atwater writes. I liked the "Halftime in America" Superbowl ad for its underdog messaging, its hint of Reagan's "Morning in America" optimism, and the gritty delivery by one of Hollywood's finest, actor and director Clint Eastwood.

There are enduring challenges facing us here in the golden state but put me on the side that believes we are going to rally for the second half -- electing people with the mentality, skill set and pragmatism to move us forward. We still embody the American dream and good leaders from all walks of civic life need to step up to get California "Heading in the Right Direction."