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Carl DeMaio is chairman of Reason's California Reform Agenda, where he directs research and outreach on California policy reform.
DeMaio served on the San Diego City Council from 2008 to 2012, and narrowly lost the race for mayor in November 2012. While on the city council he focused on turning around San Diego after it was dubbed “Enron by the Sea” for its pension and budget crisis. As Councilman, DeMaio began with a comprehensive “Reform Agenda” and led efforts to cut red tape on small businesses, reform the city’s contracting processes to expedite infrastructure projects, and enact some of the toughest “Sunshine Law” open government requirements in the nation. He also advanced reform through a variety of ballot measures – gaining voter approval of measures to subject city services to “competitive outsourcing,” banning discriminatory union-only hiring deals known as Project Labor Agreements, and converting the city to a “Strong Mayor” form of governance.
DeMaio’s most widely known reform success was the “Comprehensive Pension Reform” Initiative – the first-of-its-kind measure switching San Diego’s government employees from a defined-benefit pension plan to a 401(k) retirement program. The reforms also addressed “vested” pension benefits for existing employees by freezing pensionable pay and ending abuses such as pension spiking.
Prior to serving in San Diego, DeMaio founded two successful businesses. In 2000, he founded the Performance Institute, a non-partisan, private think tank dedicated to reforming government through the principles of performance, transparency, competition and accountability. DeMaio built the organization into the largest government reform think tank in the nation and a leading authority on performance-based management in government, law enforcement, non-profits and schools. In 2003, DeMaio founded the American Strategic Management Institute (ASMI), which provides training and education in corporate financial and performance management. In late 2007, DeMaio sold both companies to Thompson Publishing Group.
During that time, DeMaio also became a nationally-recognized leader in efforts to reform federal, state and local government finances. DeMaio helped shape President George W. Bush's “President’s Management Agenda,” and has been a leader in the fields of performance measurement, performance-based budgeting, process improvement, public-private partnerships, contracting and outsourcing government functions, and pension reform.
- Reason Foundation's California Reform Agenda
What do we want California to look like in 10 years—and how do we get there?
January 10, 2013
- After the Recall
Immediate action needed to revive state
George Passantino and Carl DeMaio
October 6, 2003
- Roadmap to Reform for California
George Passantino, Carl DeMaio, Kathleen Connell, Matt Fong, Bill Jones, Bill Baker and Lucy Killea
August 1, 2003
- Citizens' Budget
How to Balance CA Budget without Tax Increases
Carl DeMaio, Adrian Moore, Adam Summers, Geoffrey Segal, Lisa Snell, Vincent Badolato and George Passantino
April 1, 2003
- Designing a Performance-based Competitive Sourcing Process for the Federal Government
37 Proposed Changes to Regulations and Approaches to Competing and Outsourcing Commercial Activities in Government
Carl DeMaio, Adrian Moore and Vincent Badolato
October 1, 2002
- Gov. Davis Feeds Spending Addiction
Revenues are up, but so is spending
January 14, 2002
- Managing for Results at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
A Report to the 43rd President and 107th Congress
February 1, 2001
- Managing for Performance at the EPA
January 1, 2001
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