The CalCenter has gone through many big changes over the years, but none like the departure of Jim Muldavin, Founder and Executive Director of the California Center for Civic Participation. Jim retired after 38 years at the CalCenter on June 1, 2019.
Jim’s legacy will forever be a huge part of the CalCenter’s story, setting the foundation for thousands of California youth to step up and take meaningful action in the state and local political process. During his time at the CalCenter, he has worked tirelessly to ensure that youth in low-income and underrepresented regions are given adequate opportunities to make their voice heard when decisions are being made. Over the past four decades Jim’s done this by creating and facilitating dozens of youth civic education programs with staff, including, but not limited to; Women in Politics, Capitol Focus, the Statewide Youth Board on Obesity Prevention, Capitol Discovery and the Sacramento Youth Council for Sustainable Communities. He has touched so many lives, not just of the youth, but of staff, community
partners, legislators and the many decision makers across the state.
Anyone who knows Jim knows that his passion for youth leadership and youth empowerment has infused all of his work. Whether it was guiding the staff to truly connect with the youth, or meeting a sponsor to cultivate lasting relationships, he wanted everyone to feel important and heard. He was always available to lend an ear or try and help his friends and colleagues whenever they reached out. He will always be remembered for his easy going and informal approach to organizational management that gave his staff the freedom to find their passion and take charge on their own projects in order to enhance the CalCenter’s mission in creative and nonconventional ways. Over the years, this professional
philosophy helped attract and maintain staff members that were also inspired to make a large impact on the youth that were served. These lasting impressions created an organizational culture that has been carried on through his successor, Belen R. Flores.
Although Jim will no longer lead this organization, he will continue to be out in the Capitol community addressing issues like environmental sustainability and climate change as he begins his own projects. We know that Jim will continue to do great work, regardless of what he chooses to focus on. His mark will always be left on those he engaged with at the CalCenter and his spirit will live on. We wish him the best of luck in all his future endeavors. Always cherished and to never be forgotten, our friend, Jim Muldavin.