"The United States is often described as a grand experiment. Well, the most experimental part of the United States is California," said Roberto Suro, professor of public policy at the University of Southern California. "Right now, we're engaged in a phenomenal experiment of trying to see how a very diverse, very complex society creates a 21st century economy that has some equality to it."
For many nationalities, California is home to the largest population outside of the country of origin.
"It's kind of an umbilical cord," said Suro. "It's multiple umbilical cords that are connecting California to these other nations in a very energetic, very positive way personally, commercially and culturally. And, they have an influence that permeates the whole society."
"California has always led the way," said Ralph Remington, director of cultural affairs at the San Francisco Arts Commission. "It's become this place now that people are interested in because of those many different cultures."
"We've known for a full quarter century that the California population was heading to where it is now, this state of extraordinary diversity," said Suro. "Looking to the future, the key is to understand that our population is our greatest asset. This very diverse population is a greater asset than our weather, than our coasts, than whatever lies in our mountains. It's our people that have made California from the start, and its our people that will make California in the future.
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