Sacramento, CA. — Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the appointment of Golden State Opportunity’s president and Novato City Councilmember, Josh Fryday, to serve as California’s Chief Service Officer. Fryday will lead California Volunteers, the statewide agency charged with increasing the number and impact of Californians involved with service and volunteering.
“Josh is a leader with a lifelong commitment to service and will be an invaluable partner as we work to increase service and volunteerism in California,” said Governor Newsom. “I look forward to working with Josh to develop innovative service and volunteer opportunities, and forge vibrant new public-private partnerships that lift up communities throughout the state.”
The announcement follows a historic victory for low-income working Californians. As President of Golden State Opportunity, Fryday guided a team that helped over 4 million low-income households claim over $4 billion through the state and federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Recently the California Legislature voted in support of Governor Newsom’s plan to more than double the Cal EITC next year to $1 billion, a significant validation of the program’s effectiveness and the impact of Golden State Opportunity.
“Josh Fryday’s leadership, skill and dedication has meant that more low-income Californians can better afford life’s basic needs,” said Joe Sanberg, founder of Golden State Opportunity. “While we are saddened by his departure, it comes on the heels of a massive expansion of the California Earned Income Tax Credit to a $1 billion program and at a time when bipartisan support by state leaders for this important anti-poverty work has never been stronger. I’m grateful to Josh for his excellent service and am excited to see the impact he’ll have with California Volunteers.”
“The opportunity to serve—whether for our country in the Navy, on behalf of low-income people in California, or my hometown on the Novato City Council—has shaped the course of my life and, I hope, allowed me to help other people in need,” said Fryday. “I am so proud of all we have accomplished for millions of hard-working Californians and have enjoyed every day working with the Golden State Opportunity team. I am honored Governor Newsom has asked me to lead California Volunteers, and I look forward to creating opportunities for more Californians to engage, connect and give back to create a California for All.”
Fryday is a military veteran and former Mayor and member of the Novato City Council. He is also the Board Chair of Demos, a national organization focused on political and economic inequality, and previously was a member of the Franklin Project on National Service. Prior to leading Golden State Opportunity, Fryday was the Chief Operating Officer of NextGen Climate and an Officer in the United States Navy. He served overseas in Yokosuka, Japan, where in addition to his legal duties, he augmented the Navy’s 7th Fleet’s Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief efforts during ‘Operation Tomodachi’ following the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. He was also stationed in the Office of Military Commissions, working on the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detainee cases, and testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the closing of Guantanamo.
As Mayor, Fryday created the “Re-imagining Citizenship” program with Dominican University to provide $100,000 scholarships to Novato students who attend Dominican University and commit to serve with the City of Novato for two summers.
Golden State Opportunity has initiated a nation-wide search for a new president. Fryday will remain in his position until September.