California can help provide opportunity for its heartland. Here’s how

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While we aspire to build a #CaliforniaForAll, our state faces serious divides between regions of enormous wealth and regions of deep poverty.

Communities like my hometown of Stockton did not fall behind by accident. Years of redlining, tax structures that undercut development and missed opportunities led to the fragmented economy that exists in California.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

One way we can spur a resurgence of economic prosperity is to use a new concept known as opportunity zones, one of the positive aspects of the 2017 federal tax overhaul.

The intent is to encourage investment by providing businesses with tax incentives to invest in economically distressed regions. Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature are shaping the California version of these zones now.

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