Bay Area Council Blog: Early Childhood Education Archive



This week Senior Vice President of Public Policy Matt Regan travelled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to participate in an early education conference hosted by philanthropist George Kaiser at the newly completed Educare Center, a state-of-the-art early childhood school that provides education and care for young children and their families. The purpose of the event was to introduce stakeholders from around the country to the very successful “Talk Read Sing” early childhood education campaign developed by the Bay Area Council. The initiative is focused on arming parents and other caregivers with simple tools they can use in their daily lives to close the word gap by talking, reading and singing to very young children. Following the campaign’s early success in Oakland, the initiative is now making an impact in several other U.S cities through our partner organizations, The Clinton Foundation and the Opportunity Institute. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro delivered the keynote address to over 100 national education experts.

To engage in the Council’s early childhood education policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.




Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman (who asked that we not run this story – sorry Jim!) on Tuesday (Aug. 25) was named to what has become THE List in Sacramento power, the Capitol Weekly’s Top 100, of “the most powerful movers and shakers in California politics and public policy.” Capitol Weekly is one of California’s most respected sources for political and government news and views. First Lady Anne Gust Brown topped the CW list, which included seven women in the top 10. His ranking at #51 (look out Anne Gust!) is a credit to his hard work building relationships, and not being afraid to have a strong opinion on behalf of our members. Two years ago the Bay Area Council opened an office in Sacramento, hired some top notch staff there, reinvigorated the Bay Area Caucus, and has routinely shuttled our Bay Area-based staff up as well to ensure our presence and engagement was felt in the State Capitol. With Washington, D.C. routinely gridlocked, much of the action for our region and our members is happening in Sacramento.
It’s not just about the staff. The Council’s easy-on-the-eyes Sacramento office provides our member companies a strong platform from which to work directly with Gov. Brown and his administration, legislators and top agency leaders on a wide range of policy and legislative issues. The Bay Area Council’s annual Sacramento Day, when we bring a delegation of business leaders to the capitol, is widely praised for the high-level meetings we secure with legislative leaders and high-level administration officials. If your company is not involved, we think you should be! Our thanks to Capitol Weekly for its work in assembling the Top 100 list and for ongoing journalistic work to enlighten and educate Californians about public policy and state governance. To engage in our Sacramento government relations work, contact Policy Manager Cornelious Burke.

See the Capitol Weekly Top 100>>



The Bay Area Council Executive Committee and Board of Directors on Thursday (July 17) applauded Virgin America CEO David Cush for his two years of strong leadership as Chair of the regional business and economic policy group and welcomed Michael Covarrubias, Chairman and CEO of development firm TMG Partners, as his successor. Covarrubias’ selection to the two-year leadership position came during a meeting generously hosted by member company Google at their Mountain View campus.

Cush’s two-year tenure as Chair marked a period of significant growth and accomplishment for the Council. Covarrubias, the 37th Chair in the organization’s 70-year history, has been a stalwart supporter of the Bay Area Council and is actively engaged in driving the Council’s work to create more housing in the region. Covarrubias chairs the Council’s Housing and Sustainable Development Committee, and serves on several of the Council’s key governance groups. His TMG Partners is one of the region’s leading real estate development companies whose landmark projects include some of San Francisco’s most prominent buildings. Covarrubias is highly regarded within the real estate community and in 2008 was named Dealmaker of the Year by the San Francisco Business Times.

The Council was warmly received by Google executive Mark Golan. Golan spoke about Google’s strong alignment with the Council’s continuing work to address the region’s serious housing shortage and crisis-level traffic. At the Executive Committee meeting, the Council’s top leadership discussed pending legislation to expand California’s battle against greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, reviewed a bold strategy for addressing the state’s historic drought and water infrastructure needs, and discussed options currently being considered during a special session of the Legislature for how to fund the state’s massive transportation infrastructure needs. The Council will announce more details about its positions on these various issues in coming weeks.

In a series of lively reports, the Board of Directors heard from policy committee chairs on the great progress the Council is making on its priority issues. Rosemary Turner, Northern California President for United Parcel Service, reported on transportation; Michael Covarrubias on housing; Suffolk Construction West Region President Andy Ball and Montezuma Wetlands Jim Levine on water; AT&T California President Ken McNeely on 21st Century Infrastructure and Signature Development Group CEO Michael Ghielmetti on the Council’s China activities. During the water report, Levine and Ball unveiled a fun, new drought awareness public service announcement featuring San Francisco Giants ace Sergio Romo that will begin airing statewide compliments of Bay Area Council member Comcast, whose Hank Fore was in attendance Thursday.

The Board of Directors was also treated to an update from Executive Committee member and San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York and Super Bowl 50 Host Committee CEO Keith Bruce on the plans for the Super Bowl next year. Bruce shared images of the exciting Super Bowl City that will erected at the base of Market Street in San Francisco, described the unprecedented charitable component of the event and talked about the many activities that will surround the eight-day extravaganza. Thanks again to Google for hosting us.



The Bay Area Council this week (June 23) released results of our region-wide 2015 Bay Area Council Poll, the only survey of its kind that provides a comprehensive and incisive look at the attitudes of Bay Area residents on the most topical and critical issues affecting the region. The poll examined attitudes on the economy, top issues, drought, housing and transportation.

View all the results>>

Residents Say Soaring Economy May Be Reaching a Plateau

Bay Area residents think the region’s super-heated economy may be reaching a plateau according to the results, although they are generally bullish about the overall direction the region is heading. 46 percent of residents said the Bay Area is doing at least somewhat better than six months ago while 40 percent say things are about the same and 11 percent think things are worse. But looking ahead, confidence is somewhat weaker than the outlook only a year ago. Today, 39 percent think the Bay Area economy will be performing somewhat better in six months, a 12-point drop from 2014 when it was more than a majority.

Drought Tops Concerns; Residents Say They Are Already Conserving What They Can

California’s historic drought easily topped residents’ list of concerns, followed closely by housing costs and overall cost of living. Only in San Francisco did the drought take second to housing costs as the leading problem. The poll found 48 percent of residents rank the drought among the Bay Area’s most dominant issues, with 89 percent saying that preparing for drought is an important priority for the region.

But, Bay Area residents appear to be tapped out when it comes to restricting their water use, and heavily favor expanding the use of recycled water, turning seawater into drinking water and building new dams and reservoirs. While 38 percent say they could do a bit more to conserve, another 38 percent say they’re already doing everything they can to reduce water usage. Another 15 percent said they don’t make a special effort to conserve and 3 percent pay little attention to their water use.

In the drought’s fourth year, residents are heavily in favor expanding the use of recycled water, turning seawater into drinking water and building new dams and reservoirs. Even the notion of adding recycled water to drinking water supplies got more support than raising rates, with 58 percent of residents in support.

Housing Crisis Worsens and Attitudes Soften on Density, Regulations and Fees

Second to the drought only in San Francisco, as the Bay Area’s housing crisis worsens, poll results find that a growing number of residents support reducing fees and regulations on new development, streamlining environmental reviews and allowing higher population densities in their cities. Almost 67 percent said that trying to find a place to live in the Bay Area has gotten harder over the past year.

Residents also are not interested in building just any housing, the poll finds. A significant 76 percent say the focus should be on building workforce housing for low- and middle-income residents. When asked to show on a map where they think housing is needed most urgently, the overwhelming majority of residents from around the region point to a city where home prices and rents are soaring to stratospheric heights: San Francisco.

Residents say getting around the Bay Area is harder than a year ago, Strongly Support Investing in BART, Second Transbay Tube and Driverless Cars

Driverless cars have yet to hit the road beyond early experimental and testing projects, but that doesn’t mean Bay Area motorists aren’t eager to try them. That is among the findings in the poll, which gauged attitudes on a wide range of transportation-related issues including traffic congestion, support for a BART bond, a second transbay tube and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fees to improve roads.


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2015 Bay Area Council Poll: Residents Say Soaring Economy May Be Plateauing; Drought, Housing and Crime Surface as Top Issues

Bay Area residents think the region’s super-heated economy may be reaching a plateau, according to results of the 2015 Bay Area Council Poll released today (June 23), although they are generally bullish about the overall direction the region is heading. And, there are some stark differences depending on how much residents make and where they live.

California’s historic drought easily topped residents’ list of concerns, followed closely by housing costs and overall cost of living. Only in San Francisco did the drought take second to housing costs as the leading problem, and residents in the East Bay counties of Alameda and Contra Costa identified crime and public safety high on their list of concerns. Detailed results on residents’ attitudes about the drought, housing, transportation and other issues will be released separately in the coming days. The results also examine attitudes based on age, county of residence, employment status and income level.

View the 2015 Bay Area Council Poll top issues, economic outlook>>

On the economic front, 46 percent of residents said the Bay Area is doing at least somewhat better than six months ago while 40 percent say things are about the same and 11 percent think things are worse. But looking ahead, confidence is somewhat weaker than the outlook only a year ago. Today, 39 percent think the Bay Area economy will be performing somewhat better in six months, a 12-point drop from 2014 when it was more than a majority.

“As hot as the Bay Area economy has been, residents may be thinking something has to give,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “Intensifying concerns about the drought, housing crisis and growing traffic also may be coloring residents’ economic outlook, although they remain generally upbeat about the overall direction the Bay Area is heading. It’s imperative that to avoid eroding confidence we as a region continue to focus on the problems we can address.”

Lower income residents are decidedly less optimistic about the Bay Area economy. While 58 percent of residents from households making $125,000 or more per year think the economy is doing better today than six months ago, only 43 percent of residents from households making $75,000 or less annually think the economy is doing better. Looking ahead, the poll found that 48 percent of higher income residents think the economy will get better over the next six months while just 38 percent of lower income residents think the economy will continue its upward trajectory.

More broadly, the poll found that 55 percent of residents think the Bay Area overall is heading in the right direction. Millennials (18-33 years) are decidedly more upbeat, with 62 percent saying the region is on the right track and 20 percent saying it’s on the wrong track. Older residents (65 years and older) are less impressed with the direction of things, with only 49 percent saying we’re headed in the right direction and 34 percent saying we’re off track.

Residents are little happier with things close to home, with 59 percent saying their local community is headed in the right direction. They are less enamored of the state overall, with 51 percent agreeing California is headed in the right direction.

Gov. Jerry Brown gets very high marks from Bay Area residents, with 66 percent approving the job he is doing. His biggest fans are among the older set, with 77 percent of residents 65 years and older approving of the job the governor is doing. Among millennials, the governor’s approval rating dips to 56 percent. The normally beleaguered state Legislature gets some credit for decreasing their squabbling, with residents bumping their approval of lawmakers from 36 percent in 2014 to 48 percent in 2015.

Residents are unhappy about taxes. The Bay Area Council Poll found 73 percent of residents think the amount of taxes they pay is somewhat too high (41%) or much too high (32%). Another 22 percent said their taxes are about right. Attitudes towards taxes are fairly consistent across counties, with residents in Contra Costa (78%) and Alameda (76%) feeling most over-burdened.

The poll also explored residents’ use of smartphone technology, with 41 percent saying they rely a great deal on their device to accomplish day-to-day tasks, an increase of eight points from 2014. Another 29 percent have a moderate reliance on their smart phone and only 11 percent of Bay Area residents surveyed don’t have a smart phone. While 60 percent of residents say they currently have a landline telephone, 42 percent say it’s likely they’ll cut the cord in the five years.

The 2015 Bay Area Council Poll, which was conducted by Oakland-based public opinion research firm EMC Research, surveyed more than 1,000 residents online about a range of issues related to economic growth, housing and transportation, drought, education and workforce. The margin of error is 3.1 percent.



California will make an important investment in its economic future under a $115.4 billion budget that includes significant funding to expand access to vital early education and child care services for thousands of the state’s youngest and neediest learners. The Legislature was expected to OK the budget today (June 19). The budget will invest $265 million in creating almost 14,000 new pre-school and child care slots for low-income families. Along with many partners statewide, the Bay Area Council over the past several months has advocated vigorously for the Legislature and Gov. Brown to include increased investment in expanding early childhood education. Early childhood education has been among the Council’s signature policy areas. The research and science are unequivocal that investment in 0-5 year old learners is far and away the most cost-effective way to boost academic and career success of students and avoids a raft of budget-draining social, educational, economic and criminal costs. To engage in our early childhood education work, contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.



The Bay Area Council’s advocacy this week (June 1) helped kill a bill that had been identified as a job killer and win Assembly approval of another bill that will ensure all low-income children in California have an opportunity to attend preschool.

AB 357 would have required retailers, restaurants, and grocery stores to provide employees with at least two weeks’ notice of their work schedules. This is problematic for many reasons, not least of which is that it discourages employers from offering additional work to part-time employees because they will face penalties for not providing the notice of their work schedules imposed by this legislation. The union-backed bill was sidelined after it was clear there were not sufficient votes to move it forward.

On Wednesday (June 3), the Assembly passed AB 47, the Preschool for All Act of 2015. The bill recognizes the growing body of research showing that investing in quality early education is highly effective in promoting student academic success, leading to increased high school graduation rates and college attendance, decreased crime, and a stronger middle class. In sum, early education eliminates gaps in achievement before they arise. AB 47 will ensure California begins to address our overwhelming need for preschool. It now moves to the Senate for a vote.

In addition, the Council is staunchly opposed to SB 593. This bill requires hosting platforms that facilitate short-term rentals of residential housing, like Airbnb, to report detailed and sensitive data about rentals to local governments. SB 593’s reporting requirements place extreme administrative burdens on hosting platform operators that are unfair and detrimental to the innovation economy.

To engage in the Council’s government relations work, contact Policy Manager Cornelious Burke.



Following testimony this week (May 25) by the Bay Area Council in support of important child care legislation, the Senate Appropriations Committee today (May 29) approved SB 670 authored by state Sen. Hannah Beth-Jackson. This bill was introduced at the request of the Bay Area Council and reestablishes the employer child care tax credit (ECTC). The ECTC would allow employers to receive a tax credit in the amount of 30 percent of the costs for constructing an on-site child care facility and a credit for the startup expenses for creating a child care program. Currently, access to affordable and quality child care has long been a challenge for working families, where demand has consistently outpaced supply. As a result, employees often fail to accept promotions or even re-enter the workforce due to the lack of child care. SB 670 makes it easier for employers to recruit and retain employees, thus reducing training costs, employee absenteeism and productivity. To engage in our early childhood policy work, contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.



With Sacramento awash in tax revenue, Gov. Jerry Brown told a full house of 600 Bay Area business leaders at the 2015 Outlook Conference on Thursday (May 21) that it’s “Katie bar the door” when it comes to resisting new spending. Brown opened the conference with wide ranging remarks on California’s growing economy and the inevitability of a future downturn, his plans to hold the line on new spending, the historic drought, climate change, Bay Bridge bolts and investing in critical infrastructure, among other topics. Following remarks by Signature Development Group President Michael Ghielmetti and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, the governor also took a moment to break some news by announcing his endorsement of Lee for reelection in November. See the announcement>>

Read the San Francisco Chronicle story>>

Bay Area Council Executive Committee member and Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson led a lively discussion with Mayor Lee, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo on regional solutions to the Bay Area’s housing supply and affordability crisis, public safety and traffic congestion.

With an introduction by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (the LA Dodgers fan bravely announced the SF Giants’ 4-0 win over his team to complete a three-game sweep), former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm wowed the audience with a very humorous and informative talk on clean energy before sitting down with Executive Committee member and PG&E Chairman, President and CEO Tony Earley for a conversation about what he called the “Grid of Everything.” Earley said the explosion of rooftop solar, new energy efficiency and storage technologies and aggressive carbon reduction targets means California must move quickly to adapt its policy and regulatory frameworks to manage the changes. He pointed to a recent Bay Area Council Economic Institute report – 21st Century Infrastructure: Keeping California Connected, Powered and Competitive – that lays out a vision for promoting investment in modern energy networks.

Bay Area Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman opened the conference, whose theme was New Frontiers, with a stirring speech about the Bay Area’s new frontiers. See Jim Wunderman’s Outlook Conference speech>>

There was tremendous interest in a new report released by JPMorgan Chase — Strengthening the Bay Area — at the Outlook Conference examining opportunities in the Bay Area for creating more middle skills jobs – those that require a high school degree and technical training. Joni Topper, JPMorgan Chase Senior Market Executive, led a talk with Jay Banfield, Executive Director of Year Up Bay Area, Cecily Joseph, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer for Symantec Corporation, and Van Ton-Quinlivan, Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development for the California Community Colleges, on sectors where middle skills jobs are growing and strategies that companies can employ to connect with the workers they need.

Nadine Burke Harris, Founder and CEO of Center for Youth Wellness, gave a riveting talk about how traumatic childhood experiences related to poverty, family dysfunction and other causes can lead to future costly health problems and derail opportunities to participate fully in the workforce and economy.

Chevron Chief Diversity Officer Shariq Yosufzai shared his company’s Catalyst Award-winning initiative – The Chevron Way – to promote engineering and leadership opportunities for women and American Express President Ed Gilligan talked with Beverly Anderson, Head of Consumer Financial Services at Wells Fargo Bank, about how new technologies are transforming the payments industry.

The Bay Area Council extends its sincerest thanks to PG&E for serving as the presenting Visionary Sponsor of the Outlook Conference, and to the many other companies whose support of the event makes possible the council’s continuing policy and advocacy work. We’re also deeply grateful to The Ritz-Carlton and its amazing staff for hosting the conference in its recently renovated and gorgeous Grand Ballroom.

See photos from the event>>



The Bay Area Council is continuing its strong leadership on early childhood education, developing new partnerships and advocating for increased resources. The science is clear that investing in early education and brain development is among the most cost-effective ways to increase career and economic opportunities for future generations. Senior Vice President Matt Regan, who leads the Council’s early education work, last week delivered that message during a panel discussion at the NALEO Education Leadership Initiative Policy Institute on Early Learning in Napa. Regan talked about the importance of additional investments in early childhood education with Assemblymember Luis Alejo, Chair of the Latino Caucus, and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. The audience included Latino elected officials and schoolboard members from across California and the country. The panel was introduced by Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

On the legislative front, the Council announced that it is sponsoring a new bill (SB 670) by state Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson that would reinstate business tax credits for workplace-based child care of up to $360 per employee per month and $50,000 for program startup costs. Legislation (AB 47) by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty to fund preschool for all 4 year old children from lower-income families by 2017 that the Council is supporting was approved in committee this week (April 27) . To engage in the Council’s early childhood education work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.