Bay Area Council Blog: Economy Archive

TC2_for mc

Leveraging Tech, Innovation to Address Regional Challenges

The Bay Area Council this week was thrilled to partner with member company TechCrunch on Disrupt SF 2018, one of the technology industry’s biggest annual gatherings highlighting the game-changing founders, new startups and emerging trends shaping and leading the tech sector. As part of a speaker lineup that included Priscilla Chan, Ashton Kuchar and Daru Kawalkowski, Council CEO Jim Wunderman led a conversation on how technology and innovation can be leveraged to address the many challenges the Bay Area faces even as the economy booms.

Wunderman was joined by Carla Boragno, Vice President of Site Services for biotech giant Genentech and Co-Chair of the Council’s Housing Committee; Michael Matthews, California Director of Public Policy for Facebook and Co-Chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee; and, Vikrum Aiyer, Head of Public Policy & Strategic Communications for Postmates. The discussion delved into the role business can play in working with elected and government leaders to address housing, transportation, climate resiliency and workforce development challenges. While the challenges are real, Wunderman also shared findings from the recent Bay Area Council Economic Institute’s 2018 Economic Profile that examines the overall strength of the region’s economy.

Watch videos from the action-packed, three-day extravaganza>>

 

crumbling-infrastructure-bridge

CA Faces Staggering $1 Trillion Infrastructure Funding Gap

California’s vibrant economy and communities rely on an extensive infrastructure network of highways, bridges, ports, levees, rail lines, schools, hospitals, and energy, water, and wastewater systems. Over the past several decades, much of the state’s infrastructure has been inadequately maintained and is facing a backlog of deferred maintenance, even as new needs arise. Funding has not kept pace with aging infrastructure or the demands of a growing economy and population. On the current spending trajectory, California’s infrastructure funding gap will reach $1 trillion by 2050, according to a new report by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute that examines how public private partnerships (P3) can help close the gap.

The Economic Institute’s earlier research on this exciting form of investment was instrumental in guiding UC Merced’s use of P3s to finance and begin work on its massive campus expansion. Investment in infrastructure has one of the highest economic multipliers of any form of government spending, but due to California’s failure to invest in and maintain its infrastructure at all levels, the state is putting its future growth and prosperity at risk. The Economic Institute’s latest report examines how governments can innovate, attract investment, and improve infrastructure performance through the use of public-private partnerships.

Read Public-Private Partnerships in California: How Governments Can Innovate, Attract Investment, and Improve Infrastructure Performance>>

taxes

Pushing Back on Business, Jobs Taxes

A number of Bay Area cities are teeing up new taxes on the November ballot aimed at jobs and business that will hurt the region’s economic competitiveness and make it vulnerable when the next recession rolls around. Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman joined KQED Forum this morning (Aug. 24) to talk about why specialized, local taxes are the wrong answer for addressing problems like housing, traffic and homelessness whose scale and complexity require regional solutions. Taxing jobs will only discourage new investment in the Bay Area, drive companies to look elsewhere when they are expanding and make it far more difficult for the region to recover when the economy inevitably takes a turn for the worst. Wunderman also argued that none of the proposed taxes come with reforms aimed at regulatory barriers and other obstacles that often drive up the cost of addressing problems.

Listen to the KQED Forum discussion on jobs taxes>>

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-17 at 11.04.20 AM

Breakfast with Ravi Shankar Prasad

The California Business Roundtable, California Chamber of Commerce, Bay Area Council, DLA Piper, and The Westly Group, in partnership with NASSCOM, the industry association supporting the $154 billion IT industry in India, cordially invite you to an exclusive reception and presentation honoring the esteemed

Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad
Union Minister for Electronics & IT, Law & Justice
Government of India

Union Minister Prasad will join us to discuss his vision for a Digital India and long-term partnership opportunities with American and California-based companies looking to help the Government of India with its vision to bring better access to digital technology to its citizens.

Monday, August 27, 2018

DLA Piper
555 Mission Street, 24th Floor
San Francisco, CA

9:15-10:45 AM—Breakfast Reception & Presentation
For security purposes, please plan to arrive no later than 9:00AM

There is limited space for this exclusive event, so please RSVP at your earliest convenience to Cadee Condit at (209) 756-1202 or cadeepcondit@outlook.com.

cybersecurity

A Bay Area-Europe Collaboration on Cybersecurity Education

EIT Digital and Bay Area Council member UC Berkeley have joined forces to launch Cybersecurity 360, the first professional education program of its kind, which will take place this October in Berkeley and in Munich, Germany. The program includes experts from both the U.S. and Europe, who will equip industry leaders to effectively address relevant cybersecurity issues in their management decisions.

This collaboration between EIT Digital and UC Berkeley Executive Education couldn’t be timelier, as organizations increasingly discover the price of online carelessness. According to the 2017 “Cost of cybercrime” study by Accenture and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of online crime globally climbed to $11.7 million per organization, a 23 percent increase from 2016. Through the Cybersecurity 360 program, decision makers are able to obtain the required level of proficiency in cybersecurity to safeguard their organizations. Program details are available HERE.

Construction_tariffs

New Tariffs to Escalate Construction Costs Impacting Bay Area’s Housing Production and Prices

Tariffs of 20% the Trump administration imposed last year on imports of Canadian softwood lumber, and more recent tariffs of 15% and 10% on steel and aluminum imports, are starting to impact the local economy – including construction and housing. Beyond land cost, the region’s high housing costs are primarily driven by a lack of inventory caused by resistance to development and fees imposed by local governments. The cost of construction materials can now be added as another obstacle to meeting the region’s housing goals – not the primary one, but an issue that’s additive and is likely to be significant.

Lumber accounts for the largest material cost of building homes. This may push builders to focus more on high-end homes where buyers can absorb the increased costs, instead of the low and middle income housing the region needs most. Higher steel prices are also starting to impact commercial high-rise construction. The marginal cost of materials, particularly when increases are double digit, can stall or stop a project. Some towers are being reduced in scale in order to lower costs, reducing the number of units produced. Residential projects have also been stopped or stalled as developers recalculate the higher costs and how design around them. The potential impact of tariffs is likely to grow with time, as more products (tools, fixtures, appliances) used in the building process or incorporated into new structures are added to the list. To engage in the Council’s housing advocacy work, please contact Senior Vice President of Policy Matt Regan.

 

 

2018ADBanner

73rd Annual Dinner & Business Hall of Fame to Honor Business and Philanthropic Titans

Mark your calendar for the Bay Area Council’s signature celebration of the region’s top business, civic and community leadership. The 73rd Annual Dinner & Business Hall of Fame Awards presented by Alaska Airlines will honor phenomenal business and philanthropic titans with induction into the Bay Area Business Hall of Fame. Golden State Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber are the driving forces behind this NBA championship juggernaut. Under their leadership, the team is enjoying the most successful run in its history. Peter Magowan served for 16 seasons as the San Francisco Giants’ President and Managing General Partner and was instrumental in keeping the team rooted in the Bay Area and ensuring their continued success through the development of a world-class ballpark. Retail giant, The Magnin Family, is one of San Francisco’s most iconic and we’re thrilled to have Ellen Magnin Newman accept the honor on behalf of her family. Make your sponsorship reservation today!

Become a sponsor>>

Select Committee Hearing Graphic

Modernizing The Master Plan: The Future of Higher Ed in California

On August 14, the Assembly Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in California, chaired by Assemblymember Berman (Palo Alto), will meet at the State Capitol to discuss higher education finance in California. The agenda can be viewed online.

The hearing will consist of two panels. The first panel will provide an overview of the budget process for community colleges, CSUs, and UCs, as well as discuss higher education finance challenges. Speakers on this panel will include the Legislative Analyst’s Office and Monica Lozano, President and CEO of College Futures Foundation.

The second panel will discuss California’s financial aid system. Speakers will include the Legislative Analyst’s Office, Lupita Cortez Alcalá, Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission, and Robert Shireman, Senior Fellow with the Century Foundation.

In 1960, California developed a visionary plan for the future of higher education, known as the Master Plan. However, much has changed since 1960 – population growth, increased student diversity, a change in leading industries and their need for talent, as well as in the field of education itself. Technological advancements and the rise of new industries have altered student needs and boosted demand for higher education. As a result, our higher education system needs to respond to a host of issues never previously envisioned.

The Select Committee was established in March of last year to conduct a thorough review of the 1960 Master Plan. This hearing is the fifth of five planned hearings over the 2017-2018 Legislative Session and is the first step in a multi-year endeavor to ensure that the Master Plan reflects the needs of students in the 21st century economy.

For more information about the Select Committee for the Master Plan for Higher Education in California, as well as to watch previous hearings and view materials, please visit https://a24.asmdc.org/camasterplan.

South-Bay-aerial photo

Feds Surprise with $177M for Massive Sea Level Rise, Restoration Project

The South Bay is poised to become more resilient to rising sea levels, thanks to an unexpected decision from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fully fund the $177 million South Bay Shoreline Project—a massive effort to build four miles of new levees and restore 3,000 acres of wetlands near San Jose. A report by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute found the South Bay is more economically vulnerable to catastrophic flood damage than any other portion of the Bay Area and could suffer over $6 billion in damages during an extreme storm event. The project has been in the works since at least 2005, following Senator Dianne Feinstein’s work to facilitate the historic acquisition of the South Bay Salt Ponds from Cargill, and the Bay Area Council has been strongly advocating for federal support of the project ever since.

The South Bay shoreline project was one of the very first projects to receive local support from the Bay Area Council co-sponsored Measure AA, the $12 parcel tax measure approved by voters in 2016 to fund multi-benefit wetland restoration and flood protection projects. With funding in place, construction is slated to begin next summer, and the new levee is expected to be completed in 3-5 years. Enormous thanks are due to the hard work of the Bay Area Council partners who helped make this announcement a reality, including Senator Feinstein, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and Save the Bay. To learn more about the Bay Area Council’s work on climate resilience, please contact Vice President of Public Policy Adrian Covert.

brisbane bayland

Voters to Decide on Housing at Brisbane Baylands

The Bay Area would add 2,200 units of badly needed housing at an idle former industrial property located near transit under a proposal the Brisbane City Council approved this week that voters will now decide. The decision was a victory for the Bay Area Council and other groups that for years have been advocating for including housing as part of an overall project that would include 7 million square feet of commercial office space and significant open space and recreational amenities. The city previously had said it wouldn’t allow any housing on the 684-acre site, a position that drew strong condemnation from many housing advocates as the region confronts an epic housing shortage and affordability crisis. Whether voters in the small city will agree to add housing that would about double the size of Brisbane remains to be seen. UPC General Manager and Director of Development Jonathan Scharfman said “we are encouraged by Brisbane’s courageous decision to double the housing stock in their city.”