Bay Area Council Blog: Government Relations Archive


Mark Your Calendar for DC in ’09

By George Broder

Mark your calendar and set your schedule to participate in the Council’s annual trip to Washington, D.C. on May 4-6, 2009. Timed for optimum impact at the conclusion of the new Administration’s First 100 Days, meetings will be held on Capitol Hill, at the White House/Executive Office Building and key agencies.

We will press our agenda on issues including H1-B visa reform, timely passage of Free Trade Agreements, federal investment in our infrastructure, healthcare and full funding for the America Competes Act. We will urge the adoption of “green” policies that embrace cap and trade strategies and stimulate the private sector by rewarding innovation and investment. Please give us your priorities as we formulate our plans. More details forthcoming soon. Registrations will be limited due to premium access restraints.

For more information or to offer ideas, please contact me at 415.946.8728.


Reform and the Rails Ride to Victory with Council Support

By George Broder

Election Day was historic and a success for most of the Bay Area Council and its endorsed campaigns. Most satisfying, after two failed attempts fell just short of a 2/3 vote, was the Marin/Sonoma County SMART Train win with 69% of voters making it possible to remove 1.4 million cars annually from highly congested Highway 101. And Statewide Prop 1A, High Speed Rail, commits $9.8 billion to build a system that will move passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just two and half hours.

In Santa Clara County, Measure B to bring BART to San Jose is a statistical sliver short of passing at 66.42%. More than 60,000 absentee and provisional ballots are still to be counted so a win is still possible for this longtime goal.

The voters, fed up with the partisanship in our capitol, adopted Prop 11 to reform the way State Senate and Assembly districts will be drawn after the next census. Redistricting reform is an important first step towards breaking the paralysis and abdication of leadership in Sacramento. The voters are demanding more of their representatives, and we will carry this message directly to the elected officials we meet with on a regular basis.

The Council’s call for a Constitutional Convention is drawing new supporters and allies every day. We will take the momentum from Prop 11 to move forward with careful study and diligence the viability of this dramatic action. The voters are engaged and activated, ready to establish California once again as a national model, and the Convention may be the perfect tool to implement their just desires.


Bay Area Council Positions on Ballot Measures

By Matt Regan

After months of analyzing the issues and meeting with proponents and opponents alike, the much anticipated official Bay Area Council 2008 General Election slate card is now complete. Below are our positions and endorsements, don’t vote without it!

Statewide Ballot Measures




No Position (Required 2/3rds margin of Executive Committee not achieved)


Proposition 11 – REDISTRICTING

Local Ballot Measures

Marin/Sonoma Measure Q – SMART Train (Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit)

Redwood City Measure W – Land Use

San Francisco Proposition A – San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center Earthquake Safety Bonds

San Francisco Proposition H – Setting Clean Energy Deadlines; Studying Options for Providing Energy; Changing Revenue Bond Authority to Pay for Public Utility Facilities

Santa Clara Measure B – BART to San Jose


Bay Area Council Calls for Constitutional Convention

By Jim Wunderman

We must admit we were surprised by the tidal wave of overwhelmingly positive responses from across the state from business groups, good government groups, former legislators and private individuals supporting our call for a constitutional convention.  This effort is in response to the many members who have asked the Bay Area Council what we should do about the State’s budget impasse and have conveyed their mounting dissatisfaction with California’s state government.  Adding fuel to the fire, at our Annual Sacramento Day earlier this month we listened to one legislator after another lament about their inability to make progress due to the broken system they are working within.  We believe that the current California Constitution is working against us; therefore we are calling for a Constitutional Convention to relieve California of the roadblocks that prohibit progress.  We are interested in your feedback and hope you will join our effort.

Listen to the KQED Forum on a Constitutional Convention
Read our Opinion Editorial, calling for a Constitutional Convention.


State Senator Abel Maldonado to discuss Budget, other issues, with Bay Area Council

By Matt Regan

Senator Abel Maldonado, who represents the 15th Senate District, which stretches from Santa Maria in the South, through San Luis Obisbo, Monterey, Carmel, Watsonville, Morgan Hill, Los Gatos, to Saratoga in the North, is the latest speaker scheduled to meet with the Bay Area Council Leadership Forum at noon on Friday July 25th.  The lunchtime event is being hosted by member company Del Monte at their corporate headquarters at One Market Street in San Francisco.

Senator Maldonado, who is known in Sacramento for his straight talk and pragmatism, will no doubt bring a unique perspective to the big issues currently facing California namely, the budget impasse, the water crisis, and the current state of public education.

Leadership Forum events are open to all member companies. To reserve  a seat at the table please RSVP as soon as possible to


June 3rd Elections Give Smart Growth a Boost

By Matt Regan

Now that the election waters have cleared somewhat and we’ve had a couple of weeks to digest the results, it is clear that the big winner on June 3rd was housing.  In San Francisco the Bay Area Council took strong positions in support of Proposition G and in opposition to Proposition F.   These competing measures were a thumbs up or down referendum on Lennar’s plan to redevelop Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.  Fortunately the voters were not hoodwinked by an attempt to impose an impossible standard that 50% of all units developed be below market rate, and they very much liked what they saw from Lennar.

In Napa Measure N, a restrictive no growth proposition opposed by the Bay Area Council, was also defeated by the voters.

Both these results give great encouragement to those of us who have been advocating for regional smart growth principles and sustainable development.


Incoming Senate President Pro Tem Breaks Bread with Council

By Matt Regan

On Friday April 4, Bay Area Council member Hanson Bridgett LLP hosted the latest “Leadership Forum Luncheon” with guest of honor the incoming Pro Tem of the California State Senate Senator Darrell Steinberg.  Also in attendance were fellow Hanson Bridgett Alumni, former Congressman Doug Bosco, and soon to be Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

Over fifty of the region’s top business leaders packed the room to hear Senator Steinberg’s vision for the future of California and the agenda items that he will be focusing on in the year ahead.  His twin messages of increased funding for education and in particular rolling back the state’s terrible rates of High School drop outs and an increased focus on regionalism were music to the ears of the audience.

Thanks to Andrew Giacomini, Hanson Bridgett ,and Senator Darrell Steinberg for helping put together another great event. The next Leadership Forum lunch is in the pipeline, watch this space.