Bay Area Council Blog: Press Releases Archive

Jerry Brown Introduces January California Budget


Bay Area Council President & CEO Jim Wunderman released the following statement today in response to Governor Brown’s proposed state budget:

“We complement Governor Brown for doing the best he can under difficult circumstances.  Ultimately, the real wildcard is whether Californians will be willing to go to the ballot box to tax themselves to stave off more cuts.  Our regional business community will need to carefully consider the ballot proposals for tax extensions, the single sales factor and changes to redevelopment agencies before announcing our positions.

We recognize that Jerry Brown has one of the toughest assignments ever given an American political leader and we want to help him succeed.  We hope the Governor will use this opportunity to permanently reform California government, which we believe is his firm intent.”

Statement PDF


Press Release: International Trade Showing Signs of Recovery After 2009 Decline, According to New Bay Area Council Economic Institute Report

The Bay Area Council Economic Institute (BACEI) today released a new report, International Trade and the Bay Area Economy: Regional Interests and Global Outlook, 2010-2011. The fourth in a series produced in alternating years since 2003, the report assesses current trends in international trade, trade negotiations, regional trade activity, and trade-related infrastructure.

It finds that international trade, which declined with the global economy in 2009, is recovering.

“After a deep global recession, trade is growing again,” said Sean Randolph, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.  “This is important not just for large companies, but for thousands of small and medium sized companies as well.  As a major trading region, we need to support open markets, help smaller companies succeed as exporters, and invest in the port, airport and transportation infrastructure that will support a growing volume of goods and people entering and leaving the region.”

The report notes that while in recent years the United States has not actively sought new free trade agreements, three bilateral agreements negotiated by the Bush Administration – with Korea, Columbia and Panama – have been stalled in Congress.  Of these, it finds that the agreement with Korea is most important to the Bay Area, due to the size of Korea’s economy and its status as a major trading partner.  President Obama has expressed support for all three agreements, and has negotiated amendments to the Korea agreement that will set up a Congressional vote this year.

“Passage of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement is a Bay Area priority, and should be supported by every member of the region’s Congressional delegation,” said Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council.

From a Bay Area standpoint, the report notes two other trade forums that merit particular attention in 2011. Negotiations are underway for a Trans-Pacific Partnership with nine U.S. trading partners in the Asia-Pacific region.  The United States will also host the 21-nation APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Leaders Summit in Honolulu in November.  The pre-summit, which will engage 1,000-2,000 ministers, ambassadors, senior officials and business leaders from the 21 APEC economies, will be held in San Francisco in September, offering a unique opportunity to address California and Bay Area priorities.

These developments are particularly important for the Bay Area, which ranks as the nation’s fourth largest source of exports.  Asia continues to be the Bay Area’s largest export market, with computer and electronic products the leading export. The region’s exports are diverse, however, also including wine, apparel, petroleum products, and a wide array of services.

A survey conducted for the report of leading Bay Area companies and where they earn their revenue (in the U.S. or overseas) finds that 2009 broke a longstanding trend in which companies derived an ever-increasing share of revenue from global markets. This reflected the stalling of the global economy in 2008-09.  With trade gathering momentum in 2010 and strong growth in many Asia-Pacific markets, however, the historic trend toward growing dependence on international trade is likely to resume.

PDF Press Release

Download the Report



The Bay Area Council today announced its opposition to a plan by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to mandate that San Franciscans make up at least half the work force of construction projects in the City and within 70 miles of it.

Bay Area Council President & CEO Jim Wunderman released the following statement:

“This troubling trend of intra-county battles being started by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors needs to stop.  The Bay Area is one regional economy, not nine island states.  We need to focus on nurturing the fragile economic recovery in our region, not setting bad policies that pit county against county.   The Bay Area Council urges Mayor Newsom to veto this foolhardy piece of legislation.  Right now, we do not need any more incentives for businesses to leave any county, the Bay Area, or California.”

PDF Statement



SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The Bay Area Council today released its fall Business Confidence Survey, and the results show that Bay Area CEO’s and executives are feeling more positive about the Bay Area economy, however, they expect the current status quo of slow growth and recovery to continue.  The business confidence index – the number that distills the survey findings – registered at 58 out of 100, up 2 points from the last survey, but still down 4 points from May.

A reading over 50 signals positive economic times, while below 50 is negative.  Last quarter’s Survey showed the index reading at 56 – making this the fifth positive reading in a row since the summer of 2009.  One year ago, the reading registered 53, and in January 2009, the index reached its all-time low of 31.

“Increases in the stock market, actions by the Fed, and our slow, but continued recovery are providing confidence that things are getting better, more than they are getting worse,” said Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council. “Small and medium sized companies are still very reluctant to hire new workers, but larger corporations are showing signs that they might be expanding their workforces over the next couple of months.”

The responses of the 473 CEO’s and top executives in the nine Bay Area counties surveyed between November 10th and November 30th, show that overall, 47% think Bay Area economic conditions are better than 6 months ago, up 6 points from last quarter’s survey.  In addition, 53% said they expect a better Bay Area economy 6 months from now, up 9 points from last quarter.

The Survey indicates that a majority of executives, 56%, expect their workforces to remain the same over the next 6 months.  However, 27% of executives stated they planned to increase their workforce.  41% of executives in San Francisco County and 37% of executives in San Mateo County expect to increase their workforces over the next 6 months. Additionally, the Survey showed that 50% of Bay Area companies with over 10,000 employees expect to increase their workforce over the next six months, an increase of 41 points since last quarter’s survey.

In certain industries, there is much optimism that things will be better in 6 months. 52% of executives in professional and business services, and 94% of leisure and hospitality executives expect their industry conditions to improve.  Entering the holiday season, 22% of retail executives expect their industry to improve. Other noteworthy areas expecting better industry conditions in 6 months include: manufacturing (47%), information technology (47%), and financial services (46%).

Finally, when asked, “Which of the following issues is having the biggest impact on your business at this time,” 74% of executives listed the overall economy, out of choices that included: financial regulation (7%), healthcare reform (6%), the tax rate (6%) and debt and deficits (4%).

“While there is still a large degree of uncertainty in executives’ outlook, the most promising news in this quarter’s survey is big corporations’ intent to start hiring in the next six months.  If that comes true, it will be welcome news for the recovery,” said Lenny Mendonca, Director at McKinsey & Company.

PDF Press Release



SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The U.S. Department of Transportation today redirected $1.2 billion in high-speed rail funds from Ohio and Wisconsin to 14 other states, including California, which will now receive an additional $624 million for high-speed rail.

In response to this news, Bay Area Council President & CEO Jim Wunderman released the following statement:

“These additional funds will keep California high-speed rail on the fast track.  The infusion of new federal money will help to extend the first segment of high-speed rail to another urban center in the Central Valley, quelling concerns that California is building a ‘train to nowhere’.  Today’s news also means more jobs for California at a time when we are still facing 12.4% unemployment.

High-speed rail will re-establish California’s leadership across the nation and around the globe, provide an environmentally sound alternative to the country’s busiest air route (SFO to LAX) and take nearly 70 million auto trips off the road every year.

The Bay Area Council applauds the Obama administration and Department of Transportation for supporting high-speed rail in California.”

PDF Statement



SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The 2010 USC Ross Program in Real Estate, presented by the Bay Area Council, will hold a case competition and graduation ceremony at 4:00 PM on Thursday, December 9 at the CitiGroup Center, 1 Sansome St., San Francisco.

The three-week program, taught by faculty from the University of Southern California (USC), as well as over fifty local industry experts and professionals from the Bay Area, helps participants gain technical expertise and expand their understanding of real estate development and investment, while building the networks necessary to succeed in urban renewal.  Each year, the program culminates in a case competition in which participants present their solutions for a local development issue.

“The depth of knowledge that this year’s students bring to the table is quite remarkable,” said Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council.  “We are proud to offer training and resources to such talented real estate professionals through the Ross Program and I am confident that these participants will positively impact future development in the Bay Area.”

This year, the case competition focuses on redevelopment of the Midway Village and an adjacent site in the Bayshore neighborhood on the border between San Francisco and Daly City.  Ross Program participants will present their proposed plans for the site in front of a panel of judges, including representatives from the City of San Mateo Housing Authority and the City of Daly City, the two organizations that control the site. Judges include: Greg Vilkin, MacFarlane Partners; Michael Barker, Barker Pacific Group; Michael Johnson, UrbanCore, LLC; Margo Bradish, Cox Castle Nicholson; Libby Seifel, Seifel Consulting; Vince Gibbs, Intequity LLC.

Participants in this year’s program include Benjamin Brandin, a Green Project Analyst with Eden Housing; Catherine Etzel, Assistant Project Manager at BRIDGE Housing Corporation; Daryl Thomas, Managing Director, NID Housing Counseling Agency; and Lena Robinson, Regional Manager of Community Development for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

A pdf overview of the program can be downloaded at:

PDF Press Release



The Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium (BASIC) today announced the launch of its new science and technology online innovation hub:  The site provides the Bay Area’s high level science and technology professionals a virtual hub here they can interact and discuss ideas for advancing the region’s global competitiveness.

“With the region’s most innovative thought-leaders and professionals spread out all across the Bay Area at public universities, companies and research institutions, there’s no way for them to constantly interact and share their ideas with each other,” said Dr, Mark Bregman, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Symantec and BASIC’s Chairman.  “This online innovation hub will harness all of the region’s collective knowledge and ideas into a central location where we can foster a conversation about how to make the Bay Area more competitive in the 21st century global economy.”

The new site will be the only one of its kind in the Bay Area.  It not only will help connect the foremost thought-leaders on science and innovation in our region, but also will provide the Bay Area community with the opportunity to participate in online “open forums” to discuss regional actions to address the issues impacting the region’s global innovation competitiveness.

“As the parent organization of BASIC, the Bay Area Council Economic Institute is proud to be fostering such a unique project,” said Sean Randolph, President and CEO of the Economic Institute.  “This new innovation hub will prove to be an incredible tool for promoting the science and technology sectors in our region and showcasing the innovation of the Bay Area in the national spotlight.”

PDF Press Release


The Bay Area Council plans to hold a “Gold Medal” reception in honor of Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, tomorrow, Tuesday, November 16, 2010, from 6:00pm – 8:30pm.  The reception will celebrate Curry for his role in helping Team USA win the gold medal in the FIBA World Championships for the first time since 1994.  Executives from the Bay Area Council’s member companies will have a chance to meet and learn more about Curry, see the gold medal, hear about his experiences in his second season in the NBA and maybe even shoot a few hoops with the Warriors guard.

“Stephen Curry is one of the most promising rising stars to enter the NBA in quite some time,” said Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council.  “Last year, as a rookie for the Warriors, he electrified the Bay Area with every 3-pointer and drive to the hoop.  More recently, he helped Team USA clinch its first world championship in 16 years.  We look forward to introducing him to the Bay Area business community and can’t wait for him to show us his jump-shot.”

“I am really excited to get to know many of the local business leaders who make the Bay Area such a great place to live and work,” said Curry. “Now that I’m in my second year in the NBA, I am really looking forward to getting further involved in the community. My experience with Team USA this summer was unforgettable and I love to share those memories with everyone I can.”

About Stephen Curry:

Last year’s NBA Rookie of the Year runner-up and a unanimous first-team all-rookie selection, Curry is off to a solid start this season, averaging 21.7 points per game and a team-best 6.8 assists per game. Drafted by Golden State in the first round (7th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft, Curry starred collegiately at Davidson College, where he went on to rewrite the school’s record books in several categories and earn first-team consensus All-American honors.  A native of Charlotte, NC, Curry was named the 2008 College Athlete of the Year by The Sporting News.

WHAT: Gold Medal Reception for Golden State Warriors Star Stephen Curry

WHERE: Golden State Warriors Training Facility
1011 Broadway
Oakland, CA
(Located on top of Oakland Convention Center garage)

WHEN: 6pm – 8:30pm
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NOTE: *** Curry will be made available to the media at approximately 7:15 pm ***
*** All media planning to attend should RSVP to, (415) 606-2337 ***

About the Bay Area Council

The Bay Area Council is a business-sponsored, public-policy advocacy organization for the nine-county Bay Area. The Council proactively advocates for a strong economy, a vital business environment, and a better quality of life for everyone who lives here. Founded in 1945, the Bay Area Council is widely respected by elected officials, policy makers and other civic leaders as the voice of Bay Area business. Today, approximately 275 of the largest employers in the region support the Bay Area Council and offer their CEO or top executive as a member. Our members employ more than 4.43 million workers and have revenues of $1.94 trillion, worldwide.

# # #

PDF Media Advisory


Press Release: Business Confidence Drops Due to Slowing Economy, According to Bay Area Council Survey

The Bay Area Council today released the results of the Summer 2010 Business Confidence Survey. It shows a slight downturn in business confidence and hiring this quarter. Even though we’re seeing a downward trend in business confidence in this survey, the strength of the Bay Area economy continues to provide optimism to CEO’s and executives. Overall, the Bay Area economy is in better shape than it was six months ago. However, uncertainty about what lies ahead continues to affect the key indicators, such as hiring. The Bay Area needs to continue pushing for smart, business-friendly policies that encourage hiring to pull our region out of the recession. The initiatives and policies that we are focusing on at the Bay Area Council, such as supporting infrastructure projects and financing for sustainable energy will help move the Bay Area economy in the right direction.

Learn More:
Press Release


Press Release: Bay Area Council To Hold “Battle Of The Pundits” Discussion On November Elections With Garry South and Jon Fleischman

The Bay Area Council is holding a discussion on the November elections this Thursday, September 23, 2010, with widely respected Democratic political strategist Garry South and famous California conservative commentator Jon Fleischman.  The “Battle of the Pundits” discussion will be moderated by Joe Garofoli, the San Francisco Chronicle’s politics and media reporter.

“Garry and Jon are known for three things: politics, punditry and pugnaciousness,” said Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council.  “They are also two of California’s most respected and sought after political consultants and commentators.  It will definitely be an afternoon filled with fireworks.”

WHO: Jim Wunderman, President & CEO, Bay Area Council

Garry South, Democratic Political Strategist, Principal of The Garry South Group

Jon Fleischman, Founder and Publisher of, President of the Fleischman Consulting Group

Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle Politics and Media Reporter (Moderator)

WHAT: Discussion on the November elections

WHERE: Wells Fargo Boardroom
420 Montgomery St., Penthouse
San Francisco, CA 94104

WHEN: 4pm – 5pm
Thursday, September 23, 2010###

*** All media planning to attend should RSVP to, (415) 946-8725 ***

About the speakers:

Jon Fleischman is the founder and publisher of, which was formerly the FlashReport e-mail newsletter on California Politics. The primary mission of the website is to advance the conservative cause here in the Golden State. Dubbed the “Matt Drudge of California” by Congressman Darrell Issa, Fleischman’s commentary and insights are read by over 25,000 unique visitors each day. to the website.

Professionally, Jon is the President of the Fleischman Consulting Group, a consulting firm which specializes in governmental, public and political affairs at the local, state, and national levels.

Jon was elected in February of 2007 to the position of Vice Chairman, South, of the California Republican Party. In this post, he serves on the party’s Board of Directors, and is a liaison between the CRP and the counties of Orange, Riverside, San Diego and Imperial.

Garry South, Principal of The Garry South Group, has been called the “Carville of California” by The New York Times, and “one of the top political strategists in the Democratic Party” by, one of the nation’s most influential political blogs. Newsweek described him as “a one-man brain trust on the battlements of Fort California.” The National Journal finds him “shrewd and widely feared.” The Hotline labeled South the “über California Democratic strategist.”

South has 37 years’ experience at very high levels in government, politics and business consulting. He has worked for both the federal government and state governments in three different states, including as Special Assistant to a U.S. Cabinet Secretary, Senior Political Advisor to a Governor, Communications Director to another Governor, Chief of Staff to a Lieutenant Governor and Public Information Director of a State Legislature.

In addition, he has managed or played leading roles in campaigns for President, U.S. Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Legislature, County Executive, County Supervisor, Mayor and City Council, and served as Midwest Regional Finance Director of the Democratic National Committee.

Joe Garofoli writes about politics for the Chronicle. Over his two-decade career in the Bay Area, he has also written about media and culture, the “culture” portion being a ridiculously large umbrella under which huddle his stories about SM dominatrixes, the Raider Nation, and former California gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey.

A native Pittsburgher and obsessive Steelers fan, his family offers a different window into the political system. During Prohibition, a couple of his (now deceased) elderly cousins cut a hole in the bottom of wooden ballot boxes, then when the ballots dropped to a floor below, the then-teens invalidated them to favor the candidate preferred by the local mob boss. God bless America. (His mother hates this story, insists they were not from her side of the family and NOT blood relatives.)

He is a Northwestern University graduate who has written extensively about the peace movement, made up a beat called “Red-and-Blue” to examine the nation’s divisions, been personally mocked on-air by both Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, and traveled to swing states during the 2004 and 2008 election. And won a bunch of regional and national awards.

As a sign of either his versatility, ineptitude or short attention span, he has covered two Olympic games, Seventh Avenue fashion shows, national political conventions, the Jeffrey Dahmer serial killings and his own vasectomy — which he discussed on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” after being told he couldn’t say the word “balls” on the air. He can be found on Twitter @joegarofoli and Facebook and at The Chronicle’s Politics Blog, where he is one half of the production crew of its infamous video crew called Shaky Hand Productions.

PDF Press Release