Education, we believe, is one of the top competitive factors shaping the Bay Area. Therefore, the Bay Area Council Foundation helps drive initiatives to help raise California student achievement through data, teacher quality, administrator and district capacity, high school achievement, narrowing the achievement gap, infrastructure, school finance, and funding allocation reforms.
We also have a key initiative geared toward improving the outcomes of the state's P-12 education system, particularly given mounting evidence that California has fallen behind on many core indicators of educational performance. This work seeks to expand access to high-quality preschool education so that California's children enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed in life. Thus, BACF explores how to increase low-income access to Early Care in the Bay Area and the state; beginning the process of building a constituency for statewide preschool for four year olds.
The Bay Area Council Scholarship Program identifies students with a passion for giving back to their communities. Focusing on disadvantaged and underserved youth, this program supports their efforts to obtain a higher education and rewards their commitment to the betterment of their community. Each year the Family of Funds provides scholarships to a new class of high-achieving, socially responsible students entering their freshman year of college. As we obtain additional resources, the program is expanded to provide mentorship and internship opportunities as well as professional development resources such as interview training, resume building and career guidance.
• Clean Tech: The Bay Area is no stranger to birthing innovative new industries. And it’s that experience, along with nationally ranked universities, easy access to venture capital and research funding and a tremendous talent pool, that ideally positions the Bay Area to become the epicenter of the clean tech revolution.
• A Sustainable Delta: Beginning with our desire to carry out research that will eventually back policy initiatives for a delta solution, BAC has helped create consensus among stakeholders. The effort now requires an independent, objective technical analysis and presentation of scientific, engineering, and economic information on a range of subjects including water conveyance and ecological restoration options for the delta, as well as the larger California water system. This will serve as a foundation to the kinds of sustainable agricultural efforts and food systems we so critically need.
• The Business Council on Climate Change: It isn’t easy being green…or is it? BC3 provides resources, expertise and a forum for the sharing of best practices in the service of addressing climate change. Considered a world model by the United Nations, BC3 helps companies to learn, understand and adopt operations that will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Additional resources are needed to expand education efforts and promote this program. With the proper support, this program can be the leading effort in the state with a constituency committed to reducing carbon emissions.
The Bay Area Council for Housing works with local governments to plan and zone for housing that builds stronger neighborhoods. Police, firefighters, nurses and teachers often don’t live in the communities they serve. The shortage of affordable workforce housing is at a crisis level and promises to increase with the additional 1.5 million people predicted to flow into the Bay Area over the next twenty years. Most children can’t afford to buy houses in the neighborhoods in which they grew up. Funding is needed to increase and mobilize the efforts to advocate for specific housing projects that adhere to smart growth guidelines. Projects include:
• The 4th Edition of the Bay Area Housing Profile will determine how the region’s housing production has reached or failed to fully meet housing needs. It will span the period 1999 through 2007, adding two more years to the data, and will continue to look at case study examples as well as data gathered from another survey of elected officials.
• Bay Area Council For Housing (formerly Better Housing Bureau) the supply of affordable workforce housing remains at a crisis level. With 1.5 million more people expected in the Bay Area over the next twenty years, the imbalance between supply of and demand for such housing is predicted to increase. The Bay Area Council for Housing seeks to expand housing solutions aggressively while ensuring that the right form and place relative to community needs and the location of jobs is considered. The housing program will work with local governments to plan and zone for housing that builds stronger neighborhoods. It will also mobilize business leaders to advocate for specific housing projects that are consistent with the objectives of the program.
Research & Publications
Sound research and analysis is crucial to a balanced approach to policy making. The Bay Area Council Economic Institute builds on a 20-year reputation for providing strategic perspective, fact-based analysis and leadership on key economic issues impacting the Bay Area and California. Recent success include: reforming electricity markets; advancing renewable energy, public-private partnerships, and budget reform; expanding international trade; building bridges with china; offering economic education and supporting competitiveness through science and technology. This prolific resource is in charge of a vast array of research projects on subjects any of which will factor heavily into our future economy.
Sample publications include:
• Global Reach – The Emerging Ties Between the San Francisco Bay Area and India: This report explores the distinct historical, demographic, cultural, educational, trade and investment relationships that have emerged between Northern California and India, with a particular focus on India’s ties to Silicon Valley and its engagement with Bay Area industries and companies in a range of sectors, including information technology, business process outsourcing, biotechnology, infrastructure, energy, consumer markets and venture capital. It will specifically document: the emergence of economic synergies and business processes that are creating economic value in both California and India, how India fits into the global strategy of Bay Area companies, the role that the Bay Area is playing in India’s economic expansion, the leadership roles being played by specific Indian and Bay Area companies in selected sectors, the roles being played by Indians and Indian-Americans in building economic and other ties, and the issues and opportunities that will shape the future of the California-India relationship.
• Human Capital in the Bay Area – What we have, where it comes from and why an educated, flexible workforce holds the key to our economic future: Among the topics the report will specifically address are: 1) the demand for knowledge workers, 2) knowledge industries and occupations in the region, 3) regional workforce characteristics and trends (by educational attainment and language diversity), 4) the roles of domestic migration and immigration from overseas, and 5) the catalytic role of universities. These analytical segments will be followed by industry case studies based on the interviews referenced above, and closing conclusions and policy considerations.
• Mapping the Bay Area’s Global Links – Global Activity Indicators. The project presents an extensive series of maps with supporting narrative that identify and quantify a range of globalization indicators. These include: trade in goods through ports and airports; direct flights from international airports to global destinations; international tourism and business travelers; foreign students attending institutions of higher learning; consulates, international chambers of commerce, and foreign trade and commercial offices; networking organizations based on nationality (human networks); sister cities; global sales by regionally headquartered companies; overseas affiliates of regionally-headquartered companies; the location of advanced service firms; regional demographics (size and characteristics of the foreign-born population); the distribution of foreign language speakers; and the penetration of non-English media. The report draws broad conclusions from these maps regarding the implications of this profile for the future of the region.
The Bay Area Science & Innovation Consortium (BASIC)
BASIC is the only regional organization dedicated to promoting the Bay Area’s scientific and technological leadership. The BASIC 2008 action plan is focused on three areas of importance to the Bay Area’s global competitiveness. Specific science and technology projects are underway in each of the following categories:
• Building Collaborative Networks: Building networks across industry, university and government sectors to address science and technology problems and support opportunities for advancing regional leadership.
• Promoting Global Innovation Leadership: Promotes entrepreneurship in a global environment while retaining local innovation leadership.
• Strengthening Our Science and Technology Talent Base: Works to address specific issues impacting the science and technology segment of the Bay Area’s highly-talented workforce and enhances its continued leadership in innovation.
• Bay Area Capital Connections: This region-wide conference series focuses on bringing together minority-led business owners and entrepreneurs with angel investors as well as venture and institutional sources of capital. Nearly 200 participants representing a variety of industries attended Bay Area Capital Connections I, which provided investment opportunities and business resources to attendees interested in the growing African-American segment of the Bay Area economy. Subsequent conferences will address the unique financing issues facing Hispanic-American and Asian-American entrepreneurs and their companies in the Bay Area.
• Mission Bay Community Outreach: This initiative coordinates corporate resources and volunteers to engage and enrich the Mission Bay Community of San Francisco. Meetings are held three times per year in order to share community outreach efforts of the businesses in the area. Additionally, these meetings serve to highlight prominent issues and introduce the nonprofit organizations working to serve the local community.
• Access to Resources: In partnership with the Alliance for Community Development, this series of workshops brings vital information to the working poor. Workshops center around topics such as money management, healthcare, special cost savings programs for utilities and telecommunications, and opportunities for job training and higher education. This program builds partnerships with local community groups and corporate sponsors to deliver useful information about the resources available to help residents of traditionally underserved neighborhoods.
There is a health care crisis in this country. In the absence of federal leadership, it is critical that California take on the hard work of finding solutions to this rapidly escalating economic train wreck. Great strides have been made toward outlining health care reforms that will begin putting the brakes on crippling costs. The Bay Area Council Foundation will continue to work with leaders in business and policy makers to work out a new way to address healthcare costs in California.
We believe it is time for the state to get serious about its commitment to transportation improvement. At the Bay Area Council, we delve deeply into issues such as High Occupancy/Toll lanes, the design-build engineering process, public-private partnerships, goods movement planning and funding, and much more. For example, with funding assistance, we are looking to promote e-commuting and other alternative work arrangements, helping increase worker productivity and morale as well as decrease carbon emissions from commuter traffic.