Highlighting the need for bold action on the many urgent and serious issues confronting California’s economic future, the Bay Area Council is opening a new office in Sacramento from which to better and more directly engage with state elected and policy leaders to improve California’s business climate, grow jobs and encourage greater investment in vital infrastructure.
“We’ve heard Sacramento may be a difficult place to do business and the Bay Area Council is all about improving business climate,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “From pension and CEQA reform to healthcare, trade and infrastructure investment, we’re looking forward to working with the Legislature and the Governor to solve the many challenging issues confronting our state.”
The Bay Area Council’s new Sacramento office marks the first time in its 67 years that the CEO-led organization will have a daily presence in the capitol. The office is located just blocks from the capitol building on the 22nd floor of the Esquire Building at 1215 K St. A reception is scheduled today at 5:30 p.m. to open the office.
“Having a physical presence in Sacramento is critical to getting things done,” said Janet Lamkin, Chair of the Bay Area Council and California State President for Bank of America. “Every one of the Bay Area Council’s lead policy priorities – from pension and CEQA reform to expanding trade to controlling healthcare costs — runs through Sacramento. As the voice of business for the Bay Area region, the Bay Area Council’s new Sacramento office will ensure our members’ voices and our region’s economic priorities are heard loud and clear in the halls of power.”
Wunderman said the new office will greatly improve the Bay Area Council’s effectiveness in bringing the business community’s perspective to policy and legislative debates, as well as giving the Council’s hundreds of business members a convenient platform from which to meet and work with lawmakers and others to keep our focus on restoring California’s economic health and making the Bay Area the most competitive region globally.
Among the important issues on which the Bay Area Council is focused in Sacramento are:
- Working with Governor Brown as his Administration develops plans for opening a California trade office in China.
- Partnering with the state’s other leading business organizations to win meaningful and significant reforms this year in the Legislature to unsustainable public pensions.
- Leading the business community in ensuring that changes to our healthcare system focus on controlling costs and improving healthcare quality.
- Driving for reforms to the California Environmental Quality Act to eliminate abuses that deter reasonable economic development.
- Securing early investment to modernize and electrify Caltrain as part of the state’s broader plans to build a high speed rail system.
The announcement of the Bay Area Council’s new Sacramento office drew praise from Bay Area legislative leaders.
“The Bay Area is one of the most economically productive regions in the nation, driving unmatched innovation and job creation at a time when we need it most,” said Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, co-Chair of the Bay Area Caucus. “As the voice of business for the Bay Area, the Bay Area Council, through their new office, will provide a valuable and informative voice in Sacramento on how we can continue to grow our economy, create more jobs and improve our overall business climate.”
“The Bay Area is one of the largest economic powerhouses in the country, employing millions of people and is the epicenter of American entrepreneurism and innovation,” said Assemblyman Rich Gordon (Menlo Park), who co-chairs the Bay Area Caucus. “The opening of the Bay Area Council office represents Bay Area industries becoming leaders in the statewide business community, and the Council’s willingness to work with the legislature on the state’s most pressing issues.”