Bay Area Council Blog


Council Works the Capitol Halls as Legislative Deadlines Near

State lawmakers were working furiously this week to wrap up the current legislative session and the Bay Area Council was working furiously to ensure passage of a raft of bills that we are either sponsoring or supporting. Today (Aug. 17) is the deadline for bills to pass muster with appropriations committees in both the Assembly and Senate. Three bills the Council is sponsoring were still moving forward along with four other bills we are supporting.

The bills we are sponsoring include SB 828 (Wiener), which would increase accountability on cities to meet their housing obligations, SB 1227 (Skinner), which would expand student housing, and AB 2596, which we are co-sponsoring with the Greater Sacramento Economic Council and would authorize the creation of a statewide economic strategy. The bills the Council is supporting include easing the path for building housing near BART, streamlining environmental review for a new Oakland A’s stadium, speeding up rebuilding in the wake of the devastating North Bay fires and easing restrictions on accessory dwelling units. To engage in the Council’s government relations work, please contact Senior Director Cornelious Burke.


Council CEO Again Named to Top 100 Influencers List

For the fourth straight year, Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman was named to the Capitol Weekly’s Top 100 Influencers list. Wunderman was quick to deflect any individual role in the honor and said it reflects the larger influence that the Bay Area Council has in working on a wide range of legislative and public policy issues in Sacramento. The Council’s Sacramento office, which is led by Policy Manager Cornelious Burke, was opened under Wunderman’s leadership and has become an important and effective platform for engaging with political, government and business leaders. The Council this year sponsored important legislation to address the state’s housing crisis, was instrumental in passing legislation last year that led to Regional Measure 3—the $5.6 billion traffic relief ballot measure Bay Area voters approved in June—and has played a leading role on issues related to water, climate change and energy, early education funding and healthcare reform.


New Report: Expanding Rent Control Hurts Local Coffers

Expanding rent control will chill investment in new and existing housing and reduce local tax revenues by tens of millions of dollars annually, according to a new report by the state Legislative Analyst’s Office. The report adds to an already substantial body of research that has conclusively found rent control has a negative impact on the housing market. The LAO specifically focused on Proposition 10, a statewide ballot measure the Bay Area Council strongly opposes that would repeal a decades-old law restricting rent control. A recent report by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute found that expanding rent control in Alameda County would reduce housing affordability for more than 10,300 households. To engage in the Council’s housing policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.


Bad Roads Costing Bay Area Commuters Thousands

Bad roads and highways cost many Bay Area commuters upwards of almost $3,000 a year in wasted time, vehicle repairs and other costs, according to a new study by TRIP, a national transportation research group. The report highlights the reason why the Bay Area Council is working hard to oppose Proposition 6 on the November ballot that would eliminate billions in funding for repairing state and local roads, bridges highways. And, why the Council opposes a lawsuit filed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association that seeks to overturn Regional Measure 3, a ballot measure voters approved in June that provides $5.6 billion for easing traffic and expanding regional mass transit. The Council helped lead the RM3 campaign.


Mentorship Programs Valuable for Growing New Leaders

Mentorships are a valuable way for employers to grow leadership from within their ranks, while building employee satisfaction through repeated engagement. That was the overarching message of a best practices workshop the Bay Area Council organized on Friday, August 3 that focused on the value of building and sustaining effective mentorship programs. Graciously hosted by Genentech, participants included Bain & Company, Kaiser Permanente, New Deal Advisors, Stanford Medicine, Technology Credit Union and United Airlines. The discussion was robust, providing leadership in how to incentivize participation in mentorship programs, while underscoring the importance of maintaining regular check-ins on the efficacy of internal programs.

Participants identified key takeaways such as developing metrics to measure the efficiency of the program, building succession plans, and making a deliberate effort to improve inclusivity and diversity of programs, and lifting previously marginalized populations. As companies grow, it is essential to build bridges between leadership and junior level employees. The next best practices workshop will focus on performance management. For more information on the Council’s Workforce of the Future initiatives, please contact Senior Vice President Linda Bidrossian.

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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


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.

BART police

Council Urges Stronger Police Response to BART Crime

Despite a spasm of violent and deadly attacks on BART, wavering confidence in the system and a depleted police force, the mass transportation agency’s Board of Directors on Thursday (Aug. 9) rejected key elements of a plan presented by BART General Manager Grace Crunican to bolster public safety and security. Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman in a letter and in testimony to the Board urged BART to adopt the full package of security measures. Wunderman also urged the Board to request a regional mutual aid response from other local law enforcement agencies to increase patrols on trains and in stations.

In response to Wunderman’s request, the Board said only that it would direct agency officials to research mutual aid options. However, it was unclear exactly what that meant. The union representing BART police had previously rejected the idea of mutual aid, even as BART grapples with a shortage of officers. Union officials indicated that contract provisions blocked other law enforcement from the system.

Watch Jim Wunderman testify at BART Board meeting>>

“It’s hard to believe in the face of growing public fear and anxiety about safety on BART that the Board wouldn’t act swiftly and aggressively to adopt the full slate of strong measures for restoring confidence in the system,” Wunderman said. “The Board’s decision is a disservice to the more than 420,000 BART riders who rely on the system daily and presents an open invitation to criminals and others who flagrantly ignore system rules and regulations to continue to act with impunity.”

A Twitter survey the Council launched today and targeting users in San Francisco and much of the East Bay where BART operates found 81 percent support more police patrols on BART trains and in stations. A total of almost 400 had responded to the survey as of 1 p.m.

The Council is continuing to advocate for a stronger police response to avoid future deadly attacks on the system and address ongoing public safety concerns that threaten to push passengers away from the system and onto already congested roads and highways.


As Housing Crisis Grows, Council Convenes Top Leaders to Identify Solutions

The Bay Area Council Housing Committee on Wednesday (Aug. 8) convened a powerhouse group of elected, labor, government and industry leaders at our offices near the state capitol to explore ways for partnering to move the needle on housing affordability. The group included Senators Nancy Skinner and Scott Wiener, Assemblymember David Chiu, State Building and Construction Trades Council President Robbie Hunter, California Building Industry Association President and CEO Dan Dunmoyer, California Apartment Association Senior Vice President Debra Carlton, and League of California Cities Assistant Legislative Director Jason Rhine.

The meeting represented an important step in finding common ground among different interests on the reasons for the state’s historic housing crisis and possible solutions. There was much agreement about various ways to incentivize and encourage more housing and how to move forward. The discussion covered a range of topics, including rent control, NIMBYism, prevailing wage, redevelopment and the megaregion. Leaders also focused on what the business community can do to support housing, sticks and carrots to incentivize housing production, and creative solutions to increase density in existing neighborhoods.

The urgency of the housing crisis was highlighted in a survey released by the California Association of Realtors’ (CAR) that found housing affordability in the Bay Area is the worst in 10 years. Only 18 percent of Bay Area households are able to purchase a median-priced, single-family home, according to the CAR survey, down from 23 percent last quarter. When broken down by county, the qualifying income for housing affordability in San Francisco and San Mateo spike to $344,440 and $349,740 respectively, lowering the affordability index to 14 percent in those counties. Read more on the findings in CAR’s press release>>

The Housing Committee will meet next on October 3 to identify legislation and policies to pursue in 2019. To engage in the Council’s housing policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.


Sen. Feinstein Leads Landmark Shoreline Restoration Project Launch

Sen. Dianne Feinstein led a group of local, state and federal officials in a ceremony Friday in San Jose’s Alviso neighborhood launching the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project—a massive $177 million effort to build four miles of new levees and restore 3,000 acres of wetlands near San Jose. It’s the largest wetland restoration project outside the Florida Everglades. Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman attended the event, where the Council was recognized for our stalwart support of the project and a 2015 report that highlighted the region’s economic vulnerability to extreme flooding. The Council also received praise for helping lead the successful 2016 regional Measure AA campaign, which will raise $500 million over the next 20 years for multi-benefit restoration and flood protection projects along the San Francisco Bay shoreline.

The Shoreline project has been in the works since at least 2005, following Sen. Feinstein’s leadership in facilitating the historic acquisition of the South Bay Salt Ponds from Cargill and the Council’s effective advocacy in securing federal funding. With funding in place, construction is slated to begin next summer with completion in the next 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 Sen. Feinstein, San Mateo County Supervisor David Pine, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the California Coastal Conservancy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, 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.