Bay Area Council Blog


Bay Area Business Leadership Shaping Climate Change Agenda

By Andrew Michael

Climate Change initiatives at the global level and our emerging regional partnership should be informed by Bay Area Council members. Therefore, the Bay Area Council membership should know that the Governors’ Global Climate Summit, November 18 – 19, 2008, at the Beverly Hills Hilton, will prepare for a meeting in December in Poland and a final meeting in Copenhagen in 2009 to create a framework for a New Global Climate Change Agreement. Bay Area Council Energy Committee Chair and Senior Vice President for PG&E, Nancy McFadden will speak on the first panel on collaborating on greenhouse gas reporting efforts. The event is by invitation only and a webcast will be made available to members. Click here for more information on this summit.

Secondly, on December 1, 2008, 9:30 – 11:30 AM in Sacramento, Bay Area Council members are invited to provide input on a tool kit being developed by the California Air Resources Board to assist businesses voluntarily reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Though it is posed as a workshop for small businesses, many of the issues are relevant to businesses based in the Bay Area. Let me know if you’d like to join me in Sacramento at Click here for more information on this workshop.


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

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2008 Bay Area Council Scholars Announced

Congratulations to the 2008 Bay Area Council Scholars! The Bay Area Council Scholarship Program has had the benefit of receiving incredible and diverse applicants from every county of the Bay Area. We would like to thank our dedicated Scholarship Committee for their help in selecting the 10 most qualified students from an outstanding pool of applicants.

We are proud to present the 2008 class of Bay Area Council Scholars, another amazing group of students who have demonstrated strong potential to succeed despite the odds, and a passion for giving back to their communities. Click on their names or photos below to learn more about them.

Aurora Castellanos
College: U.C. Berkeley
Hometown: Oakland
High School: Metwest High School
Career Goal: Attorney or Teacher
Brenda Castro Serrato
College: Mills College
Hometown: Oakland
High School: Metwest High School
Career Goal: Teacher/Psychologist
Bianca Flores
College: University of San Francisco
Hometown: San Francisco
High School: Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory
Career Goal: Pediatrician
Faith Genove
College: U.C. Berkeley
Hometown: San Leandro
High School: Arroyo High School
Career Goal: Neurosurgeon, Neurologist or Psychologist
Christina Leung
College: U.C. Berkeley
Hometown: Alameda
High School: Alameda High School
Career Goal: Biology
Devvrat Malhotra
College: U.C. Davis
Hometown: Stockton
High School: Edison Senior High School
Career Goal: Medical Doctor
Angelo Nono
College: U.C. Berkeley
Hometown: South San Francisco
High School: Mills High School
Career Goal: International Relations
Judy Pun
College: U.C. Davis
Hometown: Oakland
High School: Oakland High School
Career Goal: Fire Fighter
Marvin Salazar
College: U.C. Berkeley
Hometown: San Pablo
High School: Richmond High School
Career Goal: Green Engineer
Chelsi Lia Vining
College: U.C. Berkeley
Hometown: Newark
High School: Newark Memorial High School
Career Goal: Medicine

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.


Bay Area Council Foundation Awarded $125,000 Grant for Preschool Initiative

By Chandra Alexandre

We have just received word of a grant award from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in the amount of $125,000 for our Bay Area Employer Engagement Initiative for Early Childhood Education. We’re tremendously excited about this grant for a project effort geared toward achieving a strong, local business support-base for preschool throughout the Bay Area region. Specifically, we’re beginning the process of building a constituency for statewide preschool for four year olds–please contact Linda Galliher, VP of Education, if you are interested in learning more.

Objectives of the initiative are to:

  • Increase corporate and public awareness of the power of ECE strategies to improve student academic achievement, lessen the social burden on taxpayers, and help expand the workforce and employees’ career opportunities.
  • Mobilize senior executive-level corporate leadership to promote and sustain business-education partnerships that support systemic change, e.g., increased efficiencies and enhanced outcomes.
  • Provide forums for business leaders to collaborate in focusing and aligning their education and workforce preparation investments to maximize impact.
  • Leverage the involvement of business to help: a) support ECE; b) articulate preschool with K-12; c) optimize data use and make continuous improvements; and d) make systemic school improvements.
  • Ensure quality, measurement, and accountability for results.

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


Big Step in Fight for “Cap and Trade”

Yesterday, the California Air Resources Board released the long anticipated draft Scoping Plan for the Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as AB 32. The recommendations outline a plan to reduce emissions from the covered sectors by almost 30 percent from “status quo.” Perhaps most noteworthy about the proposal is the very clear embrace of a cap and trade system. The Bay Area Council began work on AB 32 two years before its eventual passage. With strong input from our Energy Committee, on June 28, 2006 the Council’s Executive Committee voted to adopt a supportive position on AB 32. We were the first major business group to step forward in this manner. Our members met with legislators, sent in notes, faxes and phone calls pushing for an appropriate version of this bill that would enable cap and trade, not heavy-handed regulation, to achieve the reduction goals. The final version of the bill allowed cap and trade, but didn’t require it. There has been heated debate ever since, and CARB’s support of cap and trade is a big step. AB 32 will have profound effects on all Bay Area Council members, and, frankly, all of us as individuals. The time to shape the plan is now, as the final Scoping Plan will be done in October. Our next Energy Committee meeting on July 9th is fully committed to this issue and all members are invited. We will have the following guests: Darren Bouton, Deputy Cabinet Secretary to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kevin Kennedy, an architect of the new program from CARB, and Jean Roggenkamp, from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Please click here for the agenda and meeting details. RSVP 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.