Senior Bay Area legislative staffers this week got a comprehensive briefing on the Bay Area Council Economic Institute’s Roadmap for Economic Resilience as we prepare to pursue legislation that will be needed to implement a number of key recommendations from the report. The Roadmap, which was first unveiled last Friday (Nov. 6), offers a sweeping, new regional economic vision for strengthening the Bay Area’s competitiveness, broadening prosperity, and building resilience against economic swings. It outlines a series of proposed solutions for addressing the region’s housing and traffic crises, streamlining regional governance, promoting the region economically, and closing the workforce gap between universities and employers. The recommendations cover five main areas, including:

Creating the Bay Area Regional Economic Development Partnership, a new entity to help local companies expand and attract new ones, promote and market the region and improve the business climate.
Building more housing by putting teeth in local housing requirements, supporting new incentive structures for cities to build new housing, dramatically expanding the use of second units and, where it makes sense, re-classifying commercial land for residential use.
Reducing the cost of new home construction by streamlining approvals for lower-cost construction types and new building technologies, capping impact fees region-wide and winning reforms to the California Environmental Quality Act.
Improving the efficiency of transportation systems by aligning the region’s 26 transit agencies, focusing on larger transportation corridors and creating a new incentive program that awards grants for innovative traffic-fighting solutions.
Better connecting employers’ skills needs with worker training programs by establishing a Bay Area Collaboration on Workforce Development.

The Council has been approached by several legislators about translating the recommendations into legislation for the 2016 session. To engage in our state government relations work, contact Policy Manager Cornelious Burke.

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