Council Delegation hits Washington on Jobs Agenda

By George Broder

The day after the President released his first budget, a Bay Area Council delegation was at the White House and on Capitol Hill pressing for the quick adoption and implementation of proposals that will deliver new jobs to the state and region.

The timing was perfect for the Council’s second public policy focused trip to Washington, with a “Transportation, Infrastructure and Jobs” emphasis. Click here to see the complete Policy Book, which details Council recommendations for the next Surface Transportation Act, FAA Reauthorization Act, and continued enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). In summary, the Council believes that “…federal transportation policy must narrow its focus to a small number of areas of greatest national significance,” that will deliver the maximum benefit to the vasty majority of Americans who live and work in our country’s major metropolitan areas.

Along with Council President & CEO Jim Wunderman, the group was led by Transportation and Land Use Committee Chair Michael Covarrubias, Government Relations Committee Chair Andrew Giacomini, Transportation Funding Subcommittee Chair Stuart Sunshine, and BAC Executive Committee member Andy Ball. Public sector leaders Steve Heminger, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Transportation Committee, and Omar Benjamin, Executive Director of the Port of Oakland, were also part of the group.

Meetings on “the Hill” were held with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congresswomen Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren, newly elected Congressman John Garamendi (our sole representative on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee), Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio (senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit), and Senator Barbara Boxer.

After a substantive meeting with senior officials at the Department of Transportation, it was over to the White House to see Derek Douglas and Adolfo Carrion, the Special Assistant to the President for Urban Policy and Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs, respectively. Derek and Adolfo challenged the BAC to help them devise and drive a national strategy that is precise enough to be effective, with the flexibility to be adapted and successful at the local level. We will be following up on this, with the involvement of the BAC members who went to DC, and others.

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