Council’s D.C. Week Comes at Key Time, Helps Deepen Important Relationships
With the recent passage of the federal COVID relief package and ahead of an expected federal infrastructure bill, the Bay Area Council’s virtual D.C. Week couldn’t have come at a more important time. Behind the leadership of Council Chair Mary Huss, CEO Jim Wunderman and Government Relations Committee Chair Rebecca Prozan of Google, Council members engaged in substantive discussions throughout the week with top legislative and White House leaders on a wide range of topics. We advocated for the Bay Area’s key priorities on such issues as transportation funding, housing and homelessness, climate resilience, wildfire prevention, water supply, U.S.-China relations, the megaregion, and restoration of the SALT deduction.
We were honored to meet with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, White House Cabinet Secretary Evan Ryan, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Bay Area Congressional Representatives Mark DeSaulnier, who was joined by Rep. Pete DeFazio, Chair of the powerful House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; Jared Huffman; Barbara Lee; Zoe Lofgren; Jackie Speier; Eric Swalwell; and Mike Thompson; as well as Representatives John Garamendi, Josh Harder, and Jay Obernolte who hails from the Inland Empire.
In a follow up to our trip to India, we were honored to welcome Indian Ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu for a discussion on the growing connections between our two countries. The Bay Area Council is a strong advocate for increasing the Bay Area’s global economic connections and we are excited about the opportunity to partner with India.
Top D.C. experts from Council member companies Venable; Latham & Watkins; and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP also shared insights on the budget reconciliation process, Supreme Court and climate change policies.
The action-packed week highlighted the importance of deepening relationships in D.C., and Wunderman took the opportunity to announce that the Council will be opening a new office in the nation’s capital. For now, we’ll be following up our discussions with White House and Congressional leaders to share additional information about our work and how the Council can play a leading role in representing the Bay Area’s interest in D.C.
Although we weren’t able to meet in person and many are growing weary Zoom meetings, many of our attendees commented on how productive, engaging and informative the meetings were. Thanks to Council staff Gwen Litvak, Kirsten Vernon, Justin Seiter, Anna Sciaruto, Anna Guidry, Frank Holland and Rufus Jeffris for organizing our D.C. Week.
The Council extends its thanks to event sponsors Alaska Airlines, Raley’s, Hanson Bridgett, HNTB, California Hotel and Lodging Association, New Deal Advisers, Waymo and Platinum Advisors. To engage in our federal policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Gwen Litvak.