Message from CEO Jim Wunderman

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I hope this finds you all safe and healthy. These are unprecedented times. Our world has been turned upside down and inside out. Despite all the anxiety, fear and uncertainty swirling around us, it’s also encouraging and uplifting to see how everyone is coming together to overcome this crisis and help each other.

Even as we adjust to radically different work and living environments, folks are stepping up in amazing ways and demonstrating the compassion and resilience that has carried us through past crises. Many challenges still lie ahead of us, but I’m optimistic that by working together and supporting each other we will prevail.

The Bay Area Council offices are physically closed, but virtually wide open, and we not slowing down by any means.  Quite the opposite.  We are switching to virtual meetings and adopting new tools to help us work remotely and are somewhat overwhelmed continuing to serve our members and the region. Here’s a quick summary of some of the things we’re working on:

  • Many, many of our members have come to us with urgent needs as a result of the crisis and the shutdowns.  We are rapidly problem solving for them with city, county and state officials.
  • Beyond those that got it touch with us, we are actively reaching out directly to our members to learn what else we can do, and how we can fix problems or get answers.
  • We are facilitating the purchase and delivery of badly needed medical supplies from our partners in China.
  • Through our Economic Institute, researching the economic impacts on the Bay Area stemming from COVID-19.
  • We are gathering best practices from our members in this unique Bay Area setting and will share the best practices with other members.
  • Creating a new page on our website to house information and resources for understanding and navigating the crisis. This is a work in progress and we’ll be updating it regularly.
  • Gathering information from our members about all the ways they’re taking action to help ease the health, economic and financial impacts of the crisis.
  • Preparing a series of webinars covering a range of public health and business continuity topics to help members plan for the future and navigate changes already taking place.
  • Researching what various public health and other legislative and policy actions – shelter in place – mean for employers and employees and helping our members understand their role.
  • Partnering with other organizations to advocate for state and federal emergency funding to increase services for the homeless and other vulnerable populations and blunt the impacts on public transportation systems from reduced ridership and other revenue.
  • Continuing to advance our regular policy priorities in housing, transportation, homelessness, workforce and climate resilience, among others.

Thank you for everything you’re doing in this time of need. With your continuing support, the Bay Area Council is doing everything in our power to help you, your companies and this great region emerge from this crisis healthy, safe and strong.

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