Wall Street Journal: Taking a Stand for Bay Area Business

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When there is high-stakes action involving the Bay Area, Jim Wunderman is often among the first to get involved.

Jim Wunderman says the freedom to suggest ideas outside the norm is what makes the Bay Area’s business culture unique.

The Bay Area Council, the nonprofit business group he heads, spearheaded Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s trip to China in September. They toured the World Expo in Shanghai and announced plans to try to bring the 2020 Expo to San Francisco.

Mr. Wunderman also is working behind the scenes to get a high-speed rail system between San Francisco and San Diego. And the 53-year-old was behind a well-publicized—and failed—attempt to get a vote for a constitutional convention that would revise or rewrite California’s constitution in the midterm elections.

Mr. Wunderman, a Bronx native who now lives in Walnut Creek, has headed the Bay Area Council, which advocates for business-friendly public policy, since 2004. Prior to that, he managed government relations for Providian Financial Corp. and also worked in the administration of former San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, among other positions. He discussed Gov.-elect Jerry Brown’s interest in clean tech and the continuing challenges facing the Bay Area economy, and joked about running the state himself.

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