Winning Together: Silicon Valley as a Sustainable Valley

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June 22  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

Take a hike!

Our Board of Directors unanimously supports state legislation for Open Space, later signed into law, once again underscoring that our efforts enhance a strong economy combined with a healthy environment.  Our support for Open Space continues, as we once again partner with the Greenbelt Alliance in 1994 for voter approval of the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority.  Since its inception, tens of thousands of acres of open space have been permanently protected in perpetuity.  Silicon Valley, with the leadership of employees, can be a Sustainable Valley.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

Winning Together: You win some and you lose some

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June 21  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

Monte Bello Open Space Preserve in Palo Alto

You win some and you lose some.

And we often learn more from our defeats than our victories.

The year was 1990, and the engineers and entrepreneurs who lead and run innovation economy companies in Silicon Valley once again reveal their passion for the environment.

In partnership with the Greenbelt Alliance, the Santa Clara County Manufacturing Group champions a countywide Open Space Initiative on the November ballot.  To underscore the importance of a quality environment for our workers and their families, David Packard personally leads a nature hike with the Board of Directors.  In spite of a strong campaign, the two-thirds vote requirement for this new tax falls short, while still earning more than 64 percent yes vote.

The loss however, and the lessons learned, sets the stage for a successful Open Space measure just four years later, again with the strong support of the “Manufacturing Group” under the overall leadership of the Greenbelt Alliance.

Together, we place a stall on sprawl, with tens of thousands of acres of open space permanently preserved.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

Winning Together: “Tax & Spend,” or “Invest & Prosper.”

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June 20  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

“Tax & Spend,” or “Invest & Prosper.”  It’s all about perspective.

In 1989, the statewide effort was underway to come to terms with the terrible conditions of California’s local streets, state highways and mass transit inadequacies.  Republican Governor George Deukmejian and the Democrat-controlled State Legislature decided enough was enough.  In Bipartisan fashion, the Governor and Legislature laid the groundwork for an increase in the state’s gas tax by nine cents per gallon.  The Santa Clara County Manufacturing Group stepped up to lead the campaign in Silicon Valley.  This year-long effort led to success both in Santa Clara County and throughout the state, giving a much-needed boost to the state’s crumbling infrastructure.

Unfortunately, the gas tax was not indexed for inflation.  Within two decades, this bold bipartisan fix will have lost half of its buying power.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

Winning Together: It’s a Gas!

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June 19  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

Consensus is not always easy, but almost always a better outcome. It was certainly that way in 1988, when the Santa Clara County Manufacturing Group found common ground with the City Managers throughout Santa Clara County, along with the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, to draft a stringent countywide ordinance to add further controls on potentially toxic gases used in the county. The ordinance focused on any gas user, both private and public sectors, to respond to the increased concern over the potential release of toxic gases.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

Winning Together: We are all replaceable

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June 16  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

It’s January of 1987, and with the change of the calendar comes a change in leadership at the Santa Clara County Manufacturing Group.

Gary Burke welcomes Governor Peter Wilson’s at the 1994 Santa Clara County Manufacturing Group Governor’s Visit

After a solid 9 years of visionary guidance, our first CEO steps down to serve as the first CEO of the newly established Tech Museum of Innovation.  Peter Giles, who led our organization since four weeks after its founding in January of 1978, hands over the reins to IBM Executive and former Working Council Chairman Gary Burke.

That same month, with the election of just the 6th Working Council Chair, the organization elects its first woman to the prominent leadership role.  LaJune Bush of IBM takes the reins for the next two years.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

Winning Together: Sometimes the best offense is a good defense.

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June 15  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

Jay Harris, San Jose Mercury News Publisher and SCVMG Board Member, speaks with 200 community leaders as the Manufacturing Group celebrates the opening of Highway 85.

Sometimes the best offense is a good defense.

That proved to be the case in 1986, when the Leadership Group had to play a defensive action against a citywide ballot measure in Saratoga to stop the construction of Highway 85 – funded through the 1984 Measure A – through the City.  The citywide ballot measure was soundly defeated.

Concurrently, the Leadership Group Board of Directors, working in tandem with the Golden Triangle Task Force, calls for a countywide system of carpool lanes, building on the one on Lawrence Expressway.  The goal is to not only move more cars, but to move more people per car, throughout the Valley.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

Winning Together: Better Together

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June 14  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

Better Together.

The year was 1985, after the historic success of the “Measure A” transportation sales tax measure to build Highway 85 and improve Highways 101 and 237.  Working to maximize the improvements in Measure A, the Leadership Group co-created the “Golden Triangle Task Force” with six cities, including San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale.  The ambitious goal of the Task Force was to link transportation, housing, jobs and land use.  Thousands of acres were re-zoned to residential development.  Voluntary employee commute programs were instituted as scores of companies and cities cooperated not only with each other, but with the private sector to a higher degree than formerly realized.

The Golden Triangle Task Force eventually merged with the countywide Congestion Management Agency.

Winning Together: Oh, What A Relief It Is

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June 13  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

Leadership Group members meet with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren in 2013.

Traffic Relief, that is.

It’s 1984, and our traffic challenges are down-right Orwellian.

But an unusual partnership changes the Valley forever, and becomes a role model for the entire state.

While sitting on her porch, an expectant mother named Zoe Lofgren lamented the diminished quality of life caused by unbearable traffic that would be the fate of her future son.  With a view to shape the future, rather than bend to it, she reached out to “Santa Clara County Manufacturing Group” CEO Peter Giles.  Together, they created a bold and innovative plan for a half-cent sales tax to build Highway 85, improve Highway 101 and turn the two-lane road with a half-dozen traffic lights called Highway 237 into a full freeway.

It required enabling legislation out of Sacramento (check) in time for a November election across the County.  The Leadership Group and Supervisor Lofgren ran the campaign, raising $600,000 to get the message out, and won by 56 percent of the vote.  YES, that was before the state switched the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for local tax measures.

Epilogue – All three improvements – Highways 85, 101 and 237 – were completed within ten years as promised.  “On time and On budget” became a mantra for future successful transportation sales tax measures.  Santa Clara County became what is known as a “Self-Help County.”

That “Self-Help County” movement is stronger than ever.  Today, 24 of California’s 58 Counties are “Self-Help Counties,” and generate more than half of the transportation dollars currently invested in our State.

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?

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June 12  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

Members of the Leadership Group meet at our most recent annual CEO BBQ

The year is 1983, and San Jose Mercury News President & Publisher Tony Ridder invites Governor Jerry Brown to his home for dinner. Leadership Group Founder David Packard, Co-Founder of Hewlett Packard, joins the dinner party with the entire Leadership Group Board of Directors. What’s cooking? The need for a sound energy policy, and transportation improvements like preserving the long empty Right-of-Way for a future Highway 85 and Highway 87. The Governor took the “food for thought” seriously, and his strong relationship with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs continued.

This dinner built on the format of an Annual Board BBQ, launched by David Packard since the organization began in 1978, in which he invited the Leadership Group Board of Directors, the Governor and a very select group of elected officials to his ranch. He personally flipped the steaks; such was his servant-leader approach to building relationships of friendship and trust.

The same year, David Packard hosted a “President’s Conference,” in which 50 of the 75 Member Company CEOs participated. The high level participation by Leadership Group member companies continues to lead to ambitious, visionary goals that make our work worthwhile.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

Winning Together: Diamonds are Forever, Especially on Freeways

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June 9  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

Diamonds are forever, especially on our freeways and expressways.

It was 1982, and our efforts to ease traffic congestion resulted in two new initiatives championed by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. The first was the creation of the “Highway 237 Task Force,” which at the time was a two-lane road with a half-dozen traffic lights. The second was our support for the creation of the County’s first “Carpool Lane,” added to Lawrence Expressway, to encourage shared rides during commute times. Love ’em or hate ’em, carpool lanes carry more people than mixed flow lanes.

1982 was also a big year for a better environment, with employers – through the Leadership Group – co-leading the way to create the “Model Chemical Storage Ordinance,” adopted here and then exported and emulated throughout the state and nation.

Our Organization was now five years old, with 75 active members, tackling some of the toughest challenges facing our region.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.