Monthly Archives: March 2012

Leadership Group / Mayor Reed Bring Solution-Minded Mayors to San Jose

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March 27  |  Government Relations, Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s Food for Thought – Do you know the way to San Jose? Fortunately, thanks to the cache of San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and the strength of Silicon Valley’s reputation for innovation, the mayor’s of California’s 10 biggest cities know the way quite well.

For the third year in a row, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Mayor Reed will be co-hosting most of California’s 10 “Big City Mayors” for an informal and fruitful conversation on how we can strengthen California’s economy and job’s climate by strengthening both our state and our regions.

This year’s dinner will include at least seven of the 10 big city mayors and a dozen Silicon Valley ceo’s. In addition to the entrée, we will be serving up in-depth dialogues on the following important issues:

• Budget and governance reform
• Pension reform at both the state and local levels
• High-speed rail and cal-train commuter rail service
• Regulatory reform to create and keep jobs in California

We welcome Mayor Reed and his colleagues from Anaheim, Fresno, Long Beach, Santa Ana, San Francisco and Sacramento – but equally important, we welcome an honest exchange between Silicon Valley ceo’s, and the ceo’s of California’s largest cities.


BART to San Jose: A Success Carried On the Backs of Hundreds

March 14  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Hundreds of people packed the San Jose City Hall Rotunda recently to celebrate the $900 million grant agreement from the federal government for the BART extension to Silicon Valley.

Several notable elected leaders – congress members Zoe Lofgren and Mike Honda, Mayor Chuck Reed and VTA Board Chair Ken Yeager – spoke eloquently about this important success, and I applaud each of them for their roles in making the BART extension happen.

Yet as I looked out into the audience, I could not help but note that such a big success is carried on the shoulders of hundreds of quiet warriors whose part in championing BART should also be celebrated and commemorated:

* Former Mayor Ron Gonzales – for launching the effort and helping to lead the 2000 “measure a” campaign.

* Governor Gray Davis – for authorizing $640 million in state funds.

* City councilman Sam Liccardo – for volunteering on both the 2000 and 2008 campaigns.

* Silicon Valley Leadership Group staff – like Bena Chang, for 80 hour work weeks on the 2008 effort.

* Labor leader Cindy Chavez – for raising money both before, and after, the campaign was completed.

When BART rolls in to San Jose in 2016, enjoy the ride – but also remember that hundreds of hard-working community members came together to make it happen.

Regional Economic Summit

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March 9  |  Government Relations  |   Carl Guardino

Silicon Valley matters.  So does the Central Valley.  And the San Fernando Valley.  And San Diego.  And the Redwood Coast, Orange County , Butte County, and the Sierra Nevada.

The point is, region’s matter – to the success of California and the success of the United States.

On March 30, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group is honored to host the region’s first “Regional Economic Summit,” with similar summits happening this month in 13 regions throughout the state.

Then, on May 11 in San Jose, California’s first statewide economic summit will be held – with feedback from all 14 regional summits guiding the discussion.

Based on an Oregon-model, annually attended by Oregon’s governor and legislative leadership, they listen, learn and then lead their state’s economic efforts after listening to their regions.

Interested? Join us. With real-time polling, each participant will be empowered with a voice and a vote in determining Silicon Valley’s top priorities to grow jobs and strengthen our economy in our region, state and nation.

To learn more, go to the Silicon Valley Leadership Group web site at

Lessons for Life: Let Go

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March 2  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

I have two children. Jessica is seven and Siena is almost three. I often hear, as parents, that we are to teach our children life lessons.

Yet if we stop, listen, and pay attention – there are many life lessons our children will teach us.

Here’s one: Let go.

Just nine days ago, after years of telling me she never wanted to learn how to ride a bike, my seven year old Jessica changed her mind. So on a sunny Sunday morning, I loosened the training wheels off her bicycle, and we set out for the church parking lot to practice. Three 30-minute sessions on day one, with my brave little girl a mixture of excitement and fear, loving her independence but also wanting me to hang on. . . first, to both handlebars.  Then to just one bar.  Then to the back of her seat.

Several lessons and only seven days later, I heard the magic words.  Daddy, let go. Freedom.  Balance. Independence.  I watched my adorable little girl peddle away.

Fast forward ten, 15, 20 years from now, I know this same little girl will be a grown woman, and the freedom, balance and independence I am teaching her today to ride a bicycle, will blossom into all aspects of her life.

The only difference? When she peddles away today, I know she will come back to me.  Someday, when she peddles away – drives away – she will only come back if I am the daddy that she truly deserves . . . one who is not so focused on my career, that I ever lose sight of my family.