Monthly Archives: October 2012

PACT has Impact

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October 30  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s Food for Thought . . . PACT has impact.

PACT – People Acting in Community Together – is a coalition of 26 churches of all faiths – Protestant, Catholic, Hebrew, Muslim, Unitarian – working to empower the powerless in low-income communities throughout Silicon Valley. With 60,000 engaged families, PACT truly makes an impact.

With the Central Labor Council, they created the Children’s Health Initiative, a national model that now ensures that 96 percent of all children in Santa Clara County have affordable, quality health insurance.

With concerned parents, pact has championed the small schools initiative, to ensure that kids get a quality education to achieve their goals.

There is an old saying – “I never said it would be easy; I only said it would be worth it.”

The work of PACT, led for the past 13 years by Matt Hammer, has never been easy. It breaks down barriers of poverty, language, culture and distrust. It builds up faith, families, communities and individuals. It has given a voice to the voiceless, with 350 active and engaged neighborhood leaders.

Silicon Valley is an amazing place – the epicenter of the earth for technological innovation. It is also an amazing place, thanks to groups like PACT, because we never forget that we are at our best when we reach out and help the least.

Presidential Priorities for Silicon Valley

October 22  |  Government Relations, Tax Policy  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . Silicon Valley CEO’s have helped both presidential candidates, but will both candidates help Silicon Valley?

When it comes to Silicon Valley and America’s innovation economy, let’s not forget the issues we need the next commander in chief to champion from the oval office:

* First, a skilled workforce. Americans deserve a great education system for our kids and a smart immigration system to attract the smartest kids from around the globe. It’s not one or the other; it’s both.

* Second, globally competitive tax policies. Unlike competitor nations, our corporate tax rates actually discourage our global companies from bringing earnings home. Fix it.

* Third, we need a national cyber-security policy that protects our citizens and engages our companies.

* Fourth, America needs a comprehensive energy policy, which includes traditional sources while encouraging renewable sources.

* Fifth, we must invest in roads, water, transit and other forms of infrastructure that re-build our cities, alleviate congestion and keep our valley moving.

* Sixth, health care reform must bend the cost curve for employees and employers, and congress needs to drop the tax penalty they placed on medical device companies whose innovation and research save lives.

Both presidential candidates come often to Silicon Valley, but all too often treat us like an ATM machine to simply take our money. They need to also take our ideas if we are to grow America’s innovation economy.

Vote “Yes” on Proposition 31

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October 18  |  Government Relations  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s Food for Thought . . . Sacramento is broken.  Together, we can fix it.

As you prepare to vote there is a state initiative on the ballot that can actually help to fix Sacramento’s dysfunctional budget and governance systems. It’s called Proposition 31.

Proposition 31 focuses on six key ways we can better keep Sacramento accountable to citizens and taxpayers, including:

* Long-term budget planning: A two-year budget cycle so that our legislators plan further ahead.

* Transparency and accountability: A rule that any piece of legislation, including the state budget, must be in print for at least three days before it is voted on.

* Fiscal responsibility: A requirement that any expenditure of $25 million or more must explain where the money will come from to pay for it.

These are proven reforms to ensure fiscal responsibility and accountability, which have been tested and successfully implemented in numerous states around the nation – yet are not currently in effect in California.

It should come as no surprise that these reforms are opposed by many of the special interests that prefer Sacramento stay as broken as it is – because the broken and bankrupt system works just fine for them.

We deserve better. We deserve fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency. We deserve proposition 31. Please join me in voting yes.

Turning a Negative into a Positive

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October 17  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought… Setbacks are really opportunities dressed up like disappointments.

Last week, while on a routine track workout at Los Gatos High School, a flash of hot pain in my right knee stopped me dead in my tracks. After 40 years as an athlete, I instantly knew what the MRI and my doctor would soon confirm- I had torn my meniscus and would need surgery.

Goodbye Rock-n-Roll half marathon, which I have trained for these past four months. Goodbye Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, a race my wife Leslee and I founded which I still direct through our Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation.

Decision time: I could feel sorry for myself or I can look for an opportunity around this obstacle. Attitude is everything.

First, running and biking are now on-hold, so I will focus on becoming a better swimmer.

Second, time spent training can become more time invested in my children Jessica and Siena.

Third, I may not run our Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, but I can root for the 25,000 participants we expect to join us.

When a door is closed to us, it is time to check the windows. Another opportunity may be right there in front of us.

Prop. 39 adds up to fairness

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October 15  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

In California, under current tax law, out-of-state companies can actually be rewarded at tax time for cutting jobs in our state.

Years ago, in a late night budget deal, an obscure tax provision allowed companies to choose the lower rate between two tax formulas. The result of that deal actually penalizes job growth in California.

That’s a hard sell in a state with two million people unemployed, and a harder sell when the loss in state tax revenue exceeds $1 billion annually.

That’s why I’m supporting Proposition 39 on the November ballot. Proposition 39 would balance the playing field between California-based companies with employees working in California, against out-of-state companies who primarily do not employ Californians but sell into our market.

For the first five years, half the funds would go to school and other essential services and half would be directed to energy efficiency and renewable energy projects on schools and businesses, creating tens of thousands of private sector jobs.

Proposition 39 adds up to tax fairness and more jobs: an easy decision for this Californian.

Measure B

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October 4  |  Environment, Federal Issues, Government Relations  |   Carl Guardino

When we hear about a tech company being “under water,” it usually means that their stock is under-performing. Yet in Silicon Valley, it can also be literally “under water,” which is why I support Measure B on the November ballot.

Measure B would allow the Santa Clara Valley Water District to extend an existing parcel tax for “safe, clean water.” The bond would help fix Anderson Dam in Morgan Hill; numerous creeks in Palo Alto, Milpitas and San Jose; and provide flood protection along the Bay near Alviso and San Jose.

Measure B would also reduce toxins, hazards and contaminants, such as mercury and pharmaceuticals from our water ways. And restore fish, bird and wildlife habitat and provide open space access.

Years ago, my home in downtown San Jose flooded during a big storm, causing thousands of dollars of property damage. It is a life long lesson why Measure B is vital to all of us who call Silicon Valley home, but never want to see our homes – or businesses – “under water.”

Please join me and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group with a “Yes” vote on Measure B.