Monthly Archives: December 2015

Failing to plan is planning to fail

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December 23  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Nearly 200 executives from 120 member companies of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group gathered on Dec. 16 at Santa Clara University to debate and decide our 2016 action plan to strengthen our region and state’s economy and to improve the quality of life for our employees, their families and the broader community.

Top of the list: Traffic. As we have successfully accomplished 4 times in 3 decades, the Leadership Group is once again willing to lead efforts in Santa Clara County for a transportation funding measure in November of 2016 to finalize the BART extension, double the capacity of Caltrain Commuter Rail Service, improve basic transit service for seniors, students, workers and the disabled, improve bike and pedestrian facilities – especially near schools, ease traffic congestion on all eight county expressways (Almaden, Capitol, Central, Foothill, Lawrence, Montague, Oregon and San Tomas); key highway interchanges on 101, 85, 87, 280 and 237, and to fill potholes and maintain streets in all 15 cities and towns.

A recent “call for projects” by the Valley Transportation Authority identified $47.8 billion in transportation funding needs. At most, a transportation measure will generate $6 billion over 30 years. Like we all do with our family budgets, this means setting priorities to build a system of transportation improvements that provides relief throughout the County, identifies specific improvements and offers the accountability that we, as taxpayers, deserve. Interested in helping? Contact the Leadership Group. Gridlock might describe our nation’s politics, but it doesn’t have to describe our local roads and highways.

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Santas and Reindeer, Doers and Donors

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December 17  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

Thank you to the slightly more than 1,800 “Santas” and “Reindeer” that endured wind, rain and hail on Sunday at the 4th Annual TiVo “Santa Run Silicon Valley” to benefit Christmas in the Park, Downtown Ice and Reading Partners. I’m always amazed and inspired by the spirit of community we are collectively building in Silicon Valley, especially the commitment of all the Santa Run participants, including the 150 children in the SunPower “Kids Reindeer Run,” which was new this year. Together, in just four years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation has been able to donate nearly $400,000 to support these time-honored holiday traditions that attract 500,000 people to downtown San Jose. Some communities are filled with talkers and takers. Silicon Valley is populated with doers and donors.

Carl Guardino
President & CEO Silicon Valley Leadership Group

Originally published in the San Jose Mercury News Readers’ letters: http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_29257538/readers-letters

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We Stand Tallest When We Help a Child

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December 9  |  Education  |   Carl Guardino

YMLS - Willie Brown

Willie Brown with 100 boys from Willie Brown Middle School and 70 male mentors

Here’s food for thought . . . We stand tallest when we bend down to help a child.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group hosted our latest “Young Men’s Leadership Summit” on December 8 at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

With 70 caring, adult mentors and 100 middle school students from the Willie L. Brown Middle School in San Francisco’s Bayview District, we focused on the future of these bright, alive and energetic young men.

Coming from an area where nearly 90 percent of their student population is eligible for the government’s “Free and Reduced Price Lunch” program, these are great kids living in financially challenging neighborhoods.

Our focus was on a future made better by staying in, and excelling at, school. By studying math and science. By engaging with others through sports, the arts and in-school and after-school clubs.

A day of inspiration is always a step in the right direction. But a bigger step, the one we as adults all can make, is to take the next step to support and tutor a child. This holiday season, give a kid a better gift. For 2016, commit to just 1 hour a week, for as little as 10 weeks, through Reading Partners or other tutoring programs that link caring adults with K through 8th grade kids in a safe, supportive environments.

Want more information? Contact the Leadership Group. Check out our “1,000 Hearts for 1,000 Minds” tutoring initiative. Bend down; lift up a child. In turn, you will stand taller than you ever have before.

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TiVo “Santa Run Silicon Valley”

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December 2  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino
Santa Run shirt 2015

2015 TiVo “Santa Run Silicon Valley” race shirt

Here’s food for thought . . . When a door is closed, a window might be open.

Five years ago, the Governor and state Legislature took away “Redevelopment Agencies” from local jurisdictions, including cities like San Jose.

Right or wrong, this state action almost cratered two of Silicon Valley’s most time-honored, holiday celebrations: Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice.

In the 6-week run of Christmas in the Park, 500,000 people pour downtown to enjoy the displays, rides, ice skating or hot chocolate that goes with our crisp yet clear winter nights. To benefit the on-going success of Christmas in the park and Downtown Ice, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, member company TiVo and Mayor Sam Liccardo stepped forward to build additional revenue while building a fun new tradition for the community – with our TiVo “Santa Run Silicon Valley,” on Sunday afternoon, December 13.

You have never truly smiled until you have witnessed nearly 4,500 people dressed up like Santa Claus, running or walking a 5-k, as they chase “the Grinch” – our own County Assessor Larry Stone – in a ZipCar through downtown San Jose. With a finish line decked out with a snow machine, each “Santa” is greeted at Christmas in the Park with the same warmth Saint Nick receives when coming down the chimney – with milk and cookies appropriate for his arrival.

Fun aside, “Santa Run Silicon Valley” further ensures that each of us, as members of this community, support and strengthen holiday favorites like Christmas in the Park. Join us. Let’s show our state that when they remove government agencies that help fund key programs in our local communities, that we can rally – year after year – to keep this season of giving fun and festive for tens of thousands of families.

When the doors close, check the windows. Or do what Santa does and come down the chimney.

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