Good news this week – high speed rail is coming to the Valley. Well, the central valley anyway.
As the CEO of the Silicon Valley – not central valley – leadership group, my reaction – to the surprise of some – is positive. In fact, the central valley alignment is the right choice.
Why? High-speed rail is for California’s future, and a purely parochial view is the wrong way to build momentum for a system that someday should run 700 miles from Los Angeles to Silicon Valley to San Francisco.
Before it can run 700 miles, however, it needs to run somewhere. Let’s do the math. We have $12 billion for a project with a price tag of $45 billion. The central valley extension – from Fresno to Merced (my preference) or Fresno to Bakersfield – would cover nearly 100 miles at a cost of less than $10 billion. The central valley is the fastest growing region of California, and also has devastating rates of unemployment.
And perhaps – just perhaps – this might motivate folks along the peninsula to realize what we are missing, and come together with an affordable, appropriate alignment that meets the needs of our valley – the Silicon Valley.
High speed rail is on-track.
Last Tuesday night, the long campaign season came to an end. Now, the important work of governing must begin.
At the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, we urge our leaders – at the federal, state and local levels – to focus on the important issues we face to create a climate in which we can get __ million unemployed Americans, and 2 million unemployed Californians, back to work.
Here’s a secret most voters know, but not every elected official knows- It doesn’t mean taking America to the left, or to the right; it means moving America forward. It means Congress, and Sacramento, and City Hall, working together, just like the rest of us do every day.
And here’s a start. At the request of Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Leadership Group has developed a bi-partisan plan for America, with specific policy recommendations to create U.S. Manufacturing Jobs. The six-point plan is not exhaustive, but it’s a pretty strong start to help America compete against other nations. You can find it on our web site at svlg.org. Read it, and tell us what you think. Equally important, tell our elected leaders what you think.
After the fun of my wedding ceremony, the real work of being married began. After the exhilaration of the election, the real work of governing must begin.