Author Archives: Carl Guardino

Which Words Describe You?

No Comments
December 7  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . What words best describe you?

For many of us, the holidays can be a time for reflection, rest and renewal. For others, it’s a hectic hustle and hassle.

As 2016 becomes something to glance at in our rearview mirror, and we look forward with either delight or dread at 2017, take stock in yourself. Are you the person you hope to be?

Take pen to paper and write down five words you believe best describe you.

Then ask five friends, family members or co-workers to do the same. Pick people that will write five words about you that truly reflect your character; people who care enough about you to be truthful with you.

What words did you pick to describe yourself? What words did others select for you and about you? Do any of the words match up? Are they words that soothe or sting?

For me, the first five words that come to mind are caring, compassionate, obsessive, messy and driven. I plan to seek some changes in 2017, to be less obsessed, a bit more organized and find more balance in my life.

My kids need to see their daddy more often. My wife could use a helping hand more consistently. My colleagues at work would probably prefer to see me less intense and smiling more.

How about you? Who do you want to be? Equally important, who do you want to become? The New Year starts soon. A New You can start even sooner.

Let’s Talk Turkey. Turkey Trot, That Is.

No Comments
November 17  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

ttrotcarlHere’s food for thought . . . Let’s talk turkey.  Turkey Trot, that is.

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving.  If you have a roof over your head, food on the table and a steady job or income, then let’s face it . . . you are blessed.

Sadly, there are several hundred thousand people in Silicon Valley – often our own neighbors – who are not so blessed.

We live in a Valley in which any given night nearly 10,000 people – including women and children – live on the streets or in our creeks.

We live in a Valley in which seniors, parents and kids make the awful choice on whether to pay their rent or afford food on any given day.

We live in a Valley in which health care is deferred or coverage is denied, as a luxury rather than the necessity that it is.

That’s why this Thanksgiving morning, I am asking you to join the Guardino family for our 12th Annual Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot” in downtown San Jose.

For some it’s a race, a run or a walk.  For others, like me, it’s about building community and helping those in need. Whatever your motivation, sign up today.  Together, if we meet our goals, we will contribute $1 million to local families in need.  Go to svturkeytrot.com to register and know you have taken a step forward in helping others.

Tagged ,

When Voting, Don’t Stop at the Top

No Comments
November 2  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Don’t Stop at the Top . . . Much has been written and said about a “crowded ballot” facing California voters this election season. With 17 statewide initiatives, two countywide ballot measures and – depending on the City or Town you call home – more local measures as well.

So here’s my advice to my fellow voters here in Santa Clara County – “don’t stop at the top.” You may be angry and anxious about one or both of your choices for our next president. I understand. But numerous state and local choices deserve your discerning decision-making. Let me name two.

In Silicon Valley, two of our greatest concerns are the flip side of the same coin; too much traffic and a lack of homes our families can afford. That warrants a close look at Measures A and B.

Measure A is an affordable housing bond, with a principal focus on homeless housing for the estimated 7,500 people without shelter on any given night. Currently, the cost of services, shelter and public safety associated with the band-aid approach we have taken to address our homeless crisis is $500 million annually. Measure A, with a “Housing First” model, could provide safe housing and services for as many as 5,000 people currently on the streets and near our creeks.

Measure B is our traffic relief & road repair initiative, carefully crafted over years of effort with thousands of everyday citizens’ actively engaged in 48 public hearings. Built by traffic engineers and transportation directors, Measure B would provide meaningful countywide congestion relief, cost-effective transit options and a significant focus on the crumbling conditions of our local streets and roads. It’s positive impact on our economy, including local employers small and large, has earned the unanimous endorsement of all 13 Chambers of Commerce, from Palo Alto in the north to Gilroy in the south, representing tens of thousands of small and mid-sized businesses. Learn more at YesMeasureB.com

In many ways, this election season’s ugliness at the “top of the ticket” seems more like a “race to the bottom.” But when voting, make your voice heard. Join me; don’t stop at the top.

Traffic Jams

No Comments
October 26  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Traffic Jams: they can sour every trip we take in Santa Clara County.

That’s why we support Measure B. Like a jigsaw puzzle, Measure B puts all the pieces together for a sweeter commute:

* First, we finish the job on BART, bringing it to East San Jose, San Jose State, the SAP Center and all the way to Santa Clara University.

* Second, we link BART with an electrified Caltrain, at the SAP Center and across the street from Santa Clara University, for rapid rail around the entire Bay Area.

* Third, we ensure seniors, the disabled, students and working families have the lifeline and core transit service they deserve.

* Fourth, we build bicycle and pedestrian improvements, especially near our schools, including our 10 universities and colleges.

* Fifth, we improve highway interchanges and all 10 County Expressways.

* Finally, one of every five dollars fills potholes in all 15 cities and towns.

Traffic jams have turned our commute sour. Measure B makes them sweet again.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Traffic Relief we Need, Accountability we Deserve

No Comments
October 19  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Okay, truth be told – I hate taxes. I just hate traffic more.

So why am I leading and funding a traffic relief and road repair initiative on the November ballot – known as Measure B?

First, Measure B provides the traffic relief, transit alternatives and road repair funds we need:

  • We finish the job in bringing BART to Silicon Valley, with stations at Alum Rock, next to San Jose State, the SAP Arena and Santa Clara University.
  • We build on the electrification of Caltrain commuter rail service, to add capacity and safety improvements.
  • We fund street maintenance and pothole repairs in all 15 cities and towns.
  • We ease traffic on all 10 County Expressways – like Almaden, Capitol, Lawrence and San Tomas.
  • We fix interchanges on all 8 Highways that tie us up in traffic knots, like 87, 17, 237, 85, 101, 280, 680 and 880.
  • And we don’t leave our senior citizens or those with disabilities stranded at the curb, by ensuring lifeline and core transit service for those without cars or no longer able to use their cars.

Second, Measure B ensures the accountability provisions we deserve:

  • With Annual Independent Audits,
  • A Citizens Watchdog Committee to oversee the funds,
  • And a 2/3 vote requirement at the ballot box, so that every dollar can only be used for the specific traffic improvements in the measure.

Santa Clara County is a great place to live and work, but traffic congestion taxes my patience. With Measure B, we start to unlock the gridlock with guarantees needed to ensure accountability.

Learn for yourself at YesMeasureB.com.

Puzzled by Traffic Congestion

No Comments
October 7  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Are you puzzled by the traffic congestion that has crippled our region? Then join us to pass Measure B – for Better Commutes & Better Roads – on the November ballot.

Like a Jigsaw Puzzle, each piece of Measure B is important on its own, but fits together like a Jigsaw Puzzle for countywide congestion relief, transit alternatives and road repairs to fix the crumbling conditions of our local streets & roads.

jigsaw-puzzle-image

First, it finishes the job on bringing BART to downtown San Jose and on to Santa Clara, connecting to Caltrain Commuter Rail service with platform-to-platform transfers.

Second, it builds on the electrification of Caltrain, which begins in 2020, so that we have “rapid rail around the entire Bay Area,” with vital capacity & safety improvements for Caltrain passengers.

Third, it ensures we have lifeline service and core transit service for seniors, people with disabilities, students and people of modest means.

Fourth, we finally add a “Transit-only solution” in the empty “center median” in Highway 85 – long preserved yet never funded until Measure B.

Fifth, we fund bike and pedestrian safety improvements, especially near our schools.

Sixth, we fix 20 key interchanges and auxiliary lanes on Highways 101, 280, 680, 17, 87, 237 and 85.

Seventh, we improve all 10 County expressways, easing congestion on each expressway and taking the pressure off of adjoining neighborhood streets.

Finally, nearly one of every five dollars will improve local streets and fix potholes in all 15 cities and towns.

Measure B is like a Jigsaw Puzzle with each piece vital on its own, yet fits together to provide comprehensive, countywide traffic relief. For more details, visit YesMeasureB.com.

Tagged , ,

We Need an Army, Not an Audience

1 Comments
August 31  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino
Lawrence traffic

Lawrence Expressway

Here’s food for thought . . . In Silicon Valley, we don’t need an audience, we need an army.

On Tuesday, it took me 60 minutes to travel seven miles on Lawrence Expressway.

And I was in the carpool lane. It’s past time that we stopped fuming, and starting fixing the traffic congestion problems that plague our daily commutes.

It makes me more motivated than ever about our three-plus year effort to pass Measure B, for Better Commutes and Better Roads. Designed by traffic engineers and transportation professionals, Measure B will have a Game-Changing impact on key corridors like Lawrence, which will go from a “Level of Service F,” – near gridlock in the a.m. and p.m. commutes – to “Level of Service A” – near free-flow – throughout the day.

Please, learn more at YesMeasureB.com.

But back to our need for an army, not an audience, if Measure B is to be successful on November 8. In Silicon Valley, in our community, we don’t need an “audience” –

>> An audience is interested; but an army is involved
>> An audience sits back; while an army stands up
>> An audience puts others down; while an army lifts others up

Join me. Enlist today. Contact me directly at 408-501-7864, or visit YesMeasureB.com. Let’s get Silicon Valley moving again.

Tagged , , , , , ,

BART and Caltrain, On-Track and Ready to Roll

No Comments
August 17  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . BART and Caltrain, on-track and ready to roll.

This week, Governor Brown’s Secretary of Transportation, Brian Kelley, announced the 14 transportation improvements that are recipients of the highly competitive “Cap-and-Trade” funds.

Two of the top priorities from around the state are $20 million to help complete the planned electrification of Caltrain, and $20 million for Segment 2 of our BART extension to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara.

Like peanut butter and chocolate, BART and Caltrain are two great systems that are even better together.

And they will, when voters approve the VTA’s Traffic Relief and Road Repair measure on the November 8 ballot. The second segment of our BART extension will bring the popular line from Berryessa in north San Jose to Alum Rock, downtown San Jose near San Jose State University, the Diridon Station at SAP Center, and on to Santa Clara, immediately across from Santa Clara University.

Both the Diridon Station and the Santa Clara Station will link BART with Caltrain, which will start to be electrified by 2020. Yes, our 60 year dream of Rapid Rail around the Bay is within reach.

The Governor’s decision to invest Cap-and-Trade funds for our BART extension underscores the State’s long-term commitment to Segment two. As Transportation Secretary Kelley wrote when announcing the funds, the state plans for a long-term, multi-year funding commitment to bring BART to downtown San Jose and on to Santa Clara.

BART and Caltrain. Some things simply go better together. And when it comes to easing our crippling commutes, we are one election away from making this dream a reality.

Tagged , ,

We Can Whine or Win

No Comments
July 25  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . We can whine or we can win.

In can-do Silicon Valley, rather than cry and complain about problems, we have a history of working together to solve them.

This November is a clear case in point. For three-plus years, hundreds of private and public sector leaders have collaborated on a Traffic Relief and Road Repair measure that the Valley Transportation Authority recently voted to place on the November 8 ballot. Their 12-0 unanimous vote underscores the thoughtfulness of their process, the need for meaningful countywide congestion relief, the importance of the improvements called for in the allocation plan, and the broad coalition of support the measure enjoys.

The traffic relief improvements called for in the measure are not only important individually, but work together collectively:

* Complete the BART extension to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara
* Greatly increase Caltrain commuter rail capacity, including safety improvements at grade crossings
* Build cost-effective transit alternatives in the Highway 85/West Valley corridor
* Strengthen basic transit service for seniors and the disabled
* Ease traffic on all eight county expressways
* Improve key highway interchanges to alleviate congestion on Highway 101, 280, 880, 17, 85, 237 and 87
* Fix potholes and improve streets in all 15 cities and towns
* Provide bike and pedestrian improvements, especially near schools

Traffic congestion is one of the most challenging problems plaguing our Valley. Whining about it does nothing. Working together to win approval of a countywide Traffic Relief & Road Repair measure this November is how we strengthen Silicon Valley. To get engaged, call me personally at 408-838-4848.

Refresh, Renew, Recharge

No Comments
June 29  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . refresh, renew, recharge.

Later this summer, the Guardino family will pack up and head out to Big Sky Country, also known as “The Treasure State,” – Montana – for a week-long vacation in a region with little to no cell phone connection, broadband access or any other form of 21st Century communication.

The Guardino family’s goal may seem foreign to go-go, type A Silicon Valley: We want to simply unplug. Eleven long days and longer nights star-gazing, trail-blazing and sun-bathing.

In a state with more stars in the sky than people driving by, Montana is home to fewer people than the City of San Jose. Yet it still warrants two United States Senators and a Member of the House of Representatives.

But for a glorious week, this member of the Guardino family doesn’t have to focus on politics, or policy, or programs or projects or even personnel. No, I can focus solely on family. For close to 50 weeks each year, with great humility I’m honored to serve as CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. But for at least two glorious weeks each year – one in the summer and one in the winter – the only title I get to wear is Daddy. Undivided attention awaits two little girls growing up too fast.

For those still here – whether you’re chasing sales quotas, stock options, social networks or software solutions – let’s never forget that we were intended to work in order to live. We were never intended to live in order to work.

Find your own Big Sky Country this summer. Refresh, renew, recharge. Both you and your family will be better off because of it.