Author Archives: Carl Guardino

Immigration & Innovation Go Hand-In-Hand

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February 9  |  Federal Issues  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . Immigration and innovation go hand-in-hand. From the founding of our country, the United States was built on the backs and with the brains of immigrants. This is only illuminated further in Silicon Valley, and throughout America’s innovation economy.

Today, 58 percent of the engineers fueling Silicon Valley’s innovation economy were not blessed to be born in the United States, according to our 2016 “Silicon Valley Competitiveness Project,” researched in partnership with our Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Half of our technology companies being created today have an immigrant as a founder or CEO. Across our country, four of every ten Fortune 500 companies was created by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.

It’s discouraging that some will assert or imply that immigrants are quote “taking away American jobs.” Let’s be clear, and place facts over fear. Fact – The United States economy needs 125,000 graduates each year with Computer Science degrees. Our U.S. colleges and universities only produce 50,000 each year. Ironically, roughly half of those 50,000 graduates are foreign-born. Yes, we only graduate 25,000 American born Computer Science graduates each year, leaving a shortfall of 100,000.

When American employers hire talent from around the globe, the reasons are clear. We are 5 percent of the world’s population. How ignorant and arrogant it would be for us to assume that there are not smart, capable people among the other 95 percent of the world’s population born outside our shores. We will continue to hire the best and brightest born as American citizens, while also hiring the courageous and creative who came here – often at great personal peril – to study here, work here, create and innovate here.

Immigration is the American story, and the secret sauce of Silicon Valley’s robust economy. We will stand up, and speak up, for our rich immigrant tradition.

Statement on Immigration and Innovation

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January 31  |  Federal Issues  |   Carl Guardino

“The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, an organization of 400 employers with facilities in all 50 states and almost every Congressional District, urges the Trump Administration, House and Senate to unite around the freedoms upon which our nation was founded. Our country’s greatest ideals embrace and respect people of all ethnicities, national backgrounds and faiths. Let’s build upon that tradition now and always.”

“The Leadership Group respects that our national security must remain a paramount concern of our Federal Government. We also believe our actions must be tempered by thoughtful, measured decisions that will strengthen our economy, security and moral authority.”

“Silicon Valley and much of America’s Innovation Economy has been built through the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of courageous immigrants and refugees. In fact, 40 percent of America’s Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. Whether iconic global brands or struggling entrepreneurial start-ups, innovation economy companies are created disproportionately by immigrants. In Silicon Valley, 58 percent of our engineers – the lifeblood of Silicon Valley – are foreign-born. Whether it is Intel Co-Founder Andy Grove, Yahoo! Co-Founder Jerry Yang or Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin, we are proud that so many leaders born outside of the United States moved here – often at great risk – to call our Country home.”

“Through this lens, we urge the Administration and Congress to never forget that we are a nation of immigrants, often refugees, whose diversity is the backbone of our unity. Our economy and quality of life are enhanced by waves of immigrants who continue to help build our Country.”

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The Death of TPP Impacts You and Me

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January 25  |  Tech & Innovation  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . Does the death of TPP matter to you and me?

TPP – the Trans-Pacific Partnership – was President Obama’s seven-year effort for an international trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries, representing 40 percent of global GDP.

I say “was” because, as promised, one of President Trump’s first actions in office was to end America’s participation in TPP. His stated reason, pulling out of TPP is “good for American workers.”

I guess that is true, unless you are one of 45 million American workers who’s jobs are dependent on international trade. In fact, American jobs tied to trade pay, on average, 18 percent higher wages than the same American job that is not tied to international trade.

In Silicon Valley alone, just looking at the three Congressional Districts that take in San Jose – the 17th (Ro Khanna), 18th (Anna Eshoo) and 19th (Zoe Lofgren) – 105,000 local workers, and by extension their families, have jobs dependent on international trade.

Pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negatively impacts the lives and livelihoods of those 105,000 local workers, and their families.

Thanks to President Obama’s seven-year effort, TPP also had the highest labor standards and the highest environmental standards of any trade deal in the history of the world. And those standards were enforceable.

In addition, TPP protected individuals and employers, in terms of our personal data privacy, and our companies’ intellectual property.

Some think that international trade only impacts tech-workers. Not true. Jobs depending on international trade range from financial services to farming, agriculture to entertainment, to name but a few.

Here in Silicon Valley, where 26 of every 100 jobs are with a tech company, it matters even more. Without a robust tech-driven economy, there are fewer dollars in disposable income to spend in restaurants and retail, dry cleaners and department stores, auto dealerships and home purchases.

So who’s smiling because of the President’s Executive Order killing U.S. participation in TPP? Primarily the Chinese Government, who are already stepping in to negotiate trade deals with the remaining TPP countries. You can bet those deals will not benefit American workers, employers or our economy.

The death of TPP negatively impacts you and me, and the strength of Silicon Valley’s economy.

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Which Words Describe You?

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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.

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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.

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When Voting, Don’t Stop at the Top

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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

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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.

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Traffic Relief we Need, Accountability we Deserve

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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

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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.

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We Need an Army, Not an Audience

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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.

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