Letter to Senator Jerry Hill: Support for SB 797

Dear Senator Hill:

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, we write in support of SB 797: The purpose of which is to enable voters and taxpayers in the three “Caltrain Commuter Rail Counties” of San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara to address the crippling congestion in the Highway 101/Caltrain Corridor.

By way of background, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, founded in 1978 by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, represents nearly 400 of Silicon Valley’s most respected employers on issues, programs and campaigns that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley, including economic vitality, education, energy, environment, health, housing, tax policies and transportation. Leadership Group members collectively provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley.

The Highway 101 Corridor, in which Caltrain Commuter Rail Service has been in continuous operation since Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States, has become one of the most congested corridors in the United States. It is also an economic engine that helps drive our State’s success. The 50-mile stretch of Caltrain between downtown San Jose and downtown San Francisco is home to the following:

* 1.6 million jobs

* 54 percent of all patents filed from California

* 20 percent of California’s GDP

* 13 percent of California’s Sales Tax revenue

Today, the popular Caltrain Commuter Rail Service runs at 125 percent of capacity – in both directions – during both the a.m. and p.m. commutes, carrying 62,000 weekday passenger trips. With electrification of Caltrain to be completed by 2021, ridership capacity will grow by 80 percent to more than 110,000 daily passenger trips. A potential ballot measure allowed through the passage of SB 797 and its accountability provisions would allow Caltrain capacity to grow by an additional 100 percent, to more than 220,000 weekday passenger trips. That would be transformational for the crippling congestion in the Highway 101 Corridor.

The Leadership Group has a long history of leading and supporting local jurisdictions that step up to the plate in order to develop and pass well crafted transportation measures. These measures fund traffic relief improvements that our workers and their families use every day.

SB 797 will allow voters to consider a 1/8th cent sales tax solely dedicated to increasing ridership capacity on Caltrain, and providing a dedicated revenue stream for its operations and maintenance.

Additionally, SB 797 recognizes the importance of bringing stakeholders together in order to enact any transportation ballot measure. A ballot initiative will only move forward if there is a two-third vote of approval by the Caltrain Joint Powers Board, a majority vote of each of the transit districts in the three “Caltrain Counties” (SFMTA, SMCTD, SCVTA), and a vote of approval from the Boards of Supervisors representing San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Finally, any ballot measure must also be approved by two-thirds of the voters in the three Caltrain Counties.

In the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Annual “Silicon Valley Poll,” just completed May 3-9 of 1,200 likely voters, support for a potential measure to greatly increase Caltrain capacity earned overwhelming support: With 74% YES, only 23 percent NO, and 3 percent with No Opinion.  The Leadership Group is proud to support and sponsor SB 797, enabling voters and taxpayers to determine the fate of the congested Highway 101 Corridor.


Carl Guardino

President and CEO

Silicon Valley Leadership Group

Eric McAfee, Chairman & CEO, Aemetix, Inc.

Sonu Ratra, President, Akraya

Mike Cox, CEO, Anaerobe Systems

Joe Pon, Corporate Vice President, Applied Materials

Kevin Surace, CEO, Appvance

Terry Rosen, CEO, Arcus Biosciences

Rob Chandra, CEO, Avid Park

Michael Turpin, Executive Vice President & CRO, Bay Area News Group

Sharon Ryan, President & Publisher, Bay Area News Group

Mike Blach, President, Blach Construction

Hauke Schmidt, Vice President of Research & Technology Center – North America, Bosch

Aaron Levie, CEO, Box

Matt Mahan, CEO & Co-Founder, Brigade

Ty Walrod, CEO & Co-Founder, Bright Funds

Larry Disenhof, Group Director, Export Compliance and Government Relations, Cadence

Marty Kropelnicki, President & CEO, California Water Service

Tom Kemp, CEO, Centrify

Dr. Jannett Jackson, Chancellor, Chabot Las Positas Community College District

Dan Rosensweig, CEO, Chegg

Barry Cinnamon, CEO, Cinnamon Solar

Manish Tandon, CEO, CSS Corp

Tom McCabe, Chief Country Officer, DBS Bank

Steve Rossi, CEO, Digital First Media

Wade Rose, Vice President, External & Government Relations, Dignity Health

Russell Spektor, CEO, Direct Resource Management, Inc.

Dawnet Beverley, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Donnelley Financial Solutions

Guy Gecht, CEO, EFI

Bob Kieve, President & CEO, Empire Broadcasting

Ray Ansari, Vice President, Enterprise Fleet Management

Mike Galarza, Founder and CEO, Entryless.com

Prince Kohli, Head of BUCI DUIP Routing, Ericsson

Jack Harding, CEO, eSilicon

Tom Hayse, Chairman & CEO, ETM Inc.

Belal Hummadi, Founder & CEO, ExciteM

Paul Johnston, CEO, Exponent, Inc.

Jerry Mix, President, Finelite

William Ruh, CEO, GE Digital

Stephen Boyd, Co-Founder & VP External Affairs, Peloton

Greg Woock, Co-Founder & CEO, Pinger

Balu Balakrishnan, President & CEO, Power Intergrations

Ron Gonzales, CEO, Presencia LLC.

Evan Boyd, General Manager, Republic Services

Michael Van Every, President & CEO, Republic Urban Properties

Chris Larsen, CEO, Ripple

Jed York, President & CEO, San Francisco 49ers

Jared Shawlee, COO, San Jose Earthquakes

Michael Engh, S.J., President, Santa Clara University

Jim Lyons, Vice President for University Relations, Santa Clara University

Jenny Dearborn, Global Head: Leadership, OD, Talent & Learning, SAP

Rami Branitzky, Managing Director, Sapphire Ventures

Rob Sadow, CEO & Co-Founder, Scoop Technologies, Inc.

Paul Cocotis, CEO & Chairman, Shimmick Constuction

Archana Sharma, CEO, Shivark

Greg Becker, CEO, Silicon Valley Bank

John Hogan, Vice President Career Services, Silicon Valley Children’s Fund

Pedro Espinoza, CEO, SmileyGo

Andy Coan, President & CEO, Splice Communications, Inc.

Godfrey Sullivan, Chairman of the Board, Splunk Inc.

David Entwistle, CEO, Stanford Health Care

Rob Steinberg, Chairman, STEINBERG

Celeste Ford, CEO, Stellar Solutions, Inc.

Jordan Epstein, CEO, Stroll Health

Andy Pierce, President, Stryker

Tim Bieser, Vice President of Finance and Operations, Study.com

Tom Werner, CEO, SunPower

Rick Bergman, CEO, Synaptics

Aart de Geus, CEO, Synopsys

George Gregory, Co-Founder & CEO, System AI, Inc.

Michael Pyrz, District Director, Northern California, T.Y. Lin International

Charles Bullock, Ph.D., Interim CEO & Chair, Board of Trustees, The Health Trust

Suresh Babu, CEO, Tiquant Inc.

Dr. Summer Van Pelt, Campus Director, University of Phoenix

Dow Wilson, President & CEO, Varian Medical Systems

Alastair Hood Ph.D., CEO, Verdafero Inc.

Marc Rothman, EVP & CFO, Verifone

Bill Coleman, CEO, Veritas Technologies

Sanjay Poonen, COO, VMware

Jes Pedersen, CEO, Webcor Builders

Stephen Milligan, CEO, Western Digital

William Hadaya, CEO, WMH Corporation

Paul Lovoi, President & CEO, Woodtoga


On August 30th, 2017, posted in: Press Releases by ,