Government Relations

About Us:

The Leadership Group’s Government Relations Committee and Team seek to amplify and advance our organization’s public policy positions at the local, state, and federal levels.

By proactively creating opportunities to engage our public-private stakeholders, we build diverse coalitions with a unified message, and achieve meaningful results that directly affect our quality of life. 

Our goal is to engage in concerted, strategic advocacy efforts, build relationships, and positively impact public policy decisions that benefit the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s legislative and regulatory agenda.

David Packard of Hewlett Packard was known to say, “Our job is not to sit on the sidelines and cheer nor jeer, our job is to get into the game and move the ball forward.” 

Silicon Valley has long been known for its collaborative, “can-do” civic spirit. This spirit depends on our ability to deliver an effective message and succeed collectively with our community and public leaders in city hall, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C.

Washington D.C. Advocacy Trip:

Each spring and fall, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group travels to Washington, D.C. with a delegation of member executives and public officials to deliver a federal policy agenda, focusing on U.S. jobs and competitiveness. These visits strategically occur with U.S. Senate and House leaders and key Administration officials to discuss the most effective ways to help drive forward policies in the areas of:

  • Traffic Relief – BART Phase II and Caltrain Funding
  • Health Care Law Reform
  • Immigration Reform & H-1B Visas
  • Scientific Research Funding
  • Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program
  • U.S. Business Tax Code
  • Cybersecurity / Data Privacy
  • Federal Funding for K-12 Computer Science Education

This fall’s agenda will focus on specific solutions to encourage U.S. economic growth. With a new congress and administration in Washington D.C., the Silicon Valley Leadership Group is ready to advance a greater understanding between Silicon Valley innovators and Washington D.C. leaders.

Click here to register for the September 26 – 27 Washington D.C. Advocacy Trip

Sacramento Advocacy Trip:

Each year the Silicon Valley Leadership Group hosts an annual trip to California’s state capitol, focusing on Silicon Valley policy priorities.

Silicon Valley executive delegation visits occur with key state Senate and Assembly leaders, the Governor’s office, constitutional officers and key agency department leaders. In addition to high-level visits, the trip will feature networking opportunities with Silicon Valley industry leaders.

On our previous trip the Leadership Group advocated on the following policies:

  • BART to Silicon Valley, Phase II – Cap & Trade Funding
  • Business Needs Market Certainty: Extend Cap and Trade Past 2020
  • Clean Energy Supply: Engaging on the proposal for 100% RPS
  • Placing an Affordable Housing Bond on the November 6th 2018 Ballot
  • Streamline the Approval Process for Additional Housing
  • Health Care Law Reform – Accessible and Affordable
  • Workforce Development
  • K-12 Quality: Addressing California’s Teacher Shortage
  • Strengthening California’s Cybersecurity Industry
  • Encouraging the Expeditious Testing and Deployment of Autonomous Vehicles

Fresh Ideas from Newly Elected Legislators:

The dynamics of our state political process are largely impacted by term limits. Each year, newly elected officials are entering into public office with a small amount of time to make important decisions. The challenge of effectively representing constituencies and maintaining connectivity with the resources and people that help drive our economy can be daunting. Fresh Ideas from Newly Elected Legislators was developed to assist legislators transition into their new role.

“Fresh Ideas” is a roundtable series in Sacramento with Silicon Valley Leadership Group members and those recently elected into office from the Administration, California State Assembly and State Senate. Participants learn from the newly elected public officials, the challenges facing the state and their legislative districts. With this foundation, specific solutions are identified to ensure California’s success – through private sector job creation, an improved quality of life for our workers, and a competitive business climate.

Candidate Forums:

Frequently, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group will interview candidates who are seeking local, state and federal office. While the purpose is not to endorse, the Leadership Group reviews candidates to determine if they are closely aligned with our principles and policy positions.

Most recently in 2016, forums were held in the following districts:

  • San Jose City Council District 6
  • California State Assembly District 24
  • California State Assembly District 27

Silicon Valley Legislative Caucus:

The Silicon Valley Caucus includes 14 legislators: Senators Jim Beall, Steve Glazer, Jerry Hill, Bob Wieckowski, and Bill Monning; Assemblymembers Anna Caballero, Ash Kalra, Evan Low, Marc Berman, Kevin Mullin, Bill Quirk, Mark Stone, Phil Ting and Kansen Chu for those representing Silicon Valley to know the priority issues impacting quality of life and the cost of doing business in our region and state from a collective perspective.

The successful inaugural session hosted by SunPower CEO Tom Werner in Sacramento featured 12 Silicon Valley legislators and nearly 80 Leadership Group members many of whom were CEOs.  The discussion focused on the challenges facing Silicon Valley on a global scale and legislators sharing challenges facing our state.  With that foundation, we invested quarterly meetings in discussing specific ways we can work together to ensure our state’s success – through private sector job creation, a great quality of life for our workers, and a business climate to meet the challenges of other states and nations. Subsequent sessions were hosted by Applied Materials Chairman and CEO Mike Splinter, Brocade Communications CEO Mike Klayko, Synopsys Chairman and CEO Aart de Geus, and Centrify CEO Tom Kemp.

Governance & Fiscal Reforms:

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group has a long-standing tradition of supporting bi-partisan governance and fiscal reforms for California, which annually rank among the highest state policy priorities for businesses.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group endorsed Proposition 14 in the “top two open primary” initiative and opposed Proposition 27 to protect the 2008 redistricting reform measure approved by California voters – the Leadership Group was successful in both efforts. In addition, the Leadership Group has strongly supported the Redistricting Reform ballot measure which resulted in redrawing the political boundaries for all Congressional, state legislative and other statewide offices. In 2013, the Leadership Group supported the statewide Term Limits ballot initiative to bring more experience and stability to California’s political system. Most recently in 2016, our organization successfully supported Proposition 54, the Public Display of Legislative Bills Prior to Vote Initiative, which greatly increased the transparency in our state legislature .

The Leadership Group is also a strong proponent on thoughtful, fiscal reform principles. California’s business climate will benefit from a more disciplined and performance-focused state fiscal system, which should be built on the foundation of accountability and results.         More details

  • Budgeting for performance: Require clear goals and measure the performance of every program
  • Multi-year budgets: Adopt more flexibility and long-term planning in the state budgeting process, which was enacted into law by Governor Brown in 2011
  • Limit one-time revenue use
  • Manage volatile revenue spikes and increase reserves through a rainy day fund
  • Legislative transparency & oversight: Make all bills available to the public three days before a vote

Our Team:

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Charles Melton
Director of Government Relations and Tax Policy
cmelton@svlg.org │ 408.501.7881

 

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Michael Lomio
Senior Associate, Government Relations
mlomio@svlg.org │ 408.501.7880