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July 2016
Carl Guardino's Blog

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There's More That Unites Us Than Could Ever Divide Us

By Carl Guardino, President and CEO

Here's food for thought . . . There is more that unites us than could ever divide us.

At the Silicon Valley Leadership Group - when it comes to improving the quality of life for all of our citizens - we work to build bridges, not burn them down.

On June 9, the Leadership Group was honored with the Environmental Leadership Award by the California League of Conservation Voters - a committed and respected environmental organization. Why did they honor a business organization of 400 Silicon Valley CEOs? Quite simply, common ground. As CEOs who care about the quality of life in our communities throughout California, we know the importance of clean air, clean water, urban parks, open space, affordable homes near transit, renewable energy and a healthy environment.

As engineers and entrepreneurs, we recognize we can have it all - a strong economy and a clean environment - which is why we co-led the campaign that established the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority. It's why we co-led numerous transportation measures that emphasize transit options that ease traffic congestion. It's why we recently led the 9-County Bay Restoration Campaign, Measure AA, which passed region-wide with 70 percent of the vote.

Read more >

Traffic Relief and Road Repair Measure Goes to the Ballot

By Chris O'Connor, Transportation Senior Associate

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group recently surpassed a major milestone on an effort that could be a game changer for traffic relief and road repairs throughout Silicon Valley.

After more than three and a half years of work, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Board of Directors voted unanimously on June 2 in favor of placing a Traffic Relief and Road Repair Measure on the ballot for this year's November election.

The development of this ballot measure has been the top priority of the Leadership Group for more than three years now, and the unanimous vote signified the consensus that has been reached by stakeholders throughout the region. On the night of the vote, VTA Board Members referenced the balanced, policy driven nature of the measure, as well as the extraordinary effort and investments put forward by the Leadership Group. This initiative will allow a number of visionary projects to become a reality, such as completing the BART extension to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara, increasing the capacity of Caltrain, as well as relieving traffic and repairing roads throughout the County. Congratulations are in order for Leadership Group members who have dedicated countless hours toward this effort.

However, as we take a brief moment to celebrate what we have accomplished, the most important part of this journey is still before us, as we transition to the "playoffs" - wining a successful campaign this November.

Read more >

Cultivating Community Leaders in Silicon Valley

By Don Tran, Health and Community Development Associate

As part of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group's community development portfolio, our organization strives to engage current and rising leaders in the community through our Neighborhood Leaders Council.

The council creates an environment for aspiring leaders from Santa Clara County to come together, learn and discuss various issues that may affect their respective cities.

The program presents a unique opportunity for cohort members from throughout Santa Clara County to convene for discussions focused on specific housing and land-use issues that impact City Councils, such as:
  • Affordable Housing Policies in America's 10th Largest City (April - San Jose)
  • Balancing Urban, Suburban and Rural Growth (June - Morgan Hill)
  • Re-Imaging and Planning a Successful Downtown District (August - Sunnyvale)
  • The Future of Transportation in Silicon Valley (October - Mountain View)

Read more >

Wins of the Month
  • Lufthansa launched inaugural direct flight between Frankfurt and Mineta San Jose International Airport on July 1, a long-time effort of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Airport Task Force. It is the fifth major international flight secured in partnership with San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Mineta San Jose International Airport: ANA's nonstop flight to Tokyo in January 2013, Hainan Airlines' direct service to Beijing in June 2015, British Airways flight to London on May 4 and Air Canada to Vancouver on May 9.

  • Voters from all nine Bay Area counties passed Measure AA on June 7, with nearly 70 percent of the vote. The historic Measure AA will generate $500 million for flood protection and restoration of the San Francisco Bay wetlands. Many thanks to all our member companies who donated and helped raise awareness, and to our partners Save the Bay, Bay Area Council and Resources Legacy Fund. Special thanks to our Leadership Group staff for their dedication to passing Measure AA: Mike Mielke, Sarah Qureshi, Lauren Boyd and Tim McRae.

  • The Santa Clara County Parks Charter Fund Renewal (Measure A) was approved by more than 77 percent of voters on June 7. This measure ensures resources to acquire and maintain open space and urban parkland would be unencumbered and dedicated. The Leadership Group and our members supported Measure A though partnerships, advocacy and awareness.

  • California legislative leaders and Governor Brown reached a budget deal preserving transitional kindergarten for as many as 125,000 students. This agreement is in lieu of Governor Brown's initial proposal to consolidate all early education funding into a single block grant. The Leadership Group worked with community partners during this budget cycle to advocate for retaining transitional kindergarten for all 4-year olds.