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December 9, 2016                                 

 
   

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Will 2017 Be the Year for Housing Solutions in Sacramento?

Council Donates $5,000 to Help Victims, Families of Ghostship Fire

Decision Time: Keeping the Raiders in Oakland

Taking Action to Address Workforce Needs

Mentorships Key to Increasing Women in Leadership Roles

Council-Backed Water Transfer Would Boost Peninsula Housing

Council Urges Business Community Input on Sea-Level Rise Strategy

Council Welcomes New Legislators to Sacramento

BAC in the News
 

 
   

Will 2017 Be the Year for Housing Solutions in Sacramento?

David_Chiu_0A who’s who of Bay Area housing leaders and major employers converged on the Bay Area Council Thursday for an unvarnished and sobering discussion with Assemblymember David Chiu about the policies and politics that will determine whether our region and the state can make progress in 2017 on addressing California’s massive housing affordability crisis. The discussion was framed by startling data from recent reports by McKinsey & Co. and the Bay Area Council Economic Institute that outlined the scope, severity and complexity of the problem. According to the McKinsey study, California ranks 49 out of 50 in housing units per capita, a shortage that translates into 50 percent of households statewide that can’t afford housing in their local market. The BACEI study—a first-of-its-kind analysis— showed how different policy levers effect housing supply and affordability. In addition, Council Housing Committee Co-Chair Denise Pinkston of TMG Partners described how a raft of state and local housing regulations make building the kind of affordable workforce housing the state desperately needs financially unviable.
 
weiner 4Chiu, Chair of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee, said solutions won’t be easy to come by in the Legislature as powerful political interests remain opposed to the kind of regulatory streamlining that can have the biggest impact on increasing supply across all housing types and putting downward pressure on housing prices and rents. Legislation introduced this week by newly elected state Sen. Scott Weiner, who formerly served with Chiu on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, that includes streamlining housing approvals will certainly test the mood in the Legislature to take meaningful action to address California’s housing crisis. To engage in the Council’s housing policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

 
   

Council Donates $5,000 to Help Victims, Families of Ghostship Fire

The Bay Area reacted with sadness, grief and horror to the awful Ghostship Fire in Oakland this past weekend that took the lives of 36 people. In response, the Bay Area Council donated $5,000 to help the victims and families of the deadly blaze in an old warehouse that served as a gathering place and entertainment venue for many local artists, musicians and others. The Council joined with many others like Kaiser Permanente and the Golden State Warriors in making contributions. The tragedy also highlighted the region’s growing housing supply and affordability crisis. The warehouse was serving as makeshift housing for a number of artists and others who are struggling to afford rising home prices and rents. An investigation was ongoing into the cause of the blaze, which may have been tied to unpermitted construction to make the facility livable for tenants.

 
   

Decision Time: Keeping the Raiders in Oakland 

raidersA deal to build a modern, new stadium for the Oakland Raiders is headed to the Oakland City Council next Tuesday, and the Bay Area Council is working overtime to urge elected officials to reach an agreement that would be critical to keeping the Silver and Black in the Bay Area. Details of the agreement are not public, but generally involve a plan to finance building a new stadium that would be part of a larger development on the site. Former Raiders and 49ers star and NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott is leading a group of investors that is seeking to purchase and redevelop the property the Raiders now call home. The plan would offer a counter to a gambit by Las Vegas to lure the Raiders to Sin City with promises of huge public subsidies. NFL leadership has said several times they would like to see the Raiders remain in Oakland. The Bay Area Council has been proud to be working directly with Lott on assembling business community support. To add your name to a support letter the Council has drafted, please contact Special Assistant to the CEO Suzanne Robinson.

 
   

Taking Action to Address Workforce Needs

van tonThe Bay Area Council recently hosted Van Ton-Quinlivan (Vice Chancellor for Workforce and Economic Development, California Community Colleges) and Jim Mayer (Executive Director, California Forward), as well as numerous Bay Area business and civic leaders, for an engaging discussion on the allocation of $41.6 million to Bay Area community colleges in support of the Strong Workforce Program.  Ton-Quinlivan highlighted the importance of business and civic input regarding the use of the funds, stating that industry feedback is critical to informing community college actions. Recommendations provided by attendees included investing in community college curriculum and instructor preparation, and developing clear career pathways in partnership with business that would then be shared with students. “If you want a talent pool instead of a talent puddle, now is the time to shape how public dollars are invested,” Ton-Quinlivan said. “We want the career technical education (CTE) graduates of our community colleges to be equipped with both the soft and hard skills you need for a strong workforce.” 
 
During the meeting, Rock Pfontenhauer of the Bay Area Community College Consortium (BACCC) also described efforts being undertaken by BACCC and the Bay Area Council in relation to Occupational Councils. These Occupational Councils convene occupation by occupation, with the goal of examining and adjusting curriculum to fit job requirements, establishing career pathways into middle-skill jobs, and aligning the region’s 28 community colleges, 16 adult education consortia, and 14 workforce development boards with industry needs.
 
Participants also explored the complex relationship between employers, community colleges, and other workforce training organizations in the Bay Area region. Many in the room detailed the hiring needs of their respective constituents, and proposed various ways to specifically tap into underserved, low-income, and minority populations to meet hiring needs for well-paying but hard to fill middle-skills jobs. To engage in the Council’s workforce policy, please contact Senior Vice President Linda Bidrossian.

 
   

Mentorships Key to Increasing Women in Senior Leadership Roles

The Gender Equity Committee met this week to participate in an interactive discussion with Shavon Lindley, CEO of Women Evolution, which creates innovative mentorship and training programs designed to strengthen the growth potential of female employees in companies.  While women make up more than half of entry level positions in Fortune 500 companies, that number quickly drops to 39 percent at mid-level, 26 percent at senior level, and only 5 percent at the CEO level.  Peer mentorship programs can greatly improve employee retention rates and convert high potential women into senior roles at the company. 
 
The Bay Area Council's Best Practices Resource Guide, released earlier this year, identified mentorship programs as an important strategy for promoting gender equity within companies.  The Gender Equity Committee -- led by co-chairs Peg McAllister (Lee Hecht Harrison), Christopher Ruhl (PwC LLP), and Stuart Newton (Deloitte) -- will be hosting more workshops to help companies implement the other strategies identified in the Guide, including equalizing pay, building career development opportunities, addressing unconscious bias, and more.  Special thanks to PwC for hosting this meeting.  To engage in the Council's Gender Equity work, please contact Policy Manager Emily Loper.

 
   

Council-Backed Water Transfer Would Help Boost Peninsula Housing

East Palo Alto would be able to move forward with building new housing the region needs under a plan the Bay Area Council is supporting that would provide the Peninsula city with water from a neighboring city. Last June, the City of East Palo Alto, citing a shortage of water, imposed a building moratorium that halted construction of 120 affordable housing units and a new private school funded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and her husband, Mark Zuckerberg. The Council spoke with regional water managers to help advance a plan that would permanently transfer a portion of excess water supply that Palo Alto gets from San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy system to East Palo Alto. On Monday, the Palo Alto City Council took a first, positive step toward making the transfer by directing city staff to work on a detailed agreement. To engage in the Council’s water policy work, please contact Vice President Adrian Covert.

 
   

Council Urges Business Community Input to Sea-Level Rise Adaptation Strategy

With passage of Measure AA to fund bay restoration in the rearview mirror, the conversation turned to regulation on Wednesday at a packed joint meeting of the Bay Area Council water and housing committees to receive an update from Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) Executive Director Larry Goldzband. For over a year, BCDC has been hosting public workshops to determine how to create a regional sea level rise adaptation strategy. Implementing those recommendations will still require working our important details in the coming months, and will likely result in significant changes in how and what types of development are approved along the Bayfront. BCDC will be hosting workshops every third Thursday in 2017, and the Council is urging our members to participate and give input. To engage in the Council’s sea level rise policy work, please contact Policy Associate Rachele Trigueros.

 
   

Council Welcomes New Legislators to Sacramento

The Bay Area Council on Monday welcomed new legislators to the State Capitol as they arrived to be sworn in and political observers continued speculating on how Democrats might use their new supermajority power. The supermajority gives Democrats the potential votes needed to pass constitutional amendments, increase taxes and override gubernatorial vetoes without input from the opposition party. But, observers and pundits also noted that a growing bloc of moderate Democrats may temper just how far the supermajority goes. The Council briefed legislators on our 2017 policy priorities, including housing, transportation, water and workforce development.

The 27 legislators that collectively represent the nine-county Bay Area and are known in Sacramento as the Bay Area Caucus included a number of new members following the recent election. In the Senate, the newcomers include Bill Dodd (Napa), Nancy Skinner (Berkeley) and Scott Wiener (San Francisco), and in the Assembly new members include Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (Winters), Tim Grayson (Concord), Marc Berman (Palo Alto), Ash Kalra (San Jose) and Anna Caballero (Salinas). To engage with the Council’s Government Relations efforts, please contact Policy Manager Cornelious Burke.

 
   

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