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Contra Costa Council News
The Contra Costa Council is a public policy advocacy organization
that promotes the economic vitality of Contra Costa County and the region.

1355 Willow Way, Suite 253, Concord CA 94520 / 925.246.1880 / www.contracostacouncil.com
In This Issue
August 25 Luncheon: Congressman George Miller to discuss small business and Washington at Council luncheon
August 16 Tournament Recap: Gobs of golfers made this year's tournament one of the best ever
August 5 Luncheon Recap: Seeking solutions for pension reform in the public sector: a tough nut to crack
Clean Energy & Innovation News: Greater East Bay clean energy collaborative capitalizes on region's strengths in clean energy and water technology clusters
CEO Viewpoint: The Delta is back on the Council's radar screen
Advocacy: Council endorses vehicle transportation fee proposal on November ballot
Member News: Habitat for Humanity benefits from the Council's "Give Back to the Community Day" . . . Council Director Kris Chase of Saint Mary's College: Thoughts on connecting academia with the business of the Council
Task Force Briefings: August and September activities
Quick Links
Quick Links
Lunch with Congressman George Miller

Wednesday, August 25
11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Concord Hilton
1970 Diamond Boulevard

Sponsored by Archer Norris, Contra Costa Water District, Delta Diablo Sanitation District

Questions? Contact the Council office at 925-246-1880,  fax 925-674-1654.

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SAVE THE DATE!

Candidates Forum
Assembly District 15


Joan Buchanan and Abram Wilson

Friday, September 10
11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Round Hill Country Club
3169 Round Hill Road, Alamo

Registration will open soon. Watch the website or contact the Council office at 925-246-1880 (fax 925-674-1654) for more information.


  August 2010
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August 25 Luncheon
George Miller 2010Congressman George Miller to discuss small business and Washington at Council luncheon

Join Congressman George Miller for lunch with the Contra Costa Council and the Small Business Task Force on Wednesday, August 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Concord Hilton, 1970 Diamond Blvd (note venue change). Congressman Miller will provide a Washington update and discuss small-business issues.

For additional information, visit the Council website or contact the Council office at 925-246-1880, fax 925-674-1654.
August 16 Tournament Recap
Honorary Tournament Chair Tom McCracken, at left, with his wife Maureen, David Bowlby and Angie Coffee
Tom McCracken group
Gobs of golfers made this year's tournament one of the best ever

About 125 golfers--significantly more than the 98 participants who turned out for last year's event--and a large group of volunteers enjoyed the sun and the fun at the Contra Costa Council's 26th Annual Golf Tournament on Monday, August 16, at Round Hill Country Club in Alamo.

"It was a great event, and it was so nice of the Council to name me honorary chair," said Tom McCracken, who headed the tournament for 18 years, and whose foursome this year included his wife Maureen (who won the women's long-drive competition), David Bowlby and Angie Coffee. Organizing this year's event, along with Council staff, were tournament committee members Angie Coffee, Mark Hughes, Frank Madigan and Joe Ovick.

Once again, the Shell Martinez Refinery team of Don Bachand, Bill McNally, Steve Nielsen and Dave Olund took the Chevron Petroleum Cup, the tournament prize, with an excellent score of 57. Numerous prizes and gift certificates were awarded throughout play and at the evening banquet.
    
Principal award categories and winners were:
    Long drive (men) - Chris Pass
    Long drive (women) - Maureen McCracken
    Chipping contest - Jonas Sullivan
    Closest to the hole #5 - Jonas Sullivan (9 ft., 6 in.)
    Closest to the hole #7 - Peter Cross (5 ft.)
    Closest to the hole #13 - Gordon MacDonald (8 ft., 11-1/2 in.)
    Closest to the hole #16 - Jeff Swindell (3 ft., 7 in.)
    Best foursomes - First place and winner of the Petroleum Cup, with a score of 57, was the Shell Martinez Refinery team of Don Bachand, Bill McNally, Steve Nielsen and Dave Olund. Second place, with a score of 61, went to the team of Mike Fenley, Joe Sullivan, Rick Dumas and Jeff Porter. Third-place team, with a score of 62, included Terry Bowen, George Smith, Ray Steege and Byron West.

Congratulations to all winners, and thanks to all golfers and volunteers who made this year's tournament such an excellent event.

View photos of tournament teams and activities on the Council website.

The Council thanks Chevron, tournament sponsor, and corporate sponsors, ConocoPhillips, Contra Costa Newspapers, Mirant California LLP, Shell Martinez Refinery and Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery. Thanks also to special event sponsors, tee sponsors, generous contributors and raffle prize donors.
August 5 Luncheon Recap
Panelists Rollie Katz (at left), Herb Moniz and David Twa
David Twa group
Seeking solutions for pension reform in the public sector: a tough nut to crack

While a solution to the problem of pension reform in the public sector did not appear close to resolution at the August 5 Contra Costa Council forum on the topic, panelists did confirm the gravity and depth of the challenge facing the funding of public employee pensions in Contra Costa County and the state.

The four panelists painted a dire picture for government at the luncheon forum, which was introduced by Bob Brown, chair of the Council's Budget Reform Ad Hoc Task Force, and moderated by Bill Pollacek, retiring county treasurer-tax collector. "The chickens have come home to roost, and it is not a good thing," said Pollacek. He noted that California has tens of billions in unfunded pension liabilities, with programs and services being slashed to pay for retirement benefits.

David Twa, Contra Costa County administrator, called the problem "drastic and overwhelming," and blamed "unsustainable assumptions made during good times."  He cautioned that you can't look at public employees as a monolithic group; rather, there are issues of employees with vested rights, retirees with vested rights, current employees and new hires. The county needs to come up with $59 million per year just to pay for pensions, and that isn't going to occur without cuts to salaries. "It is important we deal with the problem," said Twa. "We won't get any support if we don't get our house in order."

Proposal for Regional Pension Reform

"There are no simple solutions. Everyone has to work together to solve the problem, and we have to stop pointing fingers," said Herb Moniz, San Ramon city manager and a member of the Pension Reform Task Force, a working group of the Contra Costa and Alameda counties city managers association. The task force's report, Proposal for Regional Pension Reform, recommends that public sector employees be required to participate in the funding of their pension plans, and a new pension tier be established for new employees so that municipalities can control future liabilities. "We need business, the private sector and unions to step up to the plate and work with local government and city councils. . . . yet I really don't know if we can solve [the problem]," said Moniz.

Rollie Katz, supervising business agent of Public Employees Union, Local 1, noted that public employees have made sacrifices, and are already making a lot less money and paying a lot more for health care. "Our people are not going to be warm and fuzzy if we don't see that other people are making [sacrifices], too," said Katz. "If you eliminated pensions, we would still not have a balanced budget." It's not because of public employee  pensions that there is a crisis. It's because of the economic downturn, he said.

Dan Borenstein, columnist and editorial writer for the Contra Costa Times, said that state employee pensions are 60-percent funded, with the unfunded portion at $48 billion, which doesn't reflect recent market losses. He believes the debate is really between a defined benefit versus a defined contribution approach. He disagreed with Katz that the problem is simply due to the stock market collapse. "I expect there will be a hard pushback from labor; they have an interest they are going to fight for." And don't count on the legislators to be honest brokers, he warned.

Need for neutral debate

Borenstein called the city managers' proposal "totally inadequate: it won't solve the problem but will look good." He said Moniz is a major beneficiary of the system. "There are few clean brokers in this discussion. I find it very disturbing. I wish we could have a debate with neutral brokers in policy making," he said.

Retiring treasurer Pollacek said there were people historically who knew the numbers didn't add up. For example, the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) used three sets of numbers, and conveniently forgot to show the 1966 to 1976 period.

"We are defending positions instead of addressing the problem. We need to get together and address the problem," observed Moniz.

"If everyone took a 5 percent cut in pay, the problem would go away," said Twa. "There are multiple solutions. It will involve a lot of hard work and negotiations between us and our employees."

View photos of the presentation and audience on the Council website.

This presentation aired on CCTV (Comcast channel 27 and Astound channel 32) on Monday, August 16 at 8 p.m., and Monday, August 23, at 1 p.m. For additional air dates, visit CCTV's program guide at www.contracostatv.org.

The Council thanks PG&E for sponsorship of this event.
Clean Energy & Innovation News
Greater East Bay clean energy collaborative will capitalize on region's strengths in clean energy and water technology clusters

A newly formed Greater East Bay clean energy collaborative is moving forward with plans to position the region as a leading global center for innovation and clean energy. Focused on an industry-cluster strategy, the initiative is directed at "linking research and manufacturing to create a more sustainable planet."

"With the aid of a grant through the Contra Costa County Workforce Development Board, the collaborative is being established to increase regional cooperation and capitalize on the economic strengths, entrepreneurial drive and strong values at play in promoting clean technology, renewable energy and water technology in the region," explains Linda Best, Contra Costa Council president and CEO and Contra Costa Economic Partnership (CCEP) executive director. "This is an initiative that speaks directly to our work in assuring the future economic vitality and quality of life in Contra Costa County and the region."

In the coming weeks and months, the Contra Costa Economic Partnership and its partners will reach out to key individuals and organizations to join in creating a strategic action plan. The effort is being undertaken in cooperation with the economic development entities and workforce development organizations in the three-county region, including the CCEP, Tri-Valley Business Council, East Bay Economic Development Alliance and Solano Economic Development Corporation.

The collaborative's mission is to accelerate clean energy research and innovation, manufacturing and market adoption through regional collaboration and industry clusters. (Broadly defined, an industry cluster is a geographically bounded collection of similar or related firms, which together create competitive advantages for member firms. The principal advantage is increased productivity due to the firms' mutual proximity, linkages and interconnections.)  

Cutting-edge research

Best says the collaborative seeks to build on the region's foundation of cutting-edge research in clean energy and water technologies, which will drive the regional economy in addition to creating primary jobs and addressing global environmental concerns. Specific goals include attracting new, clean energy and water technology companies, assisting existing companies to expand, and helping start-up companies and entrepreneurs to thrive.

"We want to develop an environment that will help clean energy manufacturers scale up, reduce costs, and stay at the cutting edge," says Gary Craft of Craft Consulting, who is a member of the leadership team. Craft authored the CCEP studies that provide the foundation for the effort. These include the East Bay Green Economy Cluster Study, published in July 2008, and the 2006 and 2008 studies, Performance Index: Major Drivers of Contra Costa County's Economy. (See the Studies & Reports section of the Council website for copies of these and other studies, in addition to executive summaries.)

Craft notes that the 2006 and 2008 Performance Indexes outlined the economic drivers of the economy and competitiveness, and described how industries that have been the traditional drivers were maturing, their rate of growth was slowing and, in some cases, jobs were declining. At the same time, the population has been growing, but a higher proportion of workers are leaving the county to work. "We needed to find industries that would supply future growth for Contra Costa County and the region. That led us to look  at cleantech and the green economy, both in terms of keeping companies here locally and growing those industries."

The Regional Clusters of Opportunity grant from the Contra Costa County Workforce Development Board has enabled the project team to begin working to diagnose industry segments, set collaborative priorities, determine core segments for clusters, identify cluster companies, and bring together industry leaders to set collaborative priorities and develop a strategic action plan for the region.

"We are trying to create a venue to bring academia, research, workforce development, economic development and investment capital all together to start talking about how to increase grant funding for research. This funding would accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies being developed by local research institutions, capture the benefits locally through the establishment of new clean energy companies, and help these businesses to locate and grow here," says Craft. "We are in the process of developing a regional asset map. With that in hand, and a leadership team and strategic plan in place, we can begin marketing the region as a global center for innovation in clean energy and water technology."
 
For more information about this initiative, please contact Terry Shoaff or Linda Best at the Contra Costa Economic Partnership at 925-246-1880, or Gary Craft at 925-283-4981.
CEO Viewpoint
Linda Best 2010The Delta is back on the Council's radar screen

By Linda Best, President and CEO, Contra Costa Council

For the last two or three years, the Council's Water Task Force has been deeply engaged in the process of reforming state water policy. Under the able leadership of Bob Whitley and Mitch Randall, the group carefully studied the issues and provided regular input to the Delta Blue Ribbon Task Force's development of Delta Vision. At the recommendation of the task force, the Council's Board of Directors endorsed Delta Vision as a framework for policy reform. In late 2009, the legislature passed historic legislation that embodied the majority of the recommendations in Delta Vision.

But now the hard work begins. The task force recognizes that how the legislation is implemented will determine the success of reform and achievement of the co-equal goals of a healthy Delta ecosystem and reliable water supplies. Because the legislation also impacts land use locally and statewide, the Land Use Task Force has become involved and is tracking the process. The two task forces frequently hold joint meetings.

There are several concurrent activities called for in the legislation. The Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) will prepare a Delta Plan that will be a comprehensive, long-term management plan to achieve the co-equal goals. This plan will also include recommendations regarding state agency management of lands in the Delta and priorities for investment in levees.  It must be completed by January 2012. The DSC is now preparing an interim plan, which will establish a framework for the Delta Plan and identify early actions.

The State Water Resources Control Board recently adopted flow criteria that are required for the health of native fish species. These criteria are to be considered in the development of the Delta Plan and will be the subject of much discussion.

The Delta Protection Commission has been reconstituted and charged with developing an Economic Sustainability Plan to protect, sustain and enhance the cultural, historical, recreational, agricultural and economic values of the Delta. That plan will be incorporated into the DSC's Delta Plan. The Delta Protection Commission is also required to develop recommendations regarding changes to the Primary Zone of the Delta, and that study is under way.

The Delta Conservancy has also been established to support efforts that advance environmental protection and the economic well-being of Delta residents. Contra Costa County Supervisor Mary Piepho serves as chair.

Over the last few months, the Water and Land Use task forces have had very informative presentations from the Delta Protection Commission, the State Water Board and the Delta Stewardship Council. These updates and others will continue as the process unfolds. We are also monitoring many of the meetings of these groups.

The outcomes of these activities have huge significance for our county, the region and the state, so it is crucial that the Council remain informed and provide input. I encourage you to attend the task force meetings. Watch the task force updates in the newsletter and contact the co-chairs if you would like to be included on their e-mail distribution lists.
Advocacy
Council endorses vehicle transportation fee proposal on November ballot

The Contra Costa Council is supporting the Vehicle Registration Fee proposal that the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) has approved for placement on the November 2, 2010 ballot. The Council's Transportation Task Force recommended endorsement of the proposal.

The measure would add $10 to the cost of registering a motor vehicle in Contra Costa County. Revenues will be used to improve local streets and roads, public transit and bicycle-pedestrian routes in Contra Costa communities. The opportunity for a countywide transportation agency to place the fee before voters was authorized last year by passage of Senate Bill 83, authored by Senator Loni Hancock.

Appearing at a CCTA hearing in July, Council President and CEO Linda Best said, "We recognize that local governments are facing severe financial constraints due to the recession and the state's taking of local funds. Revenue from this fee will help local government maintain good streets and roads, enhancing mobility and public safety, which are important to our economic vitality."

CCTA made the decision to put the measure on the ballot in light of the significant backlog of unfunded transportation needs in the county, compounded by the diminishing availability of state and federal resources. According to CCTA, a recent study conducted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission shows that Contra Costa will have a $500 million funding shortfall for pavement maintenance and rehabilitation projects over the next 25 years.
Member News
CCC Habitat groupHabitat for Humanity benefits from the Council's "Give Back to the Community Day"

A crew of enthusiastic Contra Costa Council members volunteered their time on Saturday, July 31, to paint a rehabbed Habitat for Humanity house, inside and out, in Bay Point. The Habitat work day was organized by Council Chair George Smith and Past Chair Peter McGaw.

"We had the job done by 2 p.m., but not without paint on our clothes, skin and in our hair. It was great fun," reported Council President and CEO Linda Best.  

Participants included Ron Wetter, Angela De La Housaye and her son Dylan, George Smith, Peter McGaw, Linda and Ed Best, Ellis Wallenberg, Winnie Froehlich, Molly Raja, Megan Guptill, Ryan Guptill, Kyle Smith, Kathy Hoffman, Gloria Renteria and Ken Mintz.

Pictured above are Council Chair George Smith (at left) and Ellis Wallenberg (at right) and a colleague. View photos of the work day on the Council website.

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Council Director Kristine Chase of Saint Mary's College: Thoughts on connecting academia with the business of the Council

CCC Habitat groupWhen Contra Costa Council Director Kris Chase recently decided to step down as director of the Center for the Regional Economy at Saint Mary's College, her decision marked a change not only for the academic center she led but also for the Council. The economics professor and researcher has been an active member of the Council's Economic Development Task Force since the 1990s and also a longtime member of the Council Board of Directors. She will continue to do research, teach several economics courses as part of the Saint Mary's hybrid Executive MBA program, and remain a regular accreditation team member of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

A thoughtful contributor to issues discussions around the directors' table, Chase has played a role in several key task force studies related to higher education and workforce development. Here she shares her thoughts about the connection between academia and the work of the Council. --Ed.

How have you connected your work as an academic and your involvement with the Council?

When I first became interim dean of the Business School at Saint Mary's in 1993, I felt that the higher education community, apart from the community colleges, was disconnected from business and the economic activities of the community, which I felt was not good. I got involved with the Economic Development Task Force, met people from the community college district and ended up a member of the Contra Costa Community College District Board for four years.

I think the academic community has a responsibility to be involved in the economic vitality of an area. We are often in an artificially distant position and don't get involved, which isn't good for the area or for academia. I am an economist. I teach economics, I do research in economics. Supporting the Council's activities in economic development has been a great opportunity to link teaching and research and my community interests. My association with the Council has been in those areas where I felt my academic background and experience could provide a perspective that might otherwise be missing, as the Council is quite logically primarily a business and governmental organization. The academic perspective is also important in its work. You can use economics to evaluate a lot of the policy proposals that come across the Council's desk. I felt I could contribute something to the discussion that is technically sound and that doesn't have a bias or an axe to grind.

Why has this work been important to you?

The Council is really an organization of volunteers; it is an advocacy organization that takes a perspective. This perspective is based on research and the effort to find a rational consensus and then advocate for a position that benefits the common interest. This is difficult work, and it's different from that of a typical lobbyist, who has a narrow, personal interest or agenda. That is not a criticism; that is what lobbyists do, but the Council doesn't have that narrow interest. There has been a lot of work done in an area of economic theory called "public choice" theory, which addresses why lobbyists have such power and how decisions are made. As individuals, few of us will take the time to call our congressman or assembly member and tell them we think a law is stupid. Our time is too valuable. A lobbyist will do this; that's what they are paid to do. The Council, in a way, offers an avenue to get around that process--to make good use of individual volunteer time to come up with a consensus position that can look at the broader good. Thus, I think an organization like the Council is really important.

How would you encourage a colleague to get involved in the Council's work?

The way to get involved with the Council is with one of the task forces, which deal with a lot of different issues. Most people get involved in volunteer organizations because that organization has a particular focus or issue that means a lot to the individual. With the Council, you have to take a bit of a leap of faith. You have to say, I'm going to be a regular participant, knowing that, sometimes, the discussion won't be about anything that relates to you. The issues the Council tackles are so wide ranging--education, employment, transportation, environmental quality, business development, poverty, unemployment, etc.--but eventually the discussion is bound to connect with what you are interested in. You have to keep showing up to really become a participant in the process.

Will you miss these connections?

I will miss seeing a lot of people whom I respect in terms of what they do and what they have done for so long. I know there will be times when I will wish I could just go to the meeting and speak my mind, but at some point you need to sit back and go into a different stage in life. I have no belief that things are going to be massively different because I'm not going to be there.

It's going to be difficult because I have been involved in something public since we moved back to California in the 1980s. Yet on a personal level, I want the freedom to spend more time with family, and I will continue to teach, write and do my college accreditation work. I feel very lucky to have the possibility of combining these interests. And there are lots of good, qualified, wonderful people who will continue the Council's work. I was raised in a family that believed you need to be involved. We need people who are willing to stick their neck out. You can be critical, but that's not enough. You need to stand up, look around and throw out an idea that might help.

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Dr. Joe Ovick elected president of California state superintendents' association

Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D., a longtime member of the Contra Costa Council Board of Directors, was recently elected as the 2012 president of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA). He will serve as president-elect beginning in January 2011 and as president in January 2012. CCSESA provides the organizational mechanism for the 58 county superintendents of schools to design and implement statewide programs, and it advocates on behalf of K-12 and early childhood education at state and federal levels.
Task Force Briefings
August and September activities . . .

New and prospective Council members are welcome to attend task force meetings. Please notify a task force co-chair prior to the meeting to confirm time and location, as details may change. To view task force agendas, policy papers and recent presentations, visit the individual task force pages on the Council website.

Transportation Task Force . . . Tuesday, August 3, 8 a.m. . . . PMI Building, 3003 Oak Road, Walnut Creek (across from Pleasant Hill BART). Next meeting is Tuesday, September 7, featuring Ellen Smith, eBART project manager, and Susan Miller, projects director of Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), who will discuss the status of the proposed eBART expansion project into eastern Contra Costa County along the Highway 4 corridor. Co-chairs: Kris Johnson and Jim Melino

Environmental/Manufacturing Task Force . . . Friday, August 6, 8:15 to 10 a.m. . . . Archer Norris, 2033 N. Main Street, Suite 800, Walnut Creek. Presentation titled Turning Scrum into Fuel: the Commercialization of Algae, by Bryan Yeh of SAIC. Next meeting is Friday, September 3 (first Friday) at Brown and Caldwell, 201 N. Civic Drive., Suite 300, Walnut Creek. Co-chairs: Peter McGaw and George Smith

Land Use Task Force . . . Tuesday, August 17, 8:15 to 10 a.m. . . . Brown and Caldwell, 201 North Civic Drive, Suite 115 (third floor), Walnut Creek. Joint meeting with the Water Task Force. Discussion of Delta planning and governance featuring Randy Fiorini, a member of the Delta Stewardship Council. Next meeting is Wednesday, September 8 (second Wednesday) at Morrison and Foerster, 101 Ygnacio Valley Road, Suite 450 (south of Walnut Creek BART). The task force will also join the Water Task Force at its Wednesday, September 15 meeting. Co-chairs: Mike McGill and Dan Muller

Water Task Force . . . Tuesday, August 17, 8:15 to 10 a.m. . . . Brown and Caldwell, 201 North Civic Drive, Suite 115 (third floor), Walnut Creek. Joint meeting with the Land Use Task Force. Discussion of Delta planning and governance featuring Randy Fiorini, a member of the Delta Stewardship Council. Next meeting is Wednesday, September 15, when the speaker will be Tom Howard, executive director of the State Water Resources Control Board, who will discuss flow criteria and other issues. Co-chairs: Bob Whitley and Mitch Randall

Workforce Development/Education Task Force . . . Thursday, August 19, 8:30 to 10 a.m. . . . Contra Costa Workforce Development Board, 300 Ellinwood Drive, Bodega Room, Pleasant Hill . . . Overview of the task force's work, review of policy paper and discussion of areas of focus for 2010-11. Presentation by Jessie Ryan of The Campaign for College Opportunity, followed by discussion. Next meeting is Thursday, September 16 (third Thursday). Co-chairs: Joanne Durkee and Kathleen Robinson

Small Business/Entrepreneur Task Force . . . Tuesday, August 24, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. . . . De La Housaye & Associates, 1655 N. Main Street, Room 210 Suite 260, Walnut Creek. Quarterly meeting with local chamber of commerce executives and legislative aides. Next (regular) meeting is Tuesday, September 28 (fourth Tuesday). Co-chairs: Angela De La Housaye and Zachary Sahar

Economic Development Task Force . . . Wednesday, August 25, 8 to 9 a.m. . . . City National Bank, 2001 N. Main St., #200, Walnut Creek. (Check with task force co-chairs for meeting details.) In July, task force member Kris Chase of Saint Mary's updated the task force on the higher education study. Next meeting is Wednesday, September 22 (fourth Wednesday). Co-chairs: Mike Conlon and Gary Craft

Health Care Task Force . . . . . No  meeting in August . . . Thursday, September 2, 8:30 to 10 a.m. . . . Morgan Miller Blair, 1331 N. California Blvd., Suite 200, Walnut Creek. In July, Gary Craft of Craft Consulting and co-chair of the Economic Development Task Force spoke in support of the proposed California Jobs initiative that would suspend requirements of the AB 32 environmental legislation until the unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent. Other legislative and policy updates and discussion of the collaborative care model. Next meeting is Thursday, September 2 (first Thursday). Co-chairs: Lynn Baskett and Steve Van Wart

Social Responsibility Task Force . . . No meeting in August . . . Thursday, September 23, 8 to 9:30 a.m. . . . Brandman University, 2950 Buskirk Ave., Room 307, Walnut Creek. In July, members heard from Alissa Friedman of Opportunity Junction, and discussed the task force policy paper update. Co-chairs: Kate Ertz-Berger and Mark Hughes
Our Mission

The mission of the Contra Costa Council is to provide advocacy on public policy issues affecting the economic vitality and quality of life in Contra Costa County.

The Council engages on issues of critical importance to the business community and residents of Contra Costa County, balancing the needs of a diverse county though policy efforts that provide for economic development while retaining our quality of life. The Council also produces top-tier events, including Contra Costa USA, the premier business event in the county, featuring major national speakers as well as providing a local perspective on current events.

The Council retains a close relationship with local, state and federal elected officials. These relationships provide regular opportunities for our members to interact with their political representatives and other business leaders.

For more information about the Council, please visit our website.

To comment on items in this newsletter, please contact Linda Best at the Contra Costa Council.

This issue was edited for the Contra Costa Council by Molly A. Walker of Walker Communications.

2010 Contra Costa Council