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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.
|Sacramento Update with 15th Assembly District Member Joan Buchanan|
Friday, March 16
11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Contra Costa Country Club
801 Golf Road, Pleasant Hill
Contact the Council office for details.
State of the County Address with Contra Costa Board of Supervisors Chair Mary Piepho
Thursday, March 29
11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Contra Costa Country Club
801 Golf Road, Pleasant Hill
Registration will open soon on the Council website.
Friday, April 27
1:30 to 5:30 pm, with reception following
Crowne Plaza Hotel
45 John Glenn Drive, Concord
Registration will open soon on the Council website. Watch for details!
Save the date!
Small Business Awards Luncheon
Friday, May 4
11:30 am to 1:30 pm
1970 Diamond Blvd., Concord
Contra Costa Council Installation Dinner
Thursday, June 7
Contra Costa Country Club
801 Golf Road, Pleasant Hill
28th Annual Contra Costa Council Golf Tournament
Monday, August 20
Round Hill Country Club
3169 Round Hill Road, Alamo
Always a great event!
For information about any Contra Costa Council event, please contact the Council office or call 925.246.1880, fax 925.674.1654.
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|March 16 & March 29 Luncheons|
|Assemblymember Joan Buchanan and Supervisor Mary Piepho headline the Council's March events|
Join the Contra Costa Council for two special luncheon programs in March.
On Friday, March 16, Assemblymember Joan Buchanan will offer a "Sacramento Update" at the Contra Costa County Club, 801 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill, starting at 11:30 a.m.
Buchanan was elected to the State Assembly in November 2008 and represents the 15th Assembly District, which includes portions of Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento and San Joaquin counties and the communities of Brentwood, Danville, Elk Grove, Galt, Livermore, Oakley, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Stockton and Walnut Creek.
On Thursday, March 29, Contra Costa Board of Supervisors Chair Mary Piepho will give the annual "State of the County" luncheon presentation at Contra Costa County Club, starting at 11:30 a.m.
Piepho is serving in her second, four-year term as a supervisor of District III, covering Antioch, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Discovery Bay, Knightsen and Oakley in east Contra Costa County and Blackhawk, Diablo and Tassajara Valley in the southern portions of the county. Registration for the March 29 program will open soon on the Council website.
|CCUSA 2012 Recap|
| Contra Costa USA celebrates 26 years with another great program|
John King (pictured at right), the San Francisco Chronicle's urban design critic who grew up in Walnut Creek, kicked off Contra Costa USA (CCUSA) 2012 on January 26 with his presentation, Vision for the Bay Area, which he reflected on a few days later in his Chronicle column, Hard to see just one vision for growing.
As King noted in that column, "My vision for the Bay Area would be that in the decades to come we strive to forge a vibrant urbanism as distinct as the natural setting. Not a region where one size of development fits all, for there will always be cul de sacs and hamlets in the mix. But one that embraces the chance to make every community a self-reliant hub with attractions close to home, where you live in very different ways at different stages of your life."
"We all have our own Bay Areas," said King at CCUSA. The bigger question from here on, he added, is how do we add to our sense of place in an affirmative way? "How do we create new downtowns that are worthy of what we inherited? How do we make good places to live?"
The logical follow-up to King's discourse was the first morning's panel, "Sustainable Communities Strategy for the Bay Area," moderated by the Council's VP Events Andrew Sabey of Cox Castle & Nicholson. The topic of discussion was the proposed Plan Bay Area, a joint effort led by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in partnership with the Bay Area's other two regional government agencies, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC).
Between 2012 and 2040, the county's current population of one million residents will grow to 1.3 million, with households increasing from 357,000 to 486,000, noted panelist Amy Worth, vice chair of the MTC. "As a region, we need to ensure that our transportation needs are fulfilled." Worth added that public input is critical to the "One Bay Area" plan, which she sees as an opportunity for cities to revitalize themselves.
Panelist Paul Campos, senior vice president of governmental affairs and general counsel, Building Industry Association of the Bay Area, noted there had been a "serious avoidance of the D-word" (density) in discussion of the plan. He said the plan relies on densification by an additional 20 percent, and as much as 100 percent. "It's important to disclose that to people ... and determine if these are realistic goals." Catherine Kutsuris, director of Contra Costa's Department of Conservation and Development, said the challenge will be to agree on priorities as a region. "East County is rich in housing but lacking in jobs. How do we bring jobs to existing housing?" she asked.
The path forward
The second morning panel, "Balanced and Sustainable Growth in Contra Costa County: A Path Forward," was moderated by Kevin Klowden, director of the California Center and managing economist for the Milken Institute. Klowden shared initial findings of the institute's comprehensive analysis of the county, noting its weaknesses, which included imbalanced job growth and uneven wealth distribution. Strengths included a highly educated workforce, offering opportunities for local employment; industry clusters "that exist to be built upon" and the quality and strength of the area's workforce.
"Cities need to work with businesses and employers to understand their needs ... we need to create synergies," said Walnut Creek City Manager Ken Nordhoff, citing the example of Shadelands Business Park. Gary Craft of Craft Consulting Group noted that the area's educated workforce is located here due to good schools and housing, but Generation Y wants to be where the action is. "We need to focus on new industries to create growth and job opportunities for the future," said Craft. While touting the RichmondBUILD Pre-apprenticeship Construction Skills and Green Jobs Training Academy, Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay said, "It is not just about solar installation. School kids need to know they can go into energy research, too."
California's budget woes ... and governance reform
Californians believe there is still a recession, have concerns about the impact of state and federal budget cuts, and give low ratings to their legislators, said luncheon keynoter Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California. He said there is a lot of mistrust in how state and federal government spend money with growing interest in moving dollars to the local level. While there is enthusiasm for the initiative process, people realize it is subject to special interests. One of the biggest demographic changes is that a higher proportion of residents were born in California. "It's about making the most of the people we have here; we're not dealing with it," he said.
In a brief appearance after Baldassare, California Forward governance reform proponent Sunne Wright McPeak commended the Council for its work and announced that the California Think Long Committee had agreed to join forces with California Forward. The new partnership is backing California Forward's Government Performance and Accountability Act with an eye on securing sufficient signatures in time for the November general election.
In her keynote remarks following dinner, NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg told several stories about the the Supreme Court justices on her legal affairs beat--"smart people but still people." She said she believes that partisan politics plays no conscious role in Supreme Court decisions. "The justices make judgements; they have opinions; I believe they try to overcome their biases." Totenberg quoted French political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville, who said that any pressing issue will eventually end up in the Supreme Court. She observed that the court is more conservative today than any court since 1930, comparing it to the liberal and activist Warren Court (1953-1969). She predicted that this term the court is likely to hear cases including the constitutionality of the Obama health care law and the Arizona Immigration Law.
The court has admitted it has been wrong, she noted, in the case of Brown v. Board of Education and in the Citizens United case regarding political contributions. Asked if democracy can survive Super PACs, she said she believed it could. "It's survived everything else," said Totenberg.
View photos of CCUSA by Timothy Burman Photography on the Council website.
Contra Costa Television is airing CCUSA presentations March 20-23 and in future weeks on Comcast channel 27, Astound channel 32 and AT&T U-Verse channel 99. For air dates, visit the CCTV program guide.
The Council thanks all CCUSA sponsors, exhibitors and table patrons, including Chevron (title sponsor); Contra Costa Times, John Muir Health, Kaiser Permanente, Shell Martinez Refinery (major sponsors); AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah, Allied Waste Services, Comcast, ConocoPhillips Rodeo Refinery, Morrison & Foerster, San Francisco Business Times, Sunvalley Shopping Center, Wells Fargo (sustaining sponsors); Citi, Contra Costa Association of REALTORS®, Delta Diablo Sanitation District, Foley & Lardner LLP, GenOn, Mechanics Bank, Miller Starr Regalia, Waste Management, Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County (contributing sponsors).
Photo of John King by Timothy Burman Photography
|Rob Fuller and Jenny Kohler are new Council directors
Rob Fuller, senior vice president, Mechanics Bank
, was elected a director of the Council at the February board meeting. He replaces Ira Hillyer, who has retired.
Jenny Kohler, director of Retail Advertising, Bay Area News Group
, was also elected a director and succeeds David Rounds in this role.
Judith Parker named co-chair of the Council's Social Responsibility Task Force
Judith Parker, development director of the Contra Costa Crisis Center
, has been named co-chair of the Council's Social Responsibility Task Force. She shares that role with Mark Hughes and succeeds Kate Ertz-Berger.
Joanne Durkee appointed to the California Adult Ed Field Partnership Team
The California Department of Education's Adult Education Office
has named Joanne Durkee, director of Adult and Career Education
in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District and co-chair of the Council's Workforce Development/Education Task Force, the Region 4 representative on the California Adult Education Field Partnership Team.
|News from Our Members|
Bay Planning Coalition's "Maritime Bay" Conference is April 26
"The Maritime Bay: The Economic Importance to the Northern California Economy" is the theme of the San Francisco Bay Planning Coalition's 25th Annual Decisionmakers Conference, set for Thursday, April 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by a cocktail party. This year's conference will be held in the Pavilion at Scott's Seafood restaurant, Jack London Square, Oakland. For more information, visit http://bayplanningcoalition.org/dmc/
Weiss Associates wins Livermore Lab contractWeiss Associates
, an Emeryville environmental consulting firm and Council member, won an estimated $15 million contract with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to provide hydrogeologic and environmental remediation services at the Livermore site and 300 Superfund sites. This is the fourth LLNL contract win for Weiss Associates since 1984.
Contra Costa STEAM news is online
Council members are invited to stay in touch with the Contra Costa County Office of Education's STEAM program (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) events by subscribing to the STEAM newsletter. The March 2012 issue and past issues are archived here
JFK University hosts conference on recovery from PTSD and traumatic brain injury
John F. Kennedy University is offering a one-day conference, "Front Line to Home Front: Promoting Recovery from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury," on March 30 at JFK, 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill. Directed at primary care and community health providers, health professionals, educators, agencies and others, the event will feature a keynote by the Honorable Stephen V. Manley, along with workshops and an exhibitor area. Register here
or call (800) 557-1384.
Opportunity Junction's May job training application sessions
Opportunity Junction, which offers low-income adults the job training and skills to help them support themselves and their families, has scheduled four Job Training and Placement Program application sessions in May. Sessions are scheduled from 9:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, May 7, 14 and 21, at 3102 Delta Fair Boulevard, Antioch, and on Thursday, May 10, at the Bay Point Career Center at Ambrose Recreation Center, 3105 Willow Pass Road, Bay Point. All sessions are free.
For information about upcoming training, contact Manager of Personal Development Natalie Georgia at (925) 776-1133. For temporary staffing or direct-hire needs, contact Business Services Manager Rich Berger
or visit http://www.opportunityjunction.org/
|Contra Costa Economic Partnership News|
Regional clean technology initiative launches membership drive
The Diablo Innovation Alliance
, the clean energy and water technology initiative of the Contra Costa Economic Partnership, has launched a new website and membership marketing campaign, focused on driving innovative economic growth and job creation in the region's clean technology sectors.
The website offers updates about the Alliance's current work in promoting the greater East Bay's clean energy and water technology industry clusters and the pivotal role the regional collaborative is playing in promoting cluster growth, providing public policy leadership, facilitating networking opportunities and providing business assistance to cluster members.
In addition to Alliance and industry news, the website offers links to research and reports and substantive information about the greater East Bay's regional asset base, including iHubs, industry associations, research institutes, and cleantech training programs offered through community colleges and nonprofits like Solar Richmond
. An updatable regional industry cluster map and cluster database locates and details clean-energy and water technology companies, contractors and installers and professional service providers. Companies can add their company's information directly on this website page
In December, the Alliance, through the Economic Partnership, received a major US Department of Energy Rooftop Solar Challenge
grant to spur solar power deployment and reduce costs by cutting bureaucratic red tape. The Permit Streamlining Project
is under way, with some 20 light commercial and residential businesses in eight cities throughout Contra Costa County expressing interest in participating. Successful implementation would serve as a best practice model for statewide adoption.
Another Alliance program is the Aggregated Clean Energy Procurement Program for Public Agencies, called the Regional Renewable Energy Procurement
(R-REP) program, which the Alliance is conducting in partnership with the General Services Agency of Alameda County
and Joint Venture Silicon Valley
for public agencies throughout Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Solano counties. These public agencies are joining forces to collaboratively purchase clean-energy systems with the anticipated benefits of excellent cost and time savings.
Other efforts include:
- a Regulatory Reform group, working to lower the cost of development and implementation in all areas of clean/alternative energy;
- a workforce needs survey, planned to determine the region's workforce needs, types of jobs and the level of education and skills required for the emerging new jobs in the clean energy and water technology sectors; and
- an innovative water technology conference, planned in early 2013 to increase awareness of innovative water technologies and provide professional networking important to the adoption of new products, systems and business practice.
For more information, visit www.diabloinnovationalliance.org
or contact Terry Shoaff
|Contra Costa Economic Partnership STEM Workforce Initiative|
Partnership's Workforce Initiative participates in Project Lead the Way briefing
The Contra Costa Economic Partnership's STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Initiative was part of a special Project Lead The Way (PLTW) business briefing in Sacramento on February 23. Speakers included Vince Bertram, PLTW CEO, and Matt Lonner, manager of Global Partnerships, Chevron, who talked about how PLTW is making a difference in California classrooms in aligning high school transformation strategies with industry's need for future STEM workers.
In the East Bay, CCEP is partnering with Chevron, PLTW and San Jose State University "to create momentum around secondary-school transformative strategies that use the linked-learning approach and include PLTW, considered college prep career technical education (CTE) electives by the University of California and California State University systems," according to April Treece, STEM Workforce Initiative director. "We are already tracking students from high school Engineering Pathways to SJSU Engineering," she adds.
The Chevron/PLTW/CCEP East Bay Partnership currently has 20 secondary schools offering PLTW, and that number is expected to increase significantly in the 2012-13 school year. Currently, Mt. Diablo High, Clayton Valley High, Northgate High and Concord High (all in Mt. Diablo Unified), Antioch High, Richmond High, Pinole Valley High and others are offering PLTW--some two or three courses.
Watch for more news about PLTW and the Workforce Initiative's involvement in the 2012 Intel-affiliated Contra Costa Science & Engineering Fair, being held March 15-17 at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg.
|Task Force Briefings|
March and April 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 meeting topics, 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.
Health Task Force . . . Thursday, March 1, 8:30 to 10 a.m. . . . Burr Pilger Mayer, 2001 N. Main Street, Suite 360, Walnut Creek. Contra Costa and state budget updates from Dr. Bill Walker of Contra Costa County Health Services; feedback from task force co-chairs meeting, specifically the 2012 Health Task Force Work Plan. Next meeting is Thursday, April 5. Co-Chairs: Lynn Baskett and Steve Van Wart
Workforce Development & Education Task Force . . . Wednesday, March 7, 8:30 to 10 a.m. . . . Contra Costa Workforce Development Board, 300 Ellinwood, Eagle Room, Pleasant Hill. Armando Viramontes of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory discussed the selection of Richmond as a location to consolidate Berkeley Lab's facilities and the role the task force could play in meeting the educational needs of its future workforce. Also discussed the task force's proposed STEM Initiative to ensure an adequate supply of STEM-educated workers in Contra Costa County. Next meeting is Wednesday, April 4. Co-Chairs: Joanne Durkee and Kathleen Robinson
Land Use Task Force . . . . Monday, March 12, 12 noon to 2 p.m. . . . Brown and Caldwell, 201 N. Civic Drive, Suite 300, Walnut Creek. Special joint task force meeting to discuss development of a Contra Costa Council policy regarding the Sustainable Communities Strategy. Next regular meeting is Wednesday, March 14, 8 to 9 a.m., at Archer Norris, 2033 N. Main Street, Suite 800, Walnut Creek. Features Ron Gerber, economic development manager, City of Walnut Creek, discussing the city's current and projected development activity, plans and policies: a case study of infill, lessons to be learned. Co-chairs: Mike McGill and Ed Shaffer
Economic Development Task Force . . . Monday, March 12, 12 noon to 2 p.m. . . . Brown and Caldwell, 201 N. Civic Drive, Suite 300, Walnut Creek. Special joint task force meeting to discuss development of a Contra Costa Council policy regarding the Sustainable Communities Strategy. Next regular meeting is Wednesday, March 28, 8 to 9 a.m., at CFOs2GO, 500 Ygnacio Valley Road, Suite 410, Walnut Creek (note new location near Walnut Creek BART). Featuring Dr. Andrew McIlroy, senior manager for Livermore Valley Open Campus (LVOC) Development, a joint initiative of Sandia National Laboratories and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to create a transparently accessible, common campus for the two national security laboratories. The Wednesday, April 25 meeting will feature Wayne Schell, president/CEO of the California Association for Local Economic Development, who will discuss economic development in California over the next several years. Co-chairs: Mike Conlon and Gary Craft
Water Task Force . . . Monday, March 12, 12 noon to 2 p.m. . . . Brown and Caldwell, 201 N. Civic Drive, Suite 300, Walnut Creek. Special joint task force meeting to discuss development of a Contra Costa Council policy regarding the Sustainable Communities Strategy. Next regular meeting is Tuesday, March 20, 8:15 to 10 a.m., at John F. Kennedy University, 100 Ellinwood Way, Room N358, Pleasant Hill. Featuring Ellen Hanak, a senior policy fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California and one of the authors of the report, "Transitions for the Delta Economy," providing an overview about the Delta. In January, the task force offered a special "funding fair" with information about federal and state government financial assistance programs available to water and wastewater public agencies. Next meeting is Tuesday, April 17. Co-chairs: Bob Whitley and Ann Spaulding
Environmental/Manufacturing Task Force . . . Monday, March 12, 12 noon to 2 p.m. . . . Brown and Caldwell, 201 N. Civic Drive, Suite 300, Walnut Creek. Special joint task force meeting to discuss development of a Contra Costa Council policy regarding the Sustainable Communities Strategy. Next regular meeting is Friday, April 6, 8:15 to 10 a.m. Co-Chairs: Peter McGaw and George Smith
Transportation Task Force . . . Monday, March 12, 12 noon to 2 p.m. . . . Brown and Caldwell, 201 N. Civic Drive, Suite 300, Walnut Creek. Special joint task force meeting to discuss development of a Contra Costa Council policy regarding the Sustainable Communities Strategy. Next regular meeting TBA. Co-Chair: Kris Johnson
Small Business/Entrepreneur Task Force . . . Tuesday, March 27, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. . . . AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah, 3055 Oak Road, Yosemite A Conference Room, Walnut Creek. Quarterly Chamber executive/legislative representative meeting. Co-Chairs: Angela De La Housaye and David Kelly
Social Responsibility Task Force . . . Thursday, March 29, 8 to 9:30 a.m. . . . Brandman University, 2950 Buskirk Avenue, Room 307, Walnut Creek. In February, task force members discussed the proposed 2012 work plan and workshop plans. Next meeting is Thursday, April 26. Co-Chairs: Mark Hughes and Judith Parker
Please welcome these new Council members!
Julie Strand, Vice President, Development
3003 Oak Road, Suite 109
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
(415) 310-1957 ph
Empowering young people to own their economic success.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Armando Viramontes, Community Relations Representative
State Government and Community Relations Office
One Cyclotron Road, MS 65
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 486-6251 ph
Bringing science solutions to the world.
Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa
David Gerson, Executive Director
Joleen Lafayette, Development Director
Eleanor Bonner, Operations Manager
1985 Bonifacio Street, Suite 100
Concord, CA 94520
(925) 687-6760 ph
(925) 687-3474 fax
Feeding the hungry of Contra Costa County by providing free hot nutritious meals at dining facilities.
Mullin Law Firm
Ronald K. Mullin, Esq., Principal
1355 Willow Way, Suite 110
Concord, CA 94520
(925) 798-3413 ph
(925) 798-3118 fax
Estate planning law firm
Steve Nelson, CEO
Oakland CA 94611
(510) 839-8800 ph
(510) 839-8853 fax
Committed to supporting both the people and organizations of the communities we serve.
|About the Council
The Contra Costa Council is a public policy advocacy organization that promotes the economic vitality and quality of life of Contra Costa County and the Greater East Bay region. The Council engages on issues of critical importance to the business community and residents of the county, balancing the needs of a diverse region through policy efforts that provide for local and regional economic development while retaining our quality of life.
Through its task forces, the Council develops and supports policy positions to further its mission and sponsors educational forums for its members and the community.
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. © 2012 Contra Costa Council