NBLC’s TOP PRIORITIES
North Bay Leadership Council is an employer-led public policy advocacy organization committed to providing leadership in ways to make the North Bay sustainable, prosperous and innovative. The Council includes 47 leading employers in the region. Our members represent a wide variety of businesses, non-profits and educational institutions, with a workforce in excess of 25,000.
Education is the key determinant of the future of California. It is the best place to invest to reap economic, social, public health and environmental benefits. NBLC seeks Preschool for All, more Career Technical education, more focus on closing the achievement gap for Latino students, greater college access, and more support for higher education. Our students are competing for the jobs of the future with students from all over the world. We need the state to make education their top investment and elevate public education to the top of the rankings.
Improve Commutes and Goods Movement
The North Bay is choked with commute and goods movement traffic due to bottlenecks in our main transportation corridors and a lack of a seamless mass transit system. Highway 101 is the lifeline of Northern California and completing the HOV lanes in the Marin-Sonoma Narrows remains unfunded. Highway 37 is a crucial connector of the North Bay to the rest of the state - it needs to be four lanes and elevated above the rising sea level. The third land on the Richmond-San Rafael needs to be reopened now. Our local roads are some of the worst in the state. The state has neglected its infrastructure for too long and needs a plan and funding to remove the economic barriers that a lack of adequate infrastructure creates. The SMART train needs funding for adding capacity to its rail service to meet the expected demand.
Jobs and Economic Competitiveness
NBLC seeks every opportunity to leverage California’s competitive advantages to ensure employers can prosper and create high paying jobs. New jobs tend to be lower paying and stagnant wages are pushing people out of the middle class. In order for California to be a leader in innovation throughout the world, the state must focus its efforts on creating a business-friendly environment including a comprehensive economic development strategy that is aligned throughout state government and reflected in all state policies, regulations and procedures. That strategy should include addressing the neglected infrastructure that limits growth and adds costs to all business operations.
Housing and Sustainable Development
There is a critical shortage of workforce and affordable housing in the North Bay. This is crippling the region’s ability to be economically competitive, especially in attracting the skilled workforce needed. NBLC supports a permanent source of funding for affordable and workforce housing so that our region can maintain its economic vitality. Housing construction is victim to the abuse of CEQA. We urge the modernization of CEQA this year without further delay.
Health System Transformation
California is experiencing a healthcare affordability crisis as businesses struggle to pay spiraling healthcare costs. Healthcare reform has put in place a framework that will allow insurers, providers, purchasers and policymakers to work together on solutions that get at the biggest drivers of cost: lack of competition among healthcare providers, perverse payment incentives for physicians and hospitals, and an unhealthy patient population struggling with costly chronic conditions.
California’s economy, jobs, and water are inexorably linked. Job growth cannot continue without an adequate and reliable water supply to support the economy. NBLC seeks to ensure measures are taken to now respond to the drought so the North Bay, and the rest of the state, has safe, clean, high quality, adequate, and reliable water supplies in order to support the needs of economic growth and quality of life.
The unfunded liabilities of state pension plans are a growing burden on the taxpayers and threaten the state’s fiscal sustainability. NBLC supported the Governor’s 12 Point Plan for Pension Reform and urges the legislature to finish the job it started on getting the pensions where they need by doing the math to see that if changes aren’t made, both the state employees and taxpayers will suffer.