At NBLC we rise to meet the challenges. The mission of NBLC is to advocate for sound public policy. Addressing the issues facing employers is our core work and reason for existence. We are here to be at the table devising solutions and fighting for sound public policy that will help our region be prosperous, innovative, and sustainable. We represent you at every level of government and collaborate and build coalitions whenever we can. We are committed a more equitable future where diversity and inclusion are encouraged and respected.
- Led efforts in Marin and Sonoma Counties to support recovery of business community through strategic planning and investments, reasonable mitigations for business to continue outdoor operations, reducing permitting and other fees, and regulatory relief.
- Worked in collaboration with other employer-oriented groups to support the business community and economy including the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, California Forward, REAL Coalition, California Stewardship Network, New California Coalition, Bay Area Council and Community Economic Resilience Fund planning group.
- Provided timely information on COVID responses by government including restrictions, new laws and guidelines, and sources for assistance.
- Raised urgency of childcare crisis and successfully obtained more funding and accommodations at the state level.
- Sent and/or signed on to over 100 letters regarding support or opposition to legislation, projects, policies at all levels of government. The areas of advocacy were COVID recovery, housing, CEQA reform, water and energy resiliency, fire mitigation, transportation, immigration, taxes, childcare and early child education, education (from Pre-K to higher ed), Career Technical Education, and workforce development and training.
- Spoke at public hearings on behalf of our members on housing projects and business growth that needed a voice from the employer community and successfully gained support.
- Produced the Leaders of the North Bay Awards Luncheon, State of the North Bay Conference, four Board Meetings, five Good Government Get Togethers, eight Member Forums, and four Business Edge Breakfast Briefings, plus hosted and sponsored numerous meetings.
- Our State of the North Bay Conference provided original research on the impacts on the North Bay economy as it moved from recovery to recession and which industries were more challenged by the workforce shortage, inflation, lack of childcare and housing crisis.
- Obtained a grant from Marin Community Foundation on behalf of Marin Housing Crisis Action for housing advocacy.
- Continued building support and understanding for more workforce and affordable housing by working collaboratively with coalitions in Marin and Sonoma counties; chairs the Marin Housing Crisis Action and advocated for project approvals in Marin and Sonoma Counties and hosted workshops on advocating for more housing, supporting new housing elements and efforts in the North Bay to streamline housing approvals and remove barriers. Worked on building support for employer-provided housing and for more accessory and junior accessory dwelling units throughout the North Bay. Successfully supported state legislation to allow for more density in in-fill development, reduction in parking requirements, and building housing on commercial land by right. Opposed moratoriums on new water hook-ups for new construction.
- Continued serving as Chair of the REAL Coalition’s Education and Workforce Development Committee.
- Collaborated with business organizations in the North Bay for increased economic competitiveness, job creation and more training of workforce to have skills needed to fill job vacancies; helped do polling of employers on economic recovery issues, remote working, transit use, and supply chain problems.
- Helped plan the California Economic Summit by serving on the Steering Committee.
- Continued advocacy for expansion and improvement of broadband network in the North Bay.
- CEO gave speeches, moderated panels, wrote opinion pieces and was a resource to members, employers and the community.
- NBLC and the President/CEO received media coverage on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, blogs and newsletters.
- Produced 12 issues of Policy Watch newsletter and grew subscriptions by 5%.
- Managed social media on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Broadcasted members good news and leadership in Policy Watch, website, blog and social media.
- Showcased Board members in the Profiles in Leadership feature on the website.
- Provided members speaking opportunities at events, board meetings and forums.
Proactive on Public Policy Issues
Produced NBLC Member Forums on Hot Topics of interest
Held eight Forums on these topics: climate change, toll roads, Becoming Independent, LIME Foundation, Employee Wellness – Blue Zones, economic development, entrepreneurism, and Marin Community Foundation.
In Housing, NBLC:
- Chaired Housing Crisis Action in Marin. Held Housing summit, meetings and workshops to build the political will for more housing in Marin and support policies, regulations and legislation to enable more housing to be created
- Obtained a grant from Marin Community Foundation on behalf of Marin Housing Crisis Action for housing advocacy.
- Served on the Employers Housing Council in Sonoma County until it disbanded in the summer
- Continued to raise awareness and bring the North Bay together to confront the housing crisis by writing opinion pieces in newspapers and Policy Watch
- Successfully advocated for new housing project approvals in the North Bay, sending numerous letters of support
- Held meetings with developers of new housing projects to provide feedback and support for moving forward
- Supported numerous housing bills for new housing funding and removing barriers to construction at the state level
- Advocated for regional housing solutions as proposed in the CASA Compact from MTC/ABAG
- Met with housing advocates and formed coalitions to partner on housing legislation, regulations, permitting, zoning, housing bonds, etc.
- Supported cities and counties adopting of new regulations to streamline creating accessory and junior accessory units
- Successfully supported higher Regional Housing Needs Assessments for all jurisdictions in the North Bay in their update of their Housing Elements
- Upheld support for new housing as a criterion in candidate endorsements
In Education, NBLC:
- Supported Early Child Care and Education programs in the region and at the state level as chair of REAL Coalition Education and Workforce Development Committee and member of the California Preschool Business Advisory Council. Garnered support for a sales tax in Sonoma County to fund early child care and education programs and facilities
- Successfully advocated for transitional kindergarten and preschool for all children at the state and local level
- Collaborated on how to close the achievement gap and digital divide for students of color
- Served on the board for the Barowsky School of Business and the LePage Center for Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Dominican University
- Continued teaching “North Bay Public Policy and Leadership” in the Executive MBA program at Sonoma State.
- Supported additional funding requests for the CSU and UC systems, and the Community Colleges in the state budget.
- Participated in the Marin School to Careers Partnership.
- Continued the board of the XR Marin Leadership Council.
- Successfully advocated for the continuation of Calbright College as an online education opportunity.
In Economic Competitiveness, NBLC:
- Built coalitions and collaborations with other business organizations to fight for more economic relief for businesses, nonprofits and workers; reasonable restrictions on business operations; stop overreaching workers’ comp legislation; oppose accelerating the minimum wage increases, develop/implement Economic Recovery Strategic Plans, and meet with elected officials to spur more regulatory and financial relief from government for struggling businesses including keeping outdoor dining facilities
- CEO is working on a variety of fronts to improve workforce readiness including helping more students get post-secondary education and training, reskilling/upskilling existing workers, building a web of educators, employers, government and labor to anticipate job displacement and preparation for skills needed for job creation. Workforce displacement and need for training/education are one of our biggest challenges.
- Serves on the Bay Area Council’s Economic Institute’s board, Bay Area Business Coalition, REAL Coalition, California Stewardship Network, and CA FWD and advocated for economic resilience at state and regional level.
- Partners with the heads of the business organizations in Marin County and Sonoma County to exchange ideas about creating jobs and improving the local economy and meet with County Supervisors and other elected officials
- Co-produced four Business Edge Breakfast Briefings in partnership with Dominican University’s Institute of Leadership Studies.
- Participated in California Economic Summit planning.
- Lectured on the Future of Jobs and VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity).
In Transportation, NBLC:
- Advocated for the funding to do the interim fix for Highway 37 and third lane and other improvements for the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
- Participated in the Highway 37 Joint Committee meetings to look at options for Highway 37 improvements and funding to deal with congestion and sea level rise.
- Supporting opening up the third lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to commuter traffic as well as the need to replace the existing bridge, and the need to prepare for the move to electric and autonomous vehicles.
- Collaborated on surveys to understand commuters return to workplace and transit use.
- Successfully advocated for the funding to finish widening the Marin Sonoma Narrows.
- Supported efforts to increase ridership on SMART and other public transit.
In Government and Public Pension/Regulatory Reform, NBLC:
- Held 5 Good Government Get Togethers.
- Held a Legislative Advocacy Day.
- Continues to press for real public pension and retiree medical reforms.
- Continues to work for real CEQA and other regulatory reforms.
- Informed legislators and staff of key policy positions and explored ways to work together where there is common ground in our Good Government Get Togethers, meetings with elected officials and Board meetings.
- Endorsed candidates for office in primary and general elections. Two thirds of endorsees won their races.
In Sustainability/Environment, NBLC:
- Partnered with other business organizations on water policy and sustainability.
- Advocated for environmental stewardship – including greenhouse gas reduction efforts, alternative energy systems, reduced energy and water consumption, encouraged car and van pooling, and company cleanup days for beaches, parks and open space, and much more.
- Worked collaboratively to build resiliency to climate change and foster better adaptations to new normal of heat, drought, intense storms and fires.
- Supported the Governor’s new water strategy plan to increase resiliency.
In Healthy Communities, NBLC:
- Serves on the Healthy Marin Partnership.
- Serves on the Petaluma Heath Care District’s CHIPA committee and subcommittees.
- Serve on California Preschool Business Advisory Council.
- Working to increase funding for children in Sonoma County by exploring new funding options.
- Supported hospitals in efforts to get what they need as the impacts of the pandemic continue.
- Advocated for recommended precautions to minimize the spread of COVID to help keep our community healthy.
In Connecting to the Community, NBLC:
- Produces North Bay Policy Watch, an e-newsletter discussing topical news concerning the issues of importance about public policy priorities, NBLC members and events.
- Produced State of the North Bay Conference and the Leaders of the North Bay Awards Luncheon.
- Gave seven students college scholarships.
- Broadcasts information via NBLC’s blog and social media, including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
- Pens Opinion Pieces for the local newspapers.
- Speaks at conferences and events in the North Bay and at request of groups/organizations.
- Facilitated Sonoma Business Consortium and Keep Marin Working business coalitions.
- Co-sponsors events and programs like the Business Edge series with Dominican University’s Leadership Institute.
Good Relations with Elected and Appointed Officials
NBLC meets often with elected and appointed officials. The CEO meets with the Sonoma and Marin County Supervisors regularly. We hold a Legislative Advocacy Day in May. And we had five Good Government Get-Togethers (GGG) to help build relationships between its members and elected and appointed officials to further understanding and cooperation. The CEO meets with Marin and Sonoma Supervisors regularly and often with Mayors and Councilmembers.
NBLC endorses candidates and ballot measures that represent the goals and values of our organization. NBLC has two Political Action Committees that contribute to candidates and measures that have won our support.
NBLC produced two Signature Events:
- Economic Insight Conference “State of the North Bay”
- Leaders of the North Bay Awards Luncheon
Original Research to Gain Economic Insight
NBLC researches public policy issues and economic trends and presents that information in its Policy Watch newsletter, speaking engagements and often at its Economic Insight Conferences.
NBLC Fosters Partnerships, Collaborations, and Participates within:
- Bay Area Business Coalition
- Bay Area Council’s Economic Institute
- Bay Area Council’s Water, Government Affairs, and Transportation/Land Use Committees
- Bay Area Economic Development District
- California Preschool Business Advisory Council
- California Stewardship Network
- Healthy Marin Partnership
- Keep Marin Working
- Marin Housing Crisis Action, Steering Committee
- Marin Schools to Career Partnership
- New California Coalition
- North Bay Children’s Center, Advisory Committee
- Northern California Apprenticeship Network
- Petaluma Healthcare District’s CHIPA
- Pepperwood Advisory Council
- REAL Coalition (statewide business organizations)
- REAL Coalition Education & Workforce Development Committee, Chair
- Sonoma County Business & Ag Consortium
XR Marin Leadership Council