2017 Accomplishments

Major Accomplishments

  • Produced two Signature events, four Board Meetings, Holiday Luncheon, four Good Government Get Togethers, four Business Edge Breakfast Briefings, a Legislative Advocacy Day, two Frontliners’ meetings, plus hosted numerous meetings.
  • NBLC continued to grow by adding four new members, and losing one member.
  • Leaders of the North Bay was well attended and highly rated.  We honored a diverse group of leaders reflecting the changing demographics and needs of the North Bay.
  • Our Economic Insight Conference focused on the State of the North Bay, giving the first regional look at the economic ecosystem.  Attendees lauded this approach and asked that we repeat it again in 2018.  We will.
  • Helped pass state legislation on housing funding and reforms, funding for transportation (SB1); supported legislation to close the achievement gap and improve college and career readiness; supported more funding for community colleges and universities; and advocated for CEQA, regulatory reform and pension reform.
  • Worked collaboratively with other groups on planning for recovery from fires for more housing and economic stimulus.
  • Continued building support and understanding for more workforce and affordable housing by working collaboratively with coalitions in Marin and Sonoma counties; received a grant from MCF to provide the backbone to the Housing Crisis Action Group, which advocated successfully for project approvals in Marin; and worked on building support for more accessory and junior accessory dwelling units throughout the North Bay
  • Pushed forward the private solution for improving Highway 37 and advocated for funding the completion of the Marin/Sonoma Narrows; and successful in getting approvals to add the third lane to the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge.
  • Collaborated with business organizations in the North Bay, Bay Area and State for increased economic competitiveness, job creation and more training of workforce to have skills needed to fill job vacancies.
  • Co-sponsored first MFG Day in Sonoma County to increase student interest in manufacturing careers
  • Endorsed candidates and ballot measures in the 2017 elections with a high success rate.
  • CEO gave several keynote speeches and moderated panels.
  • NBLC and the President/CEO received media coverage on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, blogs and newsletters.
  • Grew subscriptions to NBLC’s Policy Watch subscribers by 10%.

Proactive on Public Policy Issues

In Education, NBLC:

  • Bolstered its support for Early Child programs as a key initiative by the CEO serving on the First Five-Sonoma County Commission, and working with the Cradle to Career efforts in that county. Sonoma County children’s advocates are exploring forming a special district for children to help attract more resources for children pre-school, expanded daycare slots, and health-related services.  NBLC is co-chairing the steering committee for this effort.  We are looking at doing a demonstration of the Pay for Success model which would include developing an integrated plan for Children to help prioritize children’s needs in Sonoma County and secure resources to meet those needs.
  • Advocated for Pre-School for All at the state and local level.
  • Successfully advocated for change in State regulations regarding income criteria to allow more working families to qualify for child care subsidies.
  • Identified educational achievement gaps in Latino students and worked with other groups to help English learners become more proficient and college ready.
  • Fought against Trump administration not renewing the Executive Order protecting DACA students
  • Provided mentoring and internship opportunities for North Bay college students.
  • Continued teaching “North Bay Public Policy and Leadership” in the Executive MBA program at Sonoma State.
  • Formed the Workforce Web Group to work with academic institutions, employers and government to create a better web of meeting employers’ needs for the workforce and preparation for same.
  • 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
  • Named “2017 Champion for Children” by North Bay Children’s Center
  • Donated school supplies to Sonoma County students who were impacted by the North Bay fires

In Economic Competitiveness, NBLC:

  • Staff 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.  We are at a transformative period and workforce changes are one of our biggest challenges.
  • Serves on the Bay Area Council’s Economic Institute (Executive Committee), Bay Area Business Coalition and REAL Coalition
  • 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
  • Served on the Bay Area CEDS initiative, and the CEDS in Sonoma County which is also doing an economic strategic plan in response to the fires.
  • Supported ballot measure to pass cannabis tax in Sonoma County.
  • Co-sponsored MFG Day in Sonoma County to build student interest in manufacturing careers.
  • Co-produced four Business Edge Breakfast Briefings in partnership with Dominican University’s Institute of Leadership Studies
  • As part of the Bay Area Business Coalition and REAL Coalition, advocated for economic resilience at state and regional level
  • Participated in California Forward’s California Economic Summit planning.
  • Frequently asked to lecture on the Future of Jobs and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

In Transportation, NBLC:

  • Serve on MTC’s Policy Advisory Council and was reappointed to another term
  • Supported SMART’s efforts to begin new rail service and build ridership.  Also participated in program to give out passes to fire victims.
  • Advocated for the gap funding for the Marin/Sonoma Narrows
  • 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, including privatizing Highway 37 to make necessary improvements and turning it into a toll road
  • Worked on improving the Hwy. 101/580 to improve commuting over the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge
  • Advocated at regional and state level for transportation funding legislation to maintain and improve infrastructure
  • Served on Transportation Authority of Marin’s Expenditure Committee to prepare for a potential ballot measure in 2018
  • Advocated for passage of Regional Measure 3
  • Moderated panel at TAM’s Future of Transportation Conference 

In Housing, NBLC:

  • Formed Housing Crisis Action Group in Marin and obtained grant to fund backbone administration for this effort with NBLC being the administrator; held numerous meetings to build the political will for more housing in Marin and support policies, regulations and legislation to enable more housing to be created
  • Continued to raise awareness and bring the North Bay together to confront the housing crisis
  • Advocated for new housing project approvals
  • Successfully opposed Measure C, the rent control ballot measure for the City of Santa Rosa
  • Met with housing advocates and formed coalitions to partner on housing legislation, regulations, permitting, zoning, etc.
  • Supported cities and counties adopting of new regulations to streamline creating accessory and junior accessory units
  • Made support for new housing a criterion in candidate endorsements

In Government and Public Pension/Regulatory Reform, NBLC:

  • 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 on our Legislative Advocacy Day in Sacramento
  • Added a new category to our Leaders of the North Bay Awards, From Red Tape to Red Carpet, which recognizes leadership and government innovation

In Sustainability/Environment, NBLC:

  • Partnered with other business organizations on water policy and sustainability
  • Facilitated meetings of water agencies’ leadership to tackle climate change, regulations and other issues
  • Contracted with SCWA to work with businesses on water conservation and efficiencies in commercial buildings
  • Advocates 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
  • Delivered speech on housing at the Sustainable Enterprises Conference in Marin

In Healthy Communities, NBLC:

  • Serves on the Sonoma County Health Action Council Steering Committee and Healthy Marin Partnership
  • Serves on the Petaluma Heath Care District’s CHIPA committee and subcommittees
  • Serves on First 5 – Sonoma County to help the health of young children, pregnant women, and their families
  • Chairs Sonoma Children’s Initiative committee to increase funding for children in Sonoma County
  • Delivered keynote speech on “Making Ends Meet in Marin,” related to health and housing needs for children

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
  • Produces two public signature events each year
  • Broadcasts information via its 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 Frontliners, Sonoma Business Consortium and Keep Marin Working
  • Co-sponsors events and programs like MFG Day, Spirit of Sonoma, and the Business Edge series with Dominican University’s Leadership Institute

Good Relations with Elected and Appointed Officials

NBLC hosts an annual Legislative Advocacy Day in Sacramento and holds regular Good Government Get-Togethers (GGG) to help build relationships between its members and elected and appointed officials to further understanding and cooperation.   We held 4 GGGs in 2017 and had great participation by our elected representatives at our events and Holiday Luncheon.

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.  In 2017, all of our candidates and ballot measures we endorsed won.

Signature Events

NBLC produces 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:

  • ABAG Comprehensive Economic Development Committee
  • Bay Area Business Coalition
  • Bay Area Council’s Economic Institute, Executive Committee
  • Bay Area Council’s Water, Government Affairs, and Transportation/Land Use Committees
  • Healthy Marin Partnership
  • Keep Marin Working
  • Marin Schools to Career Partnership
  • Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Policy Advisory Council
  • North Bay Children’s Center, Advisory Committee
  • Petaluma Healthcare District’s CHIPA
  • REAL Coalition (statewide business organizations)
  • Sonoma County Business Consortium
  • Sonoma County First Five Commission
  • Sonoma Health Action Council, Steering Committee
  • Strategic Sonoma Economic Development Committee