Burbank Housing Joins North Bay Leadership Council

The North Bay Leadership Council (NBLC) announced today that local affordable housing nonprofit Burbank Housing has joined its membership ranks. Burbank Housing currently manages more than 3200 rentals throughout 86 communities and serves more than 10,000 residents. During its 40 years of operation, Burbank has also built 915 single family subsidized homes and has almost 230 homes in development.

Patty Garabino, NBLC Board Chair and President of Marin Sanitary Services, expressed excitement, pointing to Burbank Housing’s knowledge in the field gained over four decades as Sonoma County’s largest nonprofit affordable housing developer.

“The housing crisis is a major concern to North Bay employers,” said Garabino. “Burbank Housing is a leader in affordable housing development and operation with an impressive track record of success. We look forward to having their expertise and wherewithal to help drive our housing advocacy efforts.”

Burbank Housing believes that communities thrive when housing is affordable. The nonprofit has led the region in creating and maintaining quality, sustainable housing and rental opportunities, and inspired education and acceptance of affordable housing initiatives. Their work fosters community development and revitalization, and provides opportunities for residents to lead healthier, more successful lives.

Burbank Housing’s member representative will be the organization’s CEO and President Larry Florin, who brings more than 30 years of experience in real estate, as well as community and economic development expertise in both the public and private sector, to Burbank Housing and the Council.

“Building new homes for North Bay residents requires a lot of advocacy and political will-building,” said Florin. “Joining with housing advocates like the North Bay Leadership Council is vital for success. Burbank looks forward to working with the North Bay Leadership Council and its membership to help get much needed affordable housing built in the region.”

Prior to Burbank, Florin served as the Director of Housing and Intergovernmental Affairs for Napa County. Before Napa County, Florin spent more than 10 years in the private sector co-founding a development company that specialized in adaptive reuse of underutilized industrial property. During his tenure, he oversaw some of the company’s largest development projects in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the redevelopment of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and Treasure Island.

Florin also possesses more than 15 years of experience working in senior management positions in San Francisco, including executive level positions in Mayor’s Office, the Redevelopment Authority and the City’s Port. He served as the first Executive Director of the Treasure Island Development Authority. Other accomplishments include serving on the Executive Board of the Association of Bay Area Governments, the State Governor’s Task Force on Military Base Conversion, the State of California Housing Element Working Group and California Forward’s One Million Homes Initiative. He also received the San Francisco Business Times Real Estate Transaction of the Year Award and the San Francisco Mayor’s Manager of the Year.

PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS SURVEY: What help are businesses getting? What help do businesses need?

The business councils and chambers in Marin County asks that you complete the short survey linked to below.  We are trying to assess how the businesses in Marin are faring, what kind of help they have received and what additional help do they need.  Armed with this data, we hope to have more fuel to lobby for more relief funds and other assistance to help Marin businesses weather the storm of the pandemic, recession and natural disasters.  Thank you for sharing this information which will be kept anonymous.  In strategizing the best way forward, the more we know of how you are doing the more we hope to advocate on your behalf.  We are eager to gather this data in anticipation of new funding become available from the Federal government shortly.

Please see the links/QR Codes to the survey in both English and Spanish.

English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/COVID19COUNTYBUSIMPACT

Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SPCOVID19BUSIMPACT












Thank you!  We appreciate your prompt response.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

‘The Hill We Climb’ By Amanda Gorman

When day comes we ask ourselves,
Where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We’ve braved the belly of the beast
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
We the successors of a country and a time
Where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division
Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
If we’re to live up to our own time
Then victory won’t lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we’ve made
That is the promise to glade
The hill we climb
If only we dare
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it’s the past we step into
and how we repair it
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded
But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth
in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it
– Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first-ever youth poet laureate, read the following poem during the inauguration of President Joe Biden on January 20

North Bay Leadership Council Welcomes the LIME Foundation as a New Member

Petaluma, CA  North Bay Leadership Council (NBLC) is pleased to announce its newest member, the LIME Foundation.  The mission of the LIME Foundation is to serve the specific needs of the disadvantaged community across all ages and income levels by collaborating with key community leaders to provide new skills to students and adults looking to reskill or upskill.  Steve Page, Chair of NBLC’s Board and President and General Manager, Sonoma Raceway, said “NBLC is aligned with the mission of the LIME Foundation because it is fundamental to having the workforce we need in the North Bay. We are impressed at how the Foundation’s work has been very successful in addressing inequities by helping their graduates gain access to new jobs at higher wages.”

The LIME Foundation was founded by Letitia Hanke, who is also the CEO of ARS Roofing in Santa Rosa.  Hanke has a wealth of experience in breaking barriers as a businesswoman and person of color and long list of accomplishments.  NBLC is proud to have honored Hanke as a Leader of the North Bay with an award for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Hanke said, “Joining NBLC is a good way to further connect the work of the LIME Foundation with the employers of the North Bay so that we can work together to create the workforce needed today and tomorrow.  Those served by the LIME Foundation learn vital skills to harness individual potential in music, performing arts, construction careers, technology, and health.”

Some of the programs offered by the LIME Foundation include the

Nextgen Trades Academy, which is a roofing and construction vocational program that trains youth in construction fields like roofing, solar, general contracting and more. The program also offers home repair services, specifically roofing, to the under-served. This allows seniors, veterans, the disabled and low-income families to remain in their own homes, independent and safe.

​Another program is the Turner Arts Initiative which brings positive, structured activities to disadvantaged youth, giving them the opportunity to learn technology or play a musical instrument – great alternatives to substance abuse, teen pregnancy, truancy, loneliness, obesity, bullying, exclusion, etc. Most importantly, this initiative uses music and dance as a positive, constructive means of expression. It features an activity center and a summer and after-school mentoring and tutoring program.

Another standout program is the Senior Activities Program, which provides a venue for seniors to remain active and make new friends. This program promotes healthy eating, exercise through dance, bowling, hiking and many other activities in order to prevent or reverse heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

Letitia Hanke will be the member representative.  Hanke has received a many awards and recognition as head of the foundation and her roofing company.  Some of her recognitions include a Champion for Children Award by the Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County, Nonprofit Leadership Award and Women in Business Award from the North Bay Business Journal, and a North Bay Spirit Award Winner.  Hanke is also the former President, North Bay Black Chamber of Commerce.

The alternate will be Andrew Leonard, who is the Program Director for the LIME Foundation.  Community collaboration is a core tenet of Leonard’s work, for the Foundation and as Sonoma County Office of Education Board Trustee. Leonard’s past work with United Way of the Wine Country’s and with First 5 Sonoma County connects him directly to schools, students, and their success.

NBLC looks forward to having the LIME Foundation contribute its knowledge and experience to its public policy work to make the North Bay a better place to live and work.

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 more than 50 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. For more information please contact Cynthia Murray at 707.283.0028 or visit us at www.northbayleadership.org.

New Year New Relief Grants, Loans, and Tax Credits!

Happy New Year!  I hope that you enjoyed the holidays and look forward to working together to make 2021 a much better year.  To help get you started, below is information on new funding, note that some deadlines have been extended.


SHARE WITH YOUR SMALL BIZ FRIENDS: A new $500 million Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program for eligible small business owners and nonprofits. Grants up to $25,000 are available. The deadline to apply has been extended to January 13APPLY TODAY!

CA grant relief deadline is extended to January 13 at 11:59 PM.

From Lendistry, the administrator of the grants:

  1. We have received thousands of completed applications!
  2.  To ensure fair and equitable opportunities for California’s small business community, we are extending the closing date for Round to January 13th, 2021. This will allow us time to help those still in process (editing applications + uploading documents) and to provide additional time for new applicants.
  3.  We are adjusting the update and upload process. If applicants experienced disruptions in the application process, they will be notified when they can log back in for updates and uploads.
  4.  Applicants will be notified of these changes via email tonight starting at 6PM.

If you need to contact Lendistry for any reasons, here is the contact info:

Lendistry Call Center: 888.612.4370

Email: CAReliefGrant@lendistry.com

Hours: 7am-7pm PST

Again, here is the LINK TO APPLY



SBA announced that the deadline to apply for a COVID-19 pandemic Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) has been extended. All eligible small businesses and nonprofits are encouraged to apply for these affordable loans. Learn more and apply by clicking here.


  • California STEP grant program opened the application window for Individual Company Export Program (ICEP) grants. The ICEP program is designed to reimburse eligible California small businesses up to $5,000 for eligible export promotion-related expenses. Click here for more information.


REQUESTING EMPLOYER HELP: Asking Employees and Your Network to Download New COVID Exposure Tracking App to Save Lives

As part of California’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, Governor Newsom launched a new Exposure Notification app that can alert people who may have been exposed to someone who is positive for the virus.

I strongly encourage you to use this app to protect yourselves, your co-workers, and your families. It’s built on the Exposure Notification technology developed by Apple and Google, which was designed to provide these alerts while protecting your privacy.  Neither your identity nor your location will be shared with other users, Apple, or Google.  And to be clear, our company will have no access to the data either.

By using this technology to protect our work place and our homes, we can break the chain of transmission and accelerate the path to recovery.

Many of you in California will get a notification encouraging you to opt into CA Notify.  If you’d like to opt in manually, here’s how you can do it:

After you turn on the app can you post/tweet that you are using the app!  Let’s keep each other safe and healthy – we owe it to ourselves and to one another.

Psychological First Aid

The pandemic continues, we are losing more people daily to the virus than any other tragic event in our history.  Couple the horrific deaths with an economic crisis equal to the Great Recession, an election that may be the most important of our lifetimes and the intense level of social unrest, we get a plethora of things fraying our psyches.  Many are stressed, afraid and having sleepless nights.  We keep thinking, it can’t get worse and then it does.

What to do with the awful feelings that we are so far from normal that normal may no longer exist?  There has to be a way to get through this.  How do we keep hope alive and be optimistic about the future?

One tactic is found in “We’ll Get Through It”: How To Accept The Uncertainty Of COVID-19,  (Link) where  Gretchen Rubin suggests that we lean into the uncertainty and fear.  She says, “But what if, rather than fighting that uncertainty and getting anxious about it, we just accepted it — or even leaned into it?”

“One of the things that I’m really doing is trying to understand, like, well, there is so much uncertainty, there’s loss, but what am I learning? What am I gaining? What insights am I having?” she says. “Some things are working worse, but some things are working better, and can I gain from that?”

To help her stay focused, she is reminded of the line from the Roman poet Ovid where he says, “Be patient and tough. Someday this pain will be useful to you.”

“I think we all just have to hang in there and hope that one day this pain will be useful,” she says. “And now I think we’re really settling into this different state, as you said, where we realize it’s going to be uncertain for a long time and that we don’t really know what the horizon is and things might move forward and they might move backward.” Rubin points out that things that seemed far in the future have now drawn closer like the upcoming holidays, and she says, “Well, now that’s all coming real, and so I think people’s feelings are changing.”

“So I do think we need to be realistic, but it’s also true that one of the ways that we can feel better about what’s going through is if we do feel like we’ve made good use of the time. And if you feel like, ‘Well, I was safer at home, and so I did organize my basement or I did update my resumé or I did take that online course or I did learn how to use that new software,’ that will make us feel better going forward because it’s something good that came from this. We were able to make good use of it. And that’s comforting because there’s so much we can’t do. I think each of us has to decide for ourselves. Like, am I going to ask more of myself or am I going to cut myself some slack?”

Another tip from Rubin is to focus on your relationships.  She says, “If you’re going to think about happiness, the key to happiness is strong relationships, if you had to pick one thing. So as you’re going through this time, really pay attention to your relationships. Staying connected with other people, going out on the street and smiling at people, your neighbors, over the masks, looking for ways to feel connected to other people, and also, you know, to do good in the world, to feel connected to your larger community because maybe you can’t control the virus, but you could do virtual volunteering or you could do virtual babysitting for somebody who’s got little kids at home and can’t get any work done. If we do good, we feel good, and that will make us feel closer to the people in our lives and closer to our community. And so that is something that’s within our control that will really boost our spirits in a tough time.”

Dr. Noelle Nelson, author of Power of Appreciation and Happy Healthy…Dead, writes in Optimism’s Impact On Mind And Body During COVID-19 Crisis, (Link) that “Studies have shown us repeatedly that optimists have stronger immune systems than those who don’t have an optimistic outlook. Strengthening our immune system is our body’s defense against disease,” says Nelson. “We already know that the coronavirus is deadliest among those with compromised or weakened immune systems. Maintaining and developing a strong immune system can go a long way toward our staying healthy.”

If you’re not a natural-born optimist, Nelson suggests two steps to get you on track during these tough times.

Institute A 5-Minute Pity Party. A 5-Minute Pity Party is where you acknowledge your frustration over the aspects of your life that have been negatively affected by the coronavirus. You’ve lost your job, you’re struggling with homeschooling your kids or you’re mourning the complete shutdown of your social life. ‘Whatever the reason or reasons,” says Nelson, “it’s time to release your anguish. Get it out of your system (i.e., rant, rave, cry) safely and privately; once your five minutes are up, move to step two.’”

“Value What You Can Today. Look around you. What can you appreciate about your life right here, right now? You say “nothing? ‘There is still plenty to appreciate. It can be as simple as appreciating the roof over your head or you’re in good health. Continue to look for other reasons to appreciate. Be genuine. By doing so, these thoughts of appreciation will have a dramatic, positive impact on your immune system,’ suggests Nelson.”

“Optimism isn’t a cure-all. Yet in every crisis, there is opportunity for new growth and new inspiration when seen with an optimistic eye,” says Nelson. “Let’s keep our moments of dark despair as brief as possible and amp up our times of appreciation. If we do, we’ll come out of this challenging situation stronger and better than ever.”

Going a step further is the advice that we need to practice psychological first aid.  Stacy Colino in The pandemic proves we all should know ‘psychological first aid.’ Here are the basics, (Link) tell us how.

George S. Everly, a clinical psychologist and professor of international health in the Center for Humanitarian Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and author of The Johns Hopkins Guide to Psychological First Aid, says, “The pandemic is like the never-ending story,” says Everly. “What makes this more psychologically toxic is that we keep receiving new impacts” as resurgences and new outbreaks occur, and more collateral damage to life and work, as we knew them, becomes apparent.

Colino reinforces that never-ending story, she says, “Meanwhile, on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis we’re subjected to bad news from multiple directions — not just about the pandemic, the economy and racial issues, but about political scandals, civic tensions, fires, floods, conspiracy theories and more — without the in-person support of friends, extended family and colleagues because of the pandemic. ‘The world seems more uncertain than ever — uncertainty is a powerful toxin,’ Everly says.”

Fortunately, you can dial down your stress reactivity and come to your own emotional rescue — or that of others — with PFA-based strategies. Here’s how to put the actual components of PFA into practice for yourself and those you care about:

Address basic bodily needs.  Make a conscious effort to consume nutritious foods, stay hydrated, get enough sleep, do some form of physical activity every day, and avoid using substances such as alcohol or cigarettes to cope, advises Kaushal Shah, a psychiatric researcher at Griffin Memorial Hospital in Norman, Okla., who has done research on PFA. Besides being important for your overall health, these healthy lifestyle practices are a vital part of PFA.

Avoid further harm. Protecting people from additional distress is a key aspect of PFA, and there are several ways you can do this for yourself and others. First, check to make sure conditions are physically safe, then take steps to ensure emotional “safety” by treating others and yourself with respect and compassion. “Remind yourself that whatever you’re feeling or going through right now is perfectly normal,” advises Nancy Haugen, a clinical psychologist in San Francisco. “That [acknowledgment] tends to bring down some anxiety.”

In addition, try to protect yourself from information overload. New research, involving 6,514 adults in the United States, found that people who have higher daily hours of covid-19-related media exposure and exposure to conflicting covid-19 information in the media are at greater risk for pandemic-related acute stress and depressive symptoms. To prevent this effect, limit your media exposure.

Keep calm to carry on. Maintaining a gentle tone of voice can have a calming effect on distressed people around you. In addition, remind yourself and encourage others to do a relaxing activity — such as yoga, mindfulness meditation, deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation — every day. This will help you de-stress in a given moment and maintain your psychological equilibrium, Shah says.

At regular intervals throughout the day — or when you feel stress-overload coming on — hit the pause button on what you’re doing and focus on deep breathing. “You can override stress with deep breaths that cause the diaphragm to go up and down. Then the brain starts to calm down,” explains Haugen. Moreover, research has found that engaging in diaphragmatic breathing reduces stress hormone levels and blood pressure, as well as subjective measures of stress.

Set priorities. In tumultuous times, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with worries and fears. That’s why PFA encourages people to consider their most urgent needs, including how to prioritize and address them, versus what can wait. To that end, it helps to distinguish between what you can and can’t control and to encourage loved ones to do the same. Then focus on the situations you can do something about, such as how you protect yourself and your family, how you behave toward others and how you spend your free time. To help with this resilience-building shift, Haugen recommends framing your goals as “I choose,” which involves a sense of agency, instead of “I want.”

Build hope. Especially during periods of uncertainty, it’s important to stay positive with learned or active optimism and remain forward-focused, Everly says. One effective way to do this is to consciously focus on what’s going right in your life now. Research has found that having a ratio of three positive emotions to every negative emotion helps people flourish. You can stack the deck in your favor by “looking for positive moments and holding onto them throughout the day,” says Haugen. If you want to formalize the process, consider keeping a gratitude journal. A 2019 study found that adults who did this for 14 days experienced an increase in positive moods, happiness and life satisfaction, as well as a decrease in negative moods and depressive symptoms.

Connect with others. “The single best predictor of human resilience is support from other people,” Everly says. So, help people identify sources of social support in their lives with a reminder that the goal is to practice “physical distancing,” not “social distancing,” during the pandemic. Reach out to friends and family members on social media and make an effort to rekindle old friendships by phone, text, email or video conferencing. Also, consider establishing your own coronavirus-safe pod or bubble so you can spend in-person time with supportive people.

Practice good communication. When people are distressed, practice active listening by giving them your undivided attention and letting them take their time expressing themselves, rather than pressuring them to talk or immediately providing advice. These are key PFA skills. Try to truly understand the person’s concerns and feelings and show empathy and use supportive words and phrases that reflect the key points he or she made.

Reinforce coping skills. Ask someone who is distressed how he or she coped with difficult situations in the past and encourage the person to use those strengths and strategies to handle the current situation. (Do the same exercise yourself.) This contributes to a sense of confidence and competence that will allow them to face and manage the current challenge. It also builds resilience. PFA practices may be among the coping skills you call upon to face another difficult situation in the future.

Remember to Vote: North Bay Leadership Council Announces Endorsements for November Election

NBLC is taking positions on local ballot measures and two statewide propositions.

NBLC is part of the 2020 Tax Moratorium Coalition.  We urge you to vote No on ALL tax measures on the ballot for the November election.  In this time of uncertainty and chaos, we know two things for certain: people and businesses need help, especially financially, now; and adding to their burden with taxes of any kind is not the help they need.

It is time to take a tactical pause, and assess the changes wrought by the pandemic and the recession including record high unemployment, many businesses failing and major declines in GDP.  Like us, government needs to tighten its belt, adjust their spending, and not ask for more taxes without knowing how much taxpayer assistance will be required to fund key governmental priorities going forward. There is a finite capacity to pay taxes. Let’s make sure we are being strategic in using our tax dollars by wise spending and rational planning for needs revealed when the dust settles from this crisis.

Our opposition is not targeted at individual ballot measures – we oppose ALL of them. We believe that 2020 is the wrong time to ask the voters for more money. Any additional taxes or extension of taxes should be considered when our economy is better and we have more certainty about the way forward. We are standing strong on our position to protect businesses, farmers, senior citizens, furloughed workers, students and families who are already struggling to meet their basic needs.

When we say, “No, Not Now!” we hear strong agreement that our community needs continued relief for those most impacted by COVID-19, not additional financial burdens brought on by tax measures that either establish or extend taxes.  Elected officials should stop levying taxes that may tip the scales to push people into poverty and cause more businesses and nonprofits to close forever, creating job loss and higher unemployment.

Please vote NO on ALL tax measures.  For more information, go to www.2020taxmoratorium.com

Please Vote on NO on ALL of the following:


Prop 15 – Taxes such properties based on current market value, instead of purchase price. Fiscal Impact: Increased property taxes on commercial properties worth more than $3 million providing $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion in new funding to local governments and schools.

Prop 21 – Allows local governments to establish rent control on residential properties over 15 years old. Local limits on rate increases may differ from statewide limit. Fiscal Impact: Overall, a potential reduction in state and local revenues in the high tens of millions of dollars per year over time. Depending on actions by local communities, revenue losses could be less or more. Will reduce new housing construction when more housing is desperately needed.

Sonoma County:

County of Sonoma- Measure DD – Mental Health, Addiction, and Homeless Service Sales Tax- A new 1/4 cent tax for 10 years (2021 – 2031), costing taxpayers $260 million.

County of Sonoma- Measure OGo Sonoma Transportation Sales Tax Measure:  A new 1/4 cent sales tax for 20 years (2025 – 2045), costing taxpayers $520 million.

Cloverdale, Measure R – 3% utility users’ tax– Current 3% utility users’ tax is scheduled to end in 2023. The proposed measure strikes the current end date and allows this tax to continue forever.

Cotati, Measure S – 1 cent sales tax– Current 1 cent sales tax set to end in 2023. The proposed measure strikes the current end date and allows this tax to continue forever.

Healdsburg, Measure T – 1/2 cent sales tax– Current 1/2 cent sales tax set to end in 2023. The proposed measure strikes the current end date and allows this tax to continue forever.

Petaluma, Measure U – 1 cent sales tax– A new 1 cent sales tax with no end date, allowing it to continue forever.

Santa Rosa, Measure Q – 1/2 cent sales tax- A new 1/2 cent sales tax until 2031. Combines two existing 1/4 cent sales taxes that aren’t set to end until 2025 and 2027.

Sonoma, Measure V – 1/2 cent sales tax– Current 1/2 cent sales tax set to end in 2022. The proposed measure strikes the current end date and allows this tax to continue forever.

Marin County:

City of San Rafael, MEASURE R: San Rafael Emergency Preparedness and Essential Services Protection Measure.  LOCAL SALES AND USE TAX MEASURE – INCREASE BY 1/4% for 9 years.

Please Vote YES on:

Petaluma Health Care District, Measure CC – To assure continued operation of Petaluma Valley Hospital as an acute care hospital with 24/7 walk-in basic emergency care for a minimum of 20 years, shall the Petaluma Health Care District enter into an agreement to sell Petaluma Valley Hospital to NorCal HealthConnect, LLC, a secular affiliate of Providence St. Joseph Health, for $52.6 million, per the terms approved by Resolution 20-05 adopted August 6, 2020.

North Bay Leadership Council is pleased to endorse the following candidates for their respective offices as follows.  We are supporting these candidates because they have shown as incumbents, or in their responses, that they are balanced in their approach to the issues, not beholding to any special interest group, and committed to economic vitality and more housing.  Many of the incumbents are now running in district elections for the first time which adds a new dimension to their races.

Candidate Endorsements

Santa Rosa City Council:

Chris Rogers, District 5

Eric Christensen, District 7


Rohnert Park:

Jake Mackenzie, District 4


San Rafael:


Kate Colin – for all of San Rafael


City Council:

John Gamblin, District 4

Maika Llorens Gulati, District 1


Santa Rosa Junior College Board:

Kerry Rego


Marin Community College Board:

Phil Kranenburg

Eva Long

Stephanie O’Brien

Stuart Tanenberg

Please make sure that you are registered to vote and vote early this year.  This may be the most important election of our time and a high voter turnout is imperative to ensure that the voice of the voters is heard loud and clear.  If you are voting by mail, remember to mail your ballot very early so the slowdowns in mail delivery do not delay your ballot being received by the Registrar of Voters in a timely manner.  Your vote counts this year more than ever!


Marin County Needs Action Now to Ensure Coronavirus Economic Recovery

The shock from the pandemic and subsequent economic crisis is unlike anything experienced before and demands urgent attention and action to help recover, rebuild and reset Marin County’s economy.

In assessing the current economic situation and envisioning what is needed to take us to the next normal for economic vitality and competitiveness, Keep Marin Working (KMW) recommends adopting the 10 Point Economic Recovery Plan Framework. We urge the Marin County Board of Supervisors, and the City and Town Councils of Marin to take immediate action.

Here are the 10 points:

Creation of a Marin County Long-term Economic Development Strategy

A Strategic Marin Plan should be created to reflect the new realities of 2020. The strategy will define activities to support existing businesses while planning for the expansion and attraction of new businesses. This will require an immediate identification and collection of countywide economic data to allow us to create a countywide road map and implement plans that make Marin County a more attractive and competitive place to work, live and play.

Diversify the Economy

Major sectors that have been a large part of the Marin County economy have been impacted by the pandemic and are predicted to be unable to return to what they were pre-pandemic. An assessment of those losses will determine the sectors that would help diversify the economy and the initiatives that can be taken to foster diversification and bring in new businesses such as higher paying job opportunities in technology, “green-tech,” and other sectors.

Provide Governmental Relief

Every effort should be made to provide governmental relief to businesses and nonprofits by not adding financial burdens. Local governments should hit the pause button on existing fees, mandates, regulations, and other costs, including consideration and adoption of new policies and nonessential regulatory functions not urgently needed to protect human health. Permitting should be expedited.

Focus on retention and expansion of current employers

Setting the stage to enable and support growth requires planning, funding and the right systems, staff, processes, technology and partners. Identify the needs, issues and policies that would be the driver of keeping our existing employers in Marin. Attention should also be given to help employers better prepare for the next disaster.

Invest in infrastructure

Now is the time to make investments in infrastructure that will improve the county’s ability to create well-paying jobs, improve economic sustainability, and reduce climate change impacts. This includes non-punitive programs to incentivize retrofitting of buildings to help decarbonize them and adapt to changing commercial needs, creating solar grids for resiliency, starting shovel ready road improvements, and doing a county-wide broadband system.

Make housing a top priority

Based on the enormous housing shortage in Marin, it is essential that the county begin to break down the barriers to create more housing at all levels of income. To spur development of more housing, Marin needs to remove barriers like too high inclusionary requirements, reduce fees and streamline permitting.

Give preferences to local vendors

The pandemic has shown the importance of having a local supply chain including food and local services. It is also shown that we need redundancy in that supply chain. The county should look at essential products and ensure that there is a local supply available and if not, work to create one. Purchasing should be from local vendors and providing support to those vendors, if needed.

Strengthen workforce development support in underserved communities

Centralize the coordination of workforce development programs and establish one point of information and entry for all programs. Improve access to multilingual, multicultural resources for underserved communities of color. Increase collaborative business partnerships with higher education that result in paid internship and apprenticeship opportunities. Provide resources to support an aging workforce (e.g. technology skill building). Assess the workers who have been displaced by the economic shock and create training programs to reskill or upskill them to fill jobs in Marin County.

Create solutions to a child care shortage

The pandemic has caused a great loss of child care slots. Subsidies are needed to help child care providers stay open while not being able to operate at full capacity. Other needs to address include inadequate licensed supply for infant/toddler and school age care, lack of subsidized child care slots for working families with financial need, licensed and licensed-exempt childcare facilities staffing, and streamlining policies and procedures required for establishing a childcare business and converting spaces for childcare.

Change land use and zoning to reflect new reality

The pandemic and recession have changed how businesses will operate going forward. There needs to be flexibility in the zoning and land use regulations to allow businesses to pivot to new models of operations or production, and where feasible, use vacant commercial space to creatively address housing needs.

About the writers

Joanne Webster is president and CEO of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce.

Cynthia Murray is president and CEO of North Bay Leadership Council.

Both of their organizations are part of Keep Marin Working which also includes: Marin Realtors Association, Marin Economic Forum, Marin Builders Association, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Marin, Latino Council and Novato Chamber of Commerce.

Star Staffing is an Eight Time Best Places to Work Award Winner, Poised to Host HR Summit Focused on Company Culture

Star Staffing, a Forbes Ranked Best Temporary Staffing Firm, is the only staffing agency to make the North Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work list this year. An eight-time winner, Star Staffing has seven offices total with four in the North Bay.

Deemed an essential business early in the pandemic, Star Staffing continues to grow and is focusing on culture and engagement more than ever.

“We are all in the people business, no matter what your company does. You always have to think about other people: customers, employees, partners. You must be there for them and be available to help them. We are bound by our relationships with our employees and customers. This year has sparked immense stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. In these hard times, how you treat your employees will be remembered for years to come. How businesses respond will have a lasting impact on employee behavior and engagement,” states Nicole Serres, Star Staffing’s President.

In addition to the Best Places to Work award, Star Staffing is also celebrating National Staffing Employee Week AND preparing for their October HR Summit which is focused around company culture.

Between COVID-19, remote work, firestorms, and alarming current events – employers and specifically HR leaders, have been especially concerned with keeping employees engaged and supported. “We are here to support our HR community and be a trusted resource. We created a virtual HR Summit focused around the key issues being discussed inside and outside the boardroom; culture and hiring. Culture is a huge priority for our company, and as an eight-time Best Places to Work award recipient, we want to help other companies also see success in this area.

Star Staffing’s virtual half-day HR Summit will take place on October 21 and costs just $45 to attend. Speakers, both local and from across the nation will be sharing insights, critical tools, and best practices for inspiring innovation, high-performance, and engagement in an era of fierce competition, remote working, and constant exposure to challenges and injustices.

For the full list of companies receiving the award, visit Best Places to Work.

About Star Staffing

The company has 7 total locations in Northern California with its headquarters in Petaluma, CA. Star Staffing is a certified women-owned, full-service staffing firm focused on providing flexible staffing solutions to Northern California businesses since 1998. Star Staffing is a Forbes Best Temporary Staffing Firm.