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 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.
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 commuter 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. Our local roads are some of the worst in the state.
Jobs and Economic Competitiveness
NBLC seeks every opportunity to leverage California’s competitive advantages to ensure employers can prosper and create high paying jobs. NBLC is concerned about the ability to fill new jobs with a 21st Century workforce whose skills match the requirements of the positions. NBLC seeks to close that skills gap and to upskill the workforce to minimize displacement due to automation. Today companies go where the talent is, and we want that talent to stay in California.
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. We also support streamlining the ability to add accessory housing units to the existing housing. Housing construction is victim to the abuse of CEQA. We urge the modernization of CEQA to remove one of the major barriers to new construction. And putting teeth into housing quotas and greater accountability for local jurisdictions to do their fair share of housing construction.
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 prepare for climate change’s likely drier and hotter conditions so 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 possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act mean that significant policy reforms may be necessary and that could affect the California market. We think healthcare is a right and look forward to working with the state on continuing to cover everyone, helping the care providers deliver excellent cost-effective care and lower costs for business.
The unfunded liabilities of state pension plans are a growing burden on the taxpayers and threaten the state and local government’s fiscal sustainability. NBLC urges the legislature to do the math and make urgent reforms to pensions, for both existing and new employees, and retiree healthcare to prevent the inevitable failure to provide governmental services that will be cut to meet the pension obligations. If changes aren’t made now, both the state employees and taxpayers will suffer.
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Modernization
The failure to modernize the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is causing the state to lose important companies, jobs, revenue and opportunity for growth. It is time to revisit this decades old law and update it while preserving its original intent and purpose.