In this issue:
Joint Venture Board Adopts Guiding Principles for El Camino Real
El Camino Real is the Main Street of Silicon Valley, running through 19 cities, but its jumbled collection of strip shopping centers and aging commercial buildings isn’t a source of regional pride. Joint Venture’s board of directors took an important step toward transforming El Camino into a Grand Boulevard during the board’s quarterly meeting on Sept. 14, by voting to adopt a set of guiding principles for redevelopment. The vision, developed through Joint Venture’s Grand Boulevard initiative, calls for new zoning and other incentives to cluster retail space at key intersections, while developing high-quality housing in between. In addition, landscaping and other amenities would alter El Camino’s first impression from asphalt to greenery.
Click here for more on Grand Boulevard, and to read the Guiding Principles.
Joint Venture Hosts Silicon Valley Stop on the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour
Everyone wants senior citizens to receive quality health care and live without fear of poverty—into perpetuity—and yet nobody wants to pay higher and higher federal taxes every year. Therein lies a dilemma that could soon become a major crisis. As the Baby Boomer generation enters retirement and medical costs continue to grow faster than inflation, the Big Three federal entitlement programs – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – threaten to overwhelm the budget.
On September 13th Joint Venture hosted a stop on the “Fiscal Wake-Up Tour,” a traveling program presented by the Concord Coalition, dramatizing the harsh fiscal realities and prodding Democrats and Republicans to come together around solutions. Joint Venture – which actively promotes fiscal reforms at state level – presented the tour at AMD headquarters in Sunnyvale. Among the sobering statistics: federal spending today accounts for 20.3 percent of the economy and could rise to a crushing 50 percent according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Click here to see the presentation material.
PG&E’s Darren Deffner Elected to the Joint Venture Board
Darren Deffner, senior government affairs representative at Pacific Gas & Electric Company, was elected to the Joint Venture board of directors on September 14th. A former policy aide to Congresswoman Anna Eshoo with experience in city government, Deffner is responsible for developing community partnerships and implementing programs in Silicon Valley that enhance PG&E’s commitment to environmental stewardship, education, economic development, and emergency preparation. Deffner also serves on the Environmental Advisory Board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, as well as on the boards of the Silicon Valley Environmental Partnership. He has been a charter member of Joint Venture’s Climate Protection Task Force.
Click here to read the press release.
Joint Venture Spotlight
Meet Diana Whitecar
Diana Whitecar (pronounced “Whittaker”) has been the economic development powerhouse behind three of the most successful city revitalization projects in Silicon Valley: the rebirth of Castro Street in Mountain View, construction of the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, and bringing the Century Cinemas to downtown San Mateo. Currently Economic Development Manager for the City of Milpitas, Whitecar is a leading advocate for regional co-operation through her work as chair of Joint Venture’s award-winning Silicon Valley Economic Development Alliance (SVEDA).
Click here to learn more about Diana Whitecar.
Listen to “The Right to Learn”
Teacher training and professional development is in need of reform, according to Stanford University education professors Linda Darling-Hammond and Susanna Loeb. They explained why in the September 6th installment of “Valley Views,” a series presented by Joint Venture and the Commonwealth Club.
Click here to listen to the program.