2013 Newsletters

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Joint Venture welcomes New Wireless Communications Director

Natasha Ernst, a Silicon Valley communications attorney with an extensive background in wireless industry infrastructure, legal affairs and government relations, has been appointed Director of Joint Venture’s Wireless Communications Initiative.

Natasha Ernst

Most recently the director of government relations at Crown Castle, Ernst has served on the wireless initiative’s steering committee since 2010. She has been involved with wireless infrastructure at the federal, state, and local levels for the last eight years and previously held positions with ExteNet Systems, T-Mobile and Pacific Telecom Services.

Ernst holds JD from Lewis & Clark Law School and a BA from Bryn Mawr.

Read her complete bio.

Learn more about the Wireless Communications Initiative.

Grand Boulevard Task Force Mulls Take-Over Option for El Camino

El Camino Real, a transportation spine running the length of the Peninsula, is actually a state highway. The Grand Boulevard Task Force is exploring whether it might make sense to take over the road, making it a local responsibility rather than a state one.

Grand Boulevard

“Relinquishment,” as it is called, is seen by some as a better path for redesigning the state highway into an “urban arterial” better serving pedestrians, cyclists, and transit, in addition to drivers.

The City of San Jose recently took this approach with The Alameda, a continuation of El Camino which has pedestrian-oriented retail supporting the Shasta/Hanchett neighborhoods. The Shasta/Hanchett community has been leading a “complete streets” transformation of the Alameda, and found that local control made this easier.

Now, thanks to support from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, transportation planners in Santa Clara County are hoping to undertake systematic study of the relinquishment option for longer stretches of the road, closely coordinated with the Grand Boulevard Task Force. On August 8, Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock addressed the San Mateo City/County Association of Governments urging their county to participate in the study as well. A final decision is still pending.

Learn more about the Grand Boulevard Initiative and watch video here.

Our SEPTEMBER Spotlight




PG&E’s customer service upgrade in the past couple of years, it turns out, includes a bricks-and-mortar makeover in Silicon Valley.

Don Hall, PG&E’s regional director of customer care, recently took time to show a visitor some of the top-to-bottom renovations underway at the big utility’s 40-year-old downtown San Jose building.

Read Don’s profile.

New Climate Task Force co-chairs named


Joint Venture's Public Sector Climate Task Force has selected new co-chairs, Kim Springer, Resource Conservation Programs Manager for the San Mateo County Recycleworks department, and Christina Gilmore, assistant to the Los Gatos Town Manager.

Springer is responsible for the county Green Business and Energy Watch programs, RICAPS (Regionally Integrated Climate Action Planning Suite), the Recycleworks Volunteer Academy and waste reduction at county facilities. Gilmore, assistant to Los Gatos Town Manager Greg Larson, works on environmental sustainability issues including the town's Reusable Bag Ordinance; she is also president of the Municipal Management Association of Northern California.

The task force works to develop collaborative solutions for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from public agency operations and to provide a neutral forum for city and county government agencies and special districts to learn about climate protection programs.

Learn more about the Public Sector Climate Task Force.


Article of the Month

“I want to be a mayor”

by Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times


With the dysfunction and gridlock in Washington, D. C., the most exciting innovations in governance today are happening in cities and metropolitan areas, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Thomas L. Friedman writes in a recent column in the New York Times. Cities and metropolitan areas, he says, “are becoming the leaders in the nation: experimenting, taking risks, making hard choices. We are seeing the inversion of the hierarchy of power in the United States.”.

Read article

September on “Inside Silicon Valley”

Hispanics in Silicon Valley, a new Accenture study, Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and the 15th District Congressional race are the September topics on “Inside Silicon Valley,” Joint Venture’s weekly public affairs radio program on 1590 KLIV.

Scheduled guests include Ron Gonzales, CEO of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley (Sept. 6 & 8), Kirk Hanson, Executive Director of the Markkula Center (Sept. 20 & 22) and Rep. Mike Honda (Sept. 27 & 29).

Inside Silicon Valley cover

Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock hosts the hour-long program, which airs every Friday at 7 p.m. and again on Sunday at noon on 1590 KLIV.

Learn more about the program.

Listen to our podcasts on iTunes.

© 2013 Joint Venture Silicon Valley | www.jointventure.org

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