In this issue:
Green Light for Grand Boulevard Multimodal Plan
Leaders of Two-County Project Sign Historic Pact for El Camino
Three government agencies, working in partnership with Silicon Valley business and civic leaders, have signed an historic agreement to develop a multimodal transportation corridor plan along El Camino Real.
Funded by state transportation funds, the work is the result of the “Grand Boulevard” Initiative led by Joint Venture and SamTrans, which has now grown into a federation of 19 cities, two counties, and a host of civic groups working to bring major improvements to El Camino Real.
Officials of the Valley Transportation Authority, the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County and the San Mateo County Transit District took part in ceremonies at Santa Clara City Hall on June 18 to formalize the memorandum of understanding. The MOU authorizes a study for the 41-mile stretch of highway – the first of its kind – to guide the transformation of El Camino Real into a transit- and pedestrian-friendly arterial.
Click here to read the news release
Click here to read more about the Grand Boulevard Initiative
Click here to listen to Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock talk about the initiative on KCBS.
Six Silicon Valley Leaders Named to Joint Venture Board
Board Also Appoints Three Former Members to Inaugural Senior Advisory Council
The Joint Venture board of directors elected six new members at its June 13 quarterly meeting, including State Senator Elaine Alquist and five prominent Silicon Valley business executives.
The board also approved the formation of a new Senior Advisory Council of former board members to serve as an informal pool of knowledge and resources for the Joint Venture board and staff.
Click here to read the news release
Joint Venture Tunes Into Small Business
Economic Development Group Supports Kepler Initiative to Promote Local Retailers
Rising rents, chain retailers, and online stores pose serious challenges to locally-owned businesses throughout Silicon Valley, which play an important role in the regional economy.
Concerned to preserve a “hometown” feeling in downtown districts throughout the Valley, Joint Venture’s Silicon Valley Economic Development Alliance (SVEDA) presented local bookstore legend Clark Kepler at their June meeting. Mr. Kepler, whose landmark Menlo Park store bears his name, spoke of grassroots efforts to revive and support independent retailers.
Kepler has formed the Hometown Peninsula Independent Business Alliance whose goals—shared by Joint Venture—are to build awareness of the positive impact on the economy when locally-owned businesses are part of vibrant city centers.
Click here to learn more about Hometown Peninsula.
Click here to learn more about SVEDA.
Article of the Month
Expanding State Sales Tax Base to Move California Forward
In its June 15 editorial, the San Jose Mercury News made a strong case for expanding the state’s sales tax base to offset California’s $15 billion budget deficit. The newspaper sided with the recommendations of California Forward, the ambitious bi-partisan statewide collaborative for government reform that has grown out of the New California Network concept Joint Venture created with the Bay Area Economic Forum three years ago.
Co-chaired by former Democratic Rep. Leon Panetta and Southern California Republican Thomas McKernan, “California Forward favors broadening the sales tax as a way to increase budget stability and reduce the state's sales tax rate of 7.25 percent, one of the nation's highest.
“We agree. The Legislature should cut the rate when the economy turns around; meanwhile, expanding the sales tax base can help get the state through the immediate revenue crisis.”
Click here to read the complete editorial.
Joint Venture Spotlight
Meet Curtis Mo
Joint Venture Board of Directors
The son of Chinese immigrants, Silicon Valley lawyer Curtis Mo shares a bicoastal upbringing and career, with as much affection for his native New York as for his permanent home here in Silicon Valley.
Mo, a nationally prominent corporate and securities attorney, is the partner-in-charge of the Silicon Valley office of WilmerHale, a renowned global business and public policy firm with 1000 attorneys in eleven U.S. cities, Europe and Asia.
His commitment to civic activities and community organizations led to his joining the board of Joint Venture in 2006.
“Joint Venture’s goals are a good fit for our firm and for me,” he says. “I am especially interested in their work in the areas of alternative and renewable energies, and initiatives around life sciences and technology.”
Mo shared his thoughts with Valley Vision about growing up in California and Virginia before going back to New York for college, law school and his early career.
Click here to read more about Curtis Mo.