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In this issue:

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Stellar Line-up for February 22 State of the Valley Conference

From the return of the San Jose Earthquakes to getting ready for real earthquakes … from health care to climate change … just about every issue of importance to Silicon Valley will be examined by regional and national leaders at Joint Venture’s annual State of the Valley conference on February 22.

The luncheon keynote will be a study in contrasts, as two noted economists discuss globalization: Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration who is now a professor at Berkeley, tangles with Stanford’s John Taylor, a member of the Council of Economic Advisors in the first Bush White House. Other speakers include San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, venture capitalist Tim Draper, serial entrepreneur Jagdeep Singh and California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. And, as always, there will be in-depth analysis of the Silicon Valley Index.

This year’s conference and Index are being presented in partnership with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Click here to view the full agenda and buy tickets.

Morgan Family Foundation grant jump starts Silicon Valley Alliance for Teaching

The James & Rebecca Q. Morgan Family Foundation is making a $150,000 grant for Joint Venture’s new teaching initiative. The Silicon Valley Alliance for Teaching, to be developed in partnership with the Offices of Education in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, aims to enhance the recruitment and retention of outstanding teachers in the region’s public schools, with a particular focus on intensive professional development. Organizational work will begin immediately, with plans to officially launch the program in the second half of 2008. The Morgan Family Foundation is headed by Rebecca Morgan, Joint Venture’s founding CEO.

Click here for the press release announcing the Morgan Family Foundation grant.

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New California Network Becomes California Forward

California ForwardNew California Network, a state fiscal reform group co-founded by Joint Venture, has been reborn as California Forward. With financial support from five large foundations, California Forward will continue to pursue the fiscal reform goals of New California Network, as well as address broader governance, electoral and civic engagement concerns, with a bipartisan approach that brings together community and regional leaders along with the state’s elected leaders. James Mayer, executive director of New California Network, continues in the same position with California Forward.

Click here to visit the Web site of California Forward.

Mountain View is First City to Adopt Grand Boulevard Principles

Mountain View and Redwood City have become the first two cities to adopt the guiding principles of Grand Boulevard, Joint Venture’s initiative to remake El Camino Real throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Grand Boulevard aims to transform the region’s original highway by emphasizing modern urban design to separate commercial and residential areas, clean up dilapidated retail stores, add trees and create a pedestrian friendly atmosphere.

Click here to read the press accounts.
Click here to learn more about Grand Boulevard.

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Joint Venture Spotlight

Meet Linda Williams

Joint Venture Board of Directors

Linda Williams heads Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, an organization she grew from a small Santa Clara County outpost into a network of 34 clinics serving 40 counties. She is also a trusted voice for regionalism, an acknowledged expert on non-profit governance, and a member of Joint Venture’s executive committee.

Click here to learn more about Linda Williams.

Joint Venture CEO Urges State to Keep Investing in the UC System

Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock co-authored a December 31 editorial in the San Jose Mercury News, urging full funding for the UC System. Joined by TechNet president Lezlee Westine and Bay Area Council Economic Institute president Sean Randolph, Hancock argued that state investments in higher education and basic research grow the economy and return huge dividends to the state, even during fiscal downturns.

Click here to read the editorial.