On Might 1–3, a delegation of 35 of Bay Area business and civic leaders joined the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce for our annual advocacy trip to Washington DC. This yr’s CityTrip targeted on San Francisco’s prime issues: progressive solutions for decreasing our homeless inhabitants, growing reasonably priced housing, expanding accessible transportation, and strengthening our infrastructure.
The delegation attended many productive and informative meetings with elected representatives and their Chiefs of Employees, focusing on prime Bay Area points. We met with US Journey concerning the significance of journey and commerce in the Bay Space, in addition to a strong discussion at Uber on emerging mobilities. Every meeting highlighted the importance of a regional strategy to San Francisco’s prime issues, from infrastructure to housing and homelessness.
We kicked off our CityTrip DC with a welcome reception on the AT&T Discussion board. Our visitor speaker, Eve O’Toole of Holland & Knight’s Local Authorities Group, and the Metropolis’s primary lobbyist on the Hill, spoke with our delegation, prepping us for our upcoming day on the Capitol. O’Toole shared the simplest methods for our Delegates to hone their message when speaking with elected officers and shared many examples of how federal insurance policies instantly impression native work.
On the federal degree, O’Toole gave examples of the way the federal authorities’s insurance policies are instantly impacting local points and consequently holding up pure disaster funding. She noted that our trip introduced an efficient alternative for the delegates to demand and shape ways the federal government can and will associate to handle main native and regional Points.
We jump-started our next day on the Hill with Congresswoman Barbara Lee. The Congresswoman famous points like marijuana justice and climate change have been among the prime points in her district, which encompasses Oakland and Alameda County. Rep. Lee’s work with Ladies in Local weather Change is at present targeted on the causes of rising sea ranges, which pose a critical menace to infrastructure just like the Bay Space’s seawall. In the days before our assembly, there had been bipartisan agreement that $2 trillion must be invested in America’s infrastructure and our infrastructure workforce. Lee’s employees also famous that their workplace is working on tax incentives for electrical automobiles and strengthening our health and human providers to deal with psychological health and different issues contributing to homelessness across the Bay.
Following Congresswoman Lee, our delegation spoke with Rep. Anna Eshoo’s Chief of Employees, Matthew McMurray. Rep. Eshoo and her office symbolize a robust voice in public well being, as well as supporting the increase of reasonably priced housing and enhancing regional transportation. McMurray additionally talked about the workplace’s concentrate on prescription drug pricing and their hopes that bipartisan legislation will be introduced soon. Drug pricing represents one effort by House Democrats to stabilize the Reasonably priced Care Act, which is threatened by Republicans and the current administration. Our United Airlines delegate, Melinda Yee Frankin, introduced up a serious native challenge dealing with San Mateo County: sound levels from flight paths to and from SFO. McMurray famous that the FAA is working with the Congresswoman and her office, nevertheless it has been troublesome as at present, no representatives from the Rep. Eshoo’s district are on SFO’s roundtable regarding this concern.
Our day on the Hill was also underlined by the questioning of Lawyer Common William Barr relating to the Muller Report, later adopted by calls for Barr to resign. Each assembly touched on the setting created by such a report, but none extra so than the workplace of Congressman Adam Shiff, who has been an outspoken opponent of the current administration’s actions and values. Lots of our delegates hoped that November’s shift to a Democratic majority within the Home might bring about change in a tumultuous and unconventional political panorama. Though this was an necessary shift for Democrats, Schiff’s Chief of Employees, Jeffery Lowenstein, was hesitant to say more than that and noted, on a nationwide degree, that attitudes in the direction of the present administration largely differ from area to area. Lowenstein reminded us that politics begin on the native degree and strengthened the significance of staying abreast of native points, essential measures for making certain the creation of significant and efficient policies.
Throughout our subsequent assembly with Rep. Jackie Speier, we mentioned subjects ranging from workforce housing to the allowing of alcohol delivery by the USPS to protecting democracy within the US. It was clear Congresswoman Speier feels strongly that in the coming election it is important for us to protect democracy and work towards outdoors actors like the Russian hackers, who attempted to sway the 2016 election. Speier also points to tech as a source of power for the Bay Space to do better when it comes to workforce housing and addressing the psychological health and homeless crisis. Rep. Speier noted her admiration for Mayor Breed’s work on addressing the homeless disaster in San Francisco and looks forward to the enhancements that may reach across the Bay.
Following a humbling meeting with Congresswoman Speier, Rep. Zoe Lofgren joined us for an trustworthy dialogue on the Bay Space’s regional issues, many of that are extending into the Central Valley. Her concentrate on workforce points stemming from inefficient H1-B visa processes for extremely qualified and educated candidates and a scarcity of housing for a workforce that’s flocking to an explosion of jobs in the Bay Space was fascinating. Rep. Lofgren is at present working on an agriculture workforce bill, which she launched within the House, and Senator Feinstein has introduced in the Senate. She is collaborating with United Farm Staff Union and the Western Growers and hosting productive conversations amongst traditionally dueling teams to seek out solutions to help California’s farmers. Lofgren deems high-speed rail as crucial infrastructure for increasing the footprint of tech and job era past the Bay Area and in aiding with issues of poverty and unemployment dealing with the Central Valley, particularly because of its connection to the Central Valley. The Congresswoman demanded our delegation be as “big and bold” in fortifying our infrastructure as California’s economic power allows. She felt strongly that these improvements will pave a path for the middle class to stay more comfortably in California.
Subsequent, we made our method to the Capitol for an electrifying assembly Senator Dianne Feinstein. With San Francisco in the heart of both the Senator and every CityTrip delegate, the dialog centered round easing the burden of dwelling in the Bay and specializing in what makes the town great. The Senator referred to as for bold measures regarding psychological health and homelessness, housing, bridging the hole between the tech business and the government, and creating extra and better transportation out and in of the town.
The Senator also remarked that mental well being is among the most troublesome contributions to homelessness and must be addressed immediately so as for the present state of affairs to vary. She noted that the closure of the state amenities put a lot of people on the streets, who in turn aren’t receiving the care they need. She additionally felt strongly that this challenge, although highly visible in San Francisco, needs to be attacked with a multi-governmental effort. The Senator additionally requested the Delegation, but especially the Chamber, to seek and create options and options to constructing a 3rd crossing in the Bay.
District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani introduced up one other infrastructure concern: the deteriorating historic pier at Aquatic Park. Whereas Senator Feinstein advised the Supervisor work to put an area measure on the poll, Sup. Stefani noted it was in National Park jurisdiction and receives federal funding. Senator Feinstein promised to assist Sup. Stefani in elevating the $100 million must refurbish this historic landmark – a highlight for all delegates.
Very similar to Rep. Schiff, Senator Feinstein was additionally embroiled within the questioning of the Lawyer Basic and reactions to the Mueller Report. Through the discussion, the Senator took a second to deal with the realities that lie outdoors the unconventional theatrics of the current administration. She discussed the current passing of former East Bay Congresswoman, and her pricey pal Ellen Tauscher, who served as a long-time advocate for our larger California group. As we mirrored upon a exceptional feminine public servant, Mary Young of the Chamber requested the Senator’s ideas on the return of the Yr of the Lady. She felt its return has reinvigorated the House and the Senate and introduced hope for continued progress in variety and representation in Congress and looks ahead to watching our democracy grow and usher in new changemakers and voices.
In an exclusive visit to the Speaker’s Workplaces, our delegation met with Robert Edmonson, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Chief of Employees. Edmonson began with the Speaker’s most up-to-date victories, including the passage of gun violence prevention payments, the efforts to keep working in the direction of the objectives of the US within the Paris Local weather Accord, and the days-old settlement from each events to a $2 trillion infrastructure funding. Edmondson also touched on main points dealing with our delegation and the Speaker’s house district of San Francisco.
Transit has turn out to be a serious focus for the Speaker, particularly with the present administration’s threats to the federal funding on the California High-Velocity Rail venture. The Speaker is preventing for public transportation funding, hoping to release funds presently sitting the Department of Transportation. The Speaker can also be working intently on the problems dealing with weak communities, resembling DACA recipients and people who profit from the Reasonably priced Care Act, which both have been focused by President Trump. We additionally had the unique opportunity to satisfy with Wendell Primus, Pelosi’s chief healthcare staffer and a serious architect of the ACA relating to additional healthcare options and current policies. Our meeting with Edmonson left our delegation feeling hopeful.
Regardless of what has felt like nice disdain in the media for both California and San Francisco, especially from the President himself, after our conferences on the Hill it remained clear – California is an financial powerhouse, a robust political presence in Congress, and an asset to america and around the globe.
Before we obtained in our Ubers, buses, and, trains to depart DC, we rounded off this yr’s CityTrip DC with a strong panel targeted on transportation and urban planning. At Uber’s DC Headquarters, we met with Tracy Gordon of the City Institute, Joe McAndrew Director of Transportation Coverage at the Higher Washington Partnership, and Jack McDougle, President & CEO, Higher Washington Board of Commerce. The problems dealing with our transits techniques are huge and multifaceted, various from region to area. The reactions to the present options to the final mile difficulty, a problem by which commuters wrestle to seek out methods to the effectively commute from their entrance door to transit stations, have acquired totally different reactions all through US cities. From electric scooters to rideshares to municipal transportation, it was agreed that a attainable answer was bridging the cost gaps between every mode of transport. The creation of an all-inclusive transit software might clear up a number of the problems and time wasted throughout multiple cost processes and incentivize more to make use of alternate types of transportation. McAndrew additionally famous the importance of a regional strategy to transportation points and pointed to Larger Washington Partnership‘s recently released Capital Region Blueprint for Regional Mobility, which details a plan for the advancement of the Capital Region’s transport system that spans across the District and into two states. A few of the main issues nonetheless dealing with transport techniques embrace accessibility for mother and father with younger youngsters, security, and dealing within cities’ present infrastructure and insurance policies.
If in case you have questions on becoming a member of next yr’s CityTrip DC or any of our upcoming CityTrips, please contact Mary Young, our Public Coverage Supervisor.