Business, agency leaders press the flesh in DC

A Bay Area Council delegation is in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with lawmakers and Obama Administration officials on transportation, infrastructure and jobs in the wake of last week’s State of the Union address and last month’s U.S. Senate shakeup. That is, they’re talking money.

Melanie de La Grange Sury, the council’s vice president of communications, says meetings are set with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco; U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove; and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. Garamendi is the only Bay Area House member on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, as was his predecessor in the 10th Congressional District seat, Ellen Tauscher; DeFazio chairs the Highways and Transit Subcommittee.

The delegation also will meet with Adolfo Carrion, director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs, which is quarterbacking a new three-agency alliance between the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, and Department of Housing and Urban Development. And the delegation will meet with Transportation Department officials including Polly Trottenberg, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy.

Leading the delegation is Bay Area Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman, Hanson Bridgett LLP Managing Partner Andrew Giacomini, Webcor Builders President and CEO Andy Ball, and TMG Partners Chairman and CEO Michael Covarrubias. Others in the group include Metropolitan Transportation Commission Executive Director Steve Heminger, Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar Benjamin and Association of Bay Area Governments Deputy Executive Director Ezra Rapport.

The Bay Area Council is a public-policy advocacy group consisting of the CEOs of more than 275 of the region’s biggest employers, representing more than 500,000 workers (about one of every six private-sector employees in the area).

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.