Cindy Chavez, Ro Khanna named to jobs board

A former San Jose councilwoman, a future East Bay congressional candidate and a leading California economist are among the 11 Bay Area residents whom Gov. Jerry Brown named today to the state’s Workforce Investment Board.

Brown named 30 people in all to the “long-neglected” board in order to rebuild and reinvigorate this private-sector body tasked with advising him on job creation and workforce development, according to his news release. They’ll work with his Office of Business and Economic Development “to identify the needs of industry and to create career pathways that provide businesses the skilled workforce they need and while putting unemployed and underemployed Californians back to work.”

Brown also today named his senior jobs advisor, Mike Rossi, to chair the board, which also includes Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley, Employment Development Department Director Pam Harris, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott, Department of Apprenticeship Standards Director Diane Ravnik and Labor & Workforce Development Agency Secretary Marty Morgenstern.

“To meet this skills challenge and ensure a prosperous future, we must do a much better job aligning California’s existing public education and workforce training resources with the needs of key industry sectors,” Rossi said. “This requires a robust analysis of California’s labor markets and regional economies and better coordination among all our education and training programs.”

Brown’s release notes that since he took office, California has added more jobs than any other state in the nation. The Golden State also, however, still had the nation’s third-highest unemployment rate as of July, 10.7 percent (behind Rhode Island at 10.8 percent and Nevada at 12 percent).

Cindy ChavezAmong those named to the board today was Cindy Chavez, 48, a San Jose City Council member from 1999 to 2006 and the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council’s executive officer since 2009. The Democrat also has been executive director at Working Partnerships USA since 2009 and executive director at the 1000 Leaders Project since 2009. Earlier, Chavez was a principal at California Leadership Services from 2007 to 2009 and held multiple positions at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority from 1999 to 2006, including chair, vice chair and board member. Earlier yet, she was the South Bay Labor Council’s education and outreach director from 1994 to 1998; the founding staff director at Working Partnerships USA from 1994 to 1998; lead trainer at AFL-CIO Organizing Institute from 1993 to 1994 and a policy analyst for the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors from 1990 to 1993.

Ro KhannaAlso named to the board was Ro Khanna, 35, of Fremont, an attorney of counsel to the Silicon Valley powerhouse Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati since 2011 who broke records by raising $1.2 million in 2011’s last quarter to run for the 15th Congressional District seat in 2014; the Democrat has refused to challenge incumbent Pete Stark. Khanna, who was a deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 2009 to 2011, has just published his first book, “Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing Is Still Key to America’s Future.” Also a visiting lecturer at Stanford’s Department of Economics, he was at attorney at O’Melveny and Myers from 2004 to 2009.

Stephen LevyAnd Brown also named Stephen Levy, 70, of Palo Alto to the board. Levy has been director and senior economist at the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy since 1969 and was an economist at the Stanford Research Institute from 1967 to 1969. A Demcorat, Levy has been a member of the NOVA Workforce Board since 2000 and has been a member of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute Board of Trustees since 2010.

These board appointments don’t require state Senate confirmation, and the compensation is $100 per diem. See the other Bay Area appointees, after the jump…
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Prop. 37’s supporters launch first TV ad

The Yes on Proposition 37 California Right to Know Campaign launched its first television ad today in support of the ballot measure that would establish the nation’s first state law requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods.

The committee says it made a $150,000 ad buy to put the 30-second ad “in select online news venues and on broadcast and cable television stations in major California media markets for 10 days.”

“The same corporations that brought us DDT and Agent Orange are now bringing us the No on 37 campaign,” spokeswoman Malkan said in the news release. “In addition to their history of false health claims about DDT, Agent Orange and tobacco, the same corporations and political operatives are making false claims about the safety of genetically engineered food — even though numerous studies link these foods to allergies and other health risks, as well as to significant environmental problems. Californians have a right to know whether or not their baby formula, corn chips or soy milk contains genetically engineered ingredients that have not been proven safe.”

NO ON 37: Coalition Against the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme issued a statement blasting the ad.

“Unable to win on the merits or to defend their seriously flawed measure, the Yes on 37 campaign continues to ignore scientific evidence and! b ase their campaign on fear-mongering and scare tactics,” No on 37 spokeswoman Kathy Fairbanks said. “Voters are smart and we’re confident they’ll see through and will evaluate Prop. 37 based on the facts, not hysteria.”

The measure’s backers “can’t justify why their measure was written to allow trial lawyers to file meritless claims. They can’t justify why they gave special-interest exemptions to two-thirds the foods we eat every day, foods that can have GE ingredients. They can’t justify why they are increasing state bureaucracy and why their measure will raise grocery bills for California families. And they can’t justify why their serious drafting flaws would prohibit California farmers from labeling processed foods as natural, even foods without GE ingredients,” Fairbanks said. “The overwhelming scientific evidence has proven that foods with genetically engineered ingredients are safe, and that requiring special labels are both unnecessary and misleading.”


New laws signed on prostitution, child car seats

Gov. Jerry Brown signed several bills by Bay Area lawmakers today, including one that lets juveniles convicted of prostitution seal their records without proving they’ve been rehabilitated, and another that aims to boost infant car-seat safety.

AB 2040, by Assemblyman Sandré Swanson, D-Oakland, “provides that an adult who was previously adjudicated to be a ward of the juvenile court because he or she committed a prostitution offense may petition the court to seal the records of the offense, regardless of the person’s criminal record or proof of rehabilitation,” according to the most recent legislative analysis. This relief isn’t available to those minor “johns” who paid or offered to pay a prostitute. The Assembly had passed this bill 49-21, and the state Senate approved it unanimously, 36-0.

AB 1452, by Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo “requires hospitals, clinics, and birthing centers, when discharging a child, to give the parent or the person to whom the child is released specific contact information for organizations that provide assistance with the use, law, and installation of child passenger restraint systems,” the analysis said. The Assembly passed this bill on a 61-14 vote, and the state Senate on a 31-6 vote.

See what other Bay Area bills the governor signed into law today, after the jump…
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Chris Christie calls Jerry Brown ‘an old retread’

Media including the Los Angeles Times are reporting on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s tirade against California Gov. Jerry Brown this morning as he addressed California’s delegation to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.:

“California made the bad choice by going with an old retread,” Christie told California’s delegation to the Republican National Convention here, a crowd that lapped up his message. “Let me tell you this – I cannot believe you people elected Jerry Brown over Meg Whitman. … Jerry Brown. Jerry Brown? I mean, he won the New Jersey presidential primary over Jimmy Carter when I was 14 years old.”

Christie said the 74-year-old, three-term governor told him that he’s not trying to raise taxes, that he is allowing voters to decide by putting a tax proposal on the ballot.

“Man, that’s leadership, isn’t it?” Christie said.

Seems like my story in today’s editions about California being a popular GOP punching bag was timely, no?

A few observations: Christie governs a state that doesn’t require two-thirds majorities of both houses of the Legislature in order to raise taxes. California’s GDP grew by 2 percent last year, while New Jersey’s shrank by -0.5 percent. And Meg Whitman now presides over Hewlett-Packard, which last week reported its largest-ever quarterly loss – $8.9 billion – and is stumbling dangerously, according to the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Businessweek.


Your political singalong: ‘Romney in a Hurricane’

With Hurricane Isaac projected to dampen clothes, if not spirits, at this week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., this one seemed like a natural:

(To the tune of “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by the Scorpions:)

It’s late in August, in Florida
Delegates gather, down in Tampa
They’re nominating their first Mormon
They’re not afraid of the storm comin’ in

I picked Paul Ryan as number two
To keep states turning from red to blue
We’re scaring voters ‘bout Medicare
So watch out boys because Mitt’s on a tear…

Here I am, Romney in a hurricane
Here I am, Romney in a hurricane

I’m writing my speech, so what should I say?
Solyndra – jobs – no marriage gay
I’m feeding the party some fresh red meat
So pay no mind to the Florida heat

I’ve had some flip-flops, from here to there
On climate change, choice and health care
I was too liberal, but now I’m back
So fund my campaign and my super PAC!

Here I am, Romney in a hurricane
(are you ready, ready, ready?)
Here I am, Romney in a hurricane
Here I am, Romney in a hurricane
(cmon, cmon baby!)
Here I am, Romney in a hurricane

(guitar solo)

I paid my taxes, I swear it’s true
But I won’t show my returns to you
I weathered all of the barbs about Bain
So what do I care ‘bout some wind and some rain?

Evacuate? Heck no, not me!
Not before I’m the nominee
I’m sending Barack back to Chicago
So come on Isaac, I don’t care if you blow!

Here I am, Romney in a hurricane
Here I am, Romney in a hurricane


Your political singalong: ‘Paul’s Not Gonna Take It’

Dee Snyder, the lead singer of ‘80s hair-metal band Twisted Sister, made some headlines this week by telling Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan to stop using his 1984 hit “We’re Not Gonna Take It” at campaign rallies. The Romney-Ryan campaign quickly agreed to comply, but perhaps the problem could’ve been solved had the House Budget Committee chairman from Wisconsin just tweaked the lyrics a little:

Paul’s not gonna take it,
No, Paul’s not gonna take it
Paul’s not gonna take it anymore!

Four years under Obama; oh, sure he got Osama
Just don’t mistake that for a win.
The budget plan from Ryan has Demcorats a-cryin’
Our fixer from south Wisconsin.

Paul’s not gonna take it,
No, Paul’s not gonna take it
Paul’s not gonna take it anymore!

He’s such a fiscal smarty, he’s backed by the Tea Party
He works out with P90X
Ryan never relaxes, cuts spending and your taxes
Like Newt divorcing another ex

Paul’s not gonna take it,
No, Paul’s not gonna take it
Paul’s not gonna take it anymore!

He’s right! (yeah!)
Right wing! (yeah!)
So white! (yeah!)
Let’s sing! (yeah!)

Paul’s not gonna take it,
No, Paul’s not gonna take it
Paul’s not gonna take it anymore!

We’ve got the right to vote, and we don’t want to gloat
But Ryan’s looking pretty grand.
You want to vote with me? You’d better show ID!
And read some books by Ayn Rand.

Paul’s not gonna take it,
No, Paul’s not gonna take it
Paul’s not gonna take it anymore!