Mark DeSaulnier named ‘Regionalist of the Year’

The Bay Area Council, a public policy group consisting of the region’s 275 largest employers, has named state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier as its inaugural “Regionalist of the Year.”

Mark DeSaulnierThe council called DeSaulnier, D-Concord, a champion of regional cooperation and solutions on issues of transportation, healthcare, economic, housing, land-use planning and environmental protection, among others.

“Sen. DeSaulnier throughout his career of service at the city, county and state levels has exhibited his commitment to the Bay Area as a region and his commitment to serve the needs of the Bay Area and all the people of this region not just those who voted for him,” council president and CEO Jim Wunderman said in a news release. “Mark understands that cities and counties and districts cannot succeed unless the region as a whole is working together to accomplish common and mutually beneficial goals. Sometimes regionalism does not play well at home, but Mark has always exhibited the political courage to do what is right for our region.”

As a Contra Costa County supervisor, DeSaulnier served on the boards of all three of the Bay Area’s regional agencies: the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. He also served on the California Air Resources Board, and the council says he was “an early and ardent proponent of taking an integrated, regional approach to housing, land use and transportation planning – long before the approach was officially codified through the current Sustainable Communities Strategy.”

DeSaulnier played a key role in creating the Joint Policy Committee, a leadership group of the Bay Area’s main regional agencies aimed at improving their efficiency and integration. And he has championed several critical regional transportation projects, including the expansion of Highway 4, BART to eastern Contra Costa County, and the Caldecott Tunnel’s fourth bore.

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.

  • Elwood

    It’s enough to gag a maggot.

    A special award created just for Marky Mark.

    What are they grooming this ***** for?

  • Rick K.

    I agree with Elwood. Watch for this honor to be rotated among the various politicians whose ring fingers that the Bay Area Council wants to kiss over the coming years. I’d bet that Barbara Boxer wins it in 2014 solely because she is chair of the Senate committee that authorizes transportation funding. DeSaulnier and “political courage” in the same sentence? What “political courage”? To shovel millions into the pockets of the construction contractors and construction labor unions that generously fund his political campaigns? Oh yes, the Bay Area Council includes many beneficiaries of DeSaulnier-sponsored government largesse. It all makes sense now. Just like the typical mediocre 8 year-old soccer player, DeSaulnier probably has a shelf full of the “trophies” that he did little to earn. My condolences to anyone who is forced to sit through the awards luncheon.

  • JohnW

    What kid growing up doesn’t picture him or herself as a famed regionalist?

  • RR senile columnist

    How about humanistic regionalists?