Chamber Joins Silicon Valley Business Leaders on Visits to State Lawmakers

County Chamber Leaders Visit Sacramento

On May 20, 2014 Steve Van Dorn (President & CEO of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau) and several Chamber members joined other Silicon Valley business leaders on the Annual State Legislative Summit in Sacramento coordinated by the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. The entire group met with 25 assembly and senate representatives. Steve’s team of five met with three of the five legislators they were assigned. “Overall, it was a great experience that I recommend our members consider attending next year,” said Van Dorn.

The message the group delivered was clear and consistent. They asked that our elected officials focus on a number of areas. Here is a sample of what was discussed during the visits:

CEQA Reform: CEQA continues to be a burden to economic development across California. Abuse of this well intentioned legislation has become legendary. These abuses are currently threatening jobs here in Silicon Valley and must be reframed so the law can do what it was intended.

Expanding Government/Taxation: Businesses and individuals already pay a myriad of taxes and fees, and yet there is an insatiable need by state and local government for more. We must be prudent with our spending, provide room for the private sector to thrive, and be sure the tax revenue we do pay is spent efficiently.

Unnecessary Regulation: California is continually ranked as one of the worst states for doing business due to a burdensome regulatory environment and high cost of doing business. Removing unnecessary regulations and barriers that prevent business from expanding will create jobs in Silicon Valley and throughout California.

Workforce Education: We need innovative education and technical training that supports our industries and provides our citizens with pathways to stable careers and also the ability to move ahead and become higher-earning workers. This starts with pre K-12 education and continues to the college level and beyond.

“We received strong support on our focus areas from a few of the elected officials we met with, but there is still much work to do. The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce will continue to advocate for your business so that it can continue to grow and prosper,” said Van Dorn.

Please let Steve Van Dorn know what you think we should communicate to our elected officials to improve the business climate in Santa Clara and Silicon Valley. He can be reached by email at or at 408-380-1231.


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