On January 27, The silicon valley organization welcomed California State Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon. De León visited The SVO to discuss a variety of issues facing Silicon Valley and the State of California, focusing on economic growth and development, investment in clean energy, our education system and many more topics.

Last year, de León championed sweeping new standards that double energy efficiency in buildings statewide and set California on a path to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources, all by 2030.

The debate over de Leon’s SB 350, the most far-reaching climate legislation in the country, created a serious public discussion on how to adequately address climate change and severe pollution while creating equitable access to clean energy. Along these lines, De León has successfully directed more clean-energy investments to disadvantaged communities. SB 535 (2012) requires the California Air Resources Board to spend at least 25 percent of cap-and-trade revenue to benefit low-income communities across California disproportionately impacted by pollution. This law is resulting in new transit, energy efficiency, renewable energy and affordable housing projects across the state.

De Leon discussed the importance of Obama’s executive order on immigration around DACA and the importance of protecting childhood arrivals from deportation. The SVO stands with him on this issue and will continue to support the BRIDGE Act as we understand its importance.

De Leon also discussed the importance of adding to our housing stock state-wide. The state of California‚Äôs housing stock has fallen behind the state population boom. The need for more housing has been a sensitive topic as many residents throughout the state continue to share concerns about traffic congestion and sprawl. We were pleased to hear that this is a priority for our state leaders.

In his two years leading the Senate, de León has empowered his caucus members to take on big and bold legislation that truly shape the policy conversation in the nation. To increase transparency and public participation in the legislative process, de León implemented video of all hearings to be live-streamed and archived online for the first time. Much needed transparency that The SVO has supported in the past.

We thank the Senate leader for visiting business leaders here at The SVO. The open relationship and continued dialogue is paramount to Silicon Valley business.

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