by Rob White
The teams for the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s annual Capital-to-Capital (Cap to Cap) Advocacy Trip began their first full day of meetings with elected officials, agencies and organizations. The Chamber staff have stated there are over 250 meetings planned throughout the 3 days of meetings (Monday to Wednesday) and they range from meetings with White House staff to US Senators and Representatives to USDA and EPA.
One very important meeting was held yesterday with Senator Diane Feinstein. There were about 12 participants, including the Chamber CEO Roger Niello and Chamber Chair James Beckwith. The topics included Regional Water Supply, Innovation, Higher Education, International Trade and Exports. I was privileged to be in the meeting speaking on Innovation and I used local Davis examples of success of the innovation economy in the region during my discussion. These included the almost $1 Billion investment in the region in over the last 5 years in FMC Schilling Robotics and Bayer Crop Science. I didn’t have time to use many other local examples, but I will try to weave them in during the meeting today with Senator Barbara Boxer.
Here is an excerpt from the Chamber’s newsletter regarding the meeting with Senator Feinstein:
Metro Chamber leaders were pleased to hear that U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein is very interested in working with leaders from the Capital Region on a statewide solution addressing California’s chronic water issues that includes additional storage and resources to address Delta environmental issues. A statewide water solution is the top issue on the 2014 Cap-to-Cap program and was one of four issues presented in the meeting, including higher education, innovation and international trade.
At the end of the hour-long session, Senator Feinstein complemented the Metro Chamber for advancing a positive agenda to move the Capital Region’s economy forward and address critical statewide concerns. “This is one of the best meetings I’ve had with a chamber group,” remarked Feinstein.
The opening breakfast with Gallup Education Executive Director, Brandon Busteed was very inspiring and brought a lot of interesting facts to light. Most specifically, in schools where mentorship was integrated in to the curriculum, there was a substantially higher rate of academic success. Also, the majority of jobs being created in the US are from entrepreneurs and startups and education systems that embrace this type of innovation were more likely to result in significant job growth in that region. Lastly, he made a very clear point that local government and regions are the most significant support systems for innovation and that the federal and state efforts had little impact on the actual jobs and education success on the ground.
I was also privileged to lead a policy briefing for the delegation on Social Innovation and Indie Capitalism. My co-presenters included Daniel Kaufman, Co-Founder & Chief Strategic Officer for Third Plateau Social Impact Strategies, and Jake Mossawir, Vice President & Executive Director of City Year Sacramento. We discussed the very different way that Millennials lock at the business and social opportunities and how they are changing the face of business. Much of the discussion reflected Davis’ ideals of social sustainability and it was exciting to have a group discussion on how the work of the future isn’t just about a good job, but making a difference in the world.
The Innovation Team met with Representatives LaMalfa and Matsui, Senator Coons and the CEO of the International Economic Development Council. Each of these meetings included specific discussions about how Davis is supporting the regional innovation economy and the need to continue the federal funding for basic and applied research, particularly at UC Davis.
I apologize that I have been unable to monitor posts to answer questions, but I will attempt to log on in the next day or so to see what I can do to answer and questions. You can also follow the Davis efforts on Twitter at hashtag #InnovateDavis and my twitter account of @mrobertwhite or the entire delegation at hashtag #Cap2Cap14 and twitter account @Metro_Chamber.