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About Us

The Leadership Group’s Government Relations Committee and Team seek to amplify and advance our organization’s public policy positions at the local, state, and federal levels.

By proactively creating opportunities to engage our public-private stakeholders, we build diverse coalitions with a unified message, and achieve meaningful results that directly affect our quality of life.

Our goal is to engage in concerted, strategic advocacy efforts, build relationships, and positively impact public policy decisions that benefit the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s legislative and regulatory agenda.

David Packard of Hewlett Packard was known to say, “Our job is not to sit on the sidelines and cheer nor jeer, our job is to get into the game and move the ball forward.”

Silicon Valley has long been known for its collaborative, “can-do” civic spirit. This spirit depends on our ability to deliver an effective message and succeed collectively with our community and public leaders in city hall, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C.

Our Team

Nardin Sarkis
Government Relations Senior Associate
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Government Relations Committee


The Government Relations Committee engages Silicon Valley business leaders in a proactive dialogue with local, state, and federal public policy leaders.

Specifically, the Government Relations Committee seeks to:

  • Increase Leadership Group member involvement in Sacramento, Washington D.C., and local outreach efforts in coordination with Leadership Group policy committees to deliver policy goals in a unified voice by engaging federal, statewide, and local elected officials, appointed officials and key staff members.
  • Educate and build awareness of governance and fiscal reform proposals, voter, policy, advocacy efforts and best practices.
  • Improve knowledge of Leadership Group mission, goals, and policy priorities with Sacramento elected and appointed officials, Washington D.C. public officials and Silicon Valley county and city officials
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Meetings are generally held on the third Tuesday each month from from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

A full agenda packet with location information, previous meeting minutes and policy briefing papers is distributed at least one week in advance.

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Mike Potter, Senior Manager, State and Local Government Affairs, Cisco

Rahul Chandhok, Vice President of Public Affairs & Strategic Communications, San Francisco 49ers

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Participating Member Companies

Adobe Systems
Airbnb, Inc.
Allied Telesis
Applied Materials
Aviat Networks
Bank of America
BD Biosciences
Blach Construction
Booster Fuels
Boston Consulting Group
Build Group
Cadence Design Systems
Calpine Energy Solutions
Cisco Systems
City National Bank
Climatic Energy LLC
Commercial Energy
Cruise Automation
DBL Partners
Dignity Health
Edgewood Ventures Partners
El Camino Hospital
Empire Broadcasting
General Motors
Gilead Sciences
Greenlight Apparel
Healthy Horizons
HP Inc.
Johnson & Johnson
JP Morgan Chase
Kaiser Permanente
Lam Research
Lawrence Berkeley National Labs
Lawrence Livermore National Labs
Lex Machina
Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford
Northeastern University
O’Connor Hospital
Ofo US
One Concern
Pacific Gas & Electric
Palmer College of Chiropractic
Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Palo Alto Networks
Pay Pal Inc.
Peloton Technology
Regional Medical Center of San Jose
RSM Technologies
San Francisco 49ers
San Jose State University
San Jose Water Company
San Mateo County Community College District
Santa Clara University
ShieldX Networks Inc.
Silicon Valley Leadership Group
SRI International
Stanford Health Care
Stanford University LLC
Sutter Health
SVB Financial Group
T.Y. Lin International
Technology Credit Union
Tesla Inc.
Texas Instruments
Tinfoil Security
Trimble Inc.
University of California Berkeley
University of California Santa Cruz
VMware Inc.
Webcor Builders
Wells Fargo Bank
Western Digital Corporation
XL Construction

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Government Relations Workplan

Annual Federal and State Advocacy Trips

Staff Lead: Michael Lomio, Director of Government Relations

Executive Champion:
 Victor Arranaga, State and Local Government Relations Regional Manager, HP Inc

Priority:  At the Leadership Group we advocate for public policy at the state and federal level that is favorable towards member companies, amplifies their political voice and extends their influence. In addition to reaching a larger sphere of policy influence, these annual trips to Sacramento and Washington D.C.  strengthen the Leadership Group’s credibility and network in order to better serve our  member companies in a variety of policy fields.

Quantifiable Goals:

  • engage at least 45 board members, CEOs and local public officials on each trip for the Washington, D.C. Advocacy Trip and/or the Sacramento Advocacy Trip
  • 2018 Washington D.C. and Sacramento Advocacy Trips should recruit 45 participants each compared to 32 in Sacramento 2017 and 45 in Washington, D.C. in 2017
  • execute at least one Washington, D.C. Advocacy Trip
  • execute at least one Sacramento Advocacy Trip with increased Sacramento engagement throughout the year
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Local Government Outreach

Staff Leads: Annika McClure, Associate of Public Policy, Nardin Sarkis, Associate of Gov’t Relations

Executive Champion:
 Sherri Sager, Chief Government and Community Relations Officer, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

Priority: At the Leadership Group we strive to connect  local government officials to our member companies in seven  different localized roundtables producing a worthwhile return on investment for our member companies. By moderating specific roundtable conversations we give a voice to our member companies and lend an ear to the city and county officials who work with us as partners in our mutual goals (i.e. Housing construction, traffic mitigation, facility expansion, autonomous vehicle expansion, etc.)

Quantifiable Goals:

  • host at least seven localized roundtables
  • engage local government officials from all five respective counties
  • produce a quantifiable list of “win-wins” that were mutually agreed upon following roundtable meetings
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Silicon Valley Outreach and Engagement

Staff Lead: Michael Lomio, Director of Government Relations

Executive Champion:
 Lou Ramondetta, President, Surplus Services

Priority:  Through the creation of 50 strategic roundtables, the Leadership Group Government Relations team will connect Silicon Valley executives with stakeholders at the local, state, and federal levels of government. These roundtables provide an opportunity for members to create dialogue, to share ideas, and to build stronger relationships with other member companies and various stakeholders.

Quantifiable Goals:

  • organize a total of 50 strategic roundtables between member company CEOs, C-suite officers, top government affairs professionals, women executives,  and elected officials
  • account for each “win-win” policy agenda item in a quantifiable log which can be used to track roundtable progress
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State Advocacy: Silicon Valley Caucus

Staff Lead: Michael Lomio, Director of Government Relations, Nardin Sarkis, Associate of Government Relations

Executive Champion:
 Mike Potter, Senior Manager, State & Local Government Affairs, Cisco

Priority: The Leadership Group’s Silicon Valley Caucus meetings represent a meaningful opportunity for our members because we bring together elected officials and member companies within their districts. By bringing together the elected officials representing the greater Silicon Valley region with the member companies within that region, ideas are shared, issues are raised, and a coalition representing Silicon Valley’s interests is solidified.

Quantifiable Goals:

  • ensure Silicon Valley Caucus roundtables are executed three times each year
  • target goal of 100 executive participants
  • target goal of 13 legislators in attendance
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Past Wins

Silicon Valley Legislative Caucus

The Silicon Valley Caucus includes 14 legislators: Senators Jim Beall, Steve Glazer, Jerry Hill, Bob Wieckowski, and Bill Monning; Assemblymembers Anna Caballero, Ash Kalra, Evan Low, Marc Berman, Kevin Mullin, Bill Quirk, Mark Stone, Phil Ting and Kansen Chu. This allows those representing Silicon Valley to know the priority issues impacting quality of life and the cost of doing business in our region and state from a collective perspective.

The successful inaugural session hosted by SunPower CEO Tom Werner in Sacramento featured 12 Silicon Valley legislators and nearly 80 Leadership Group members many of whom were CEOs.  The discussion focused on the challenges facing Silicon Valley on a global scale and legislators sharing challenges facing our state.  With that foundation, we invested quarterly meetings in discussing specific ways we can work together to ensure our state’s success – through private sector job creation, a great quality of life for our workers, and a competitive business climate to meet the challenges of other states and nations. Subsequent sessions were hosted by Applied Materials Chairman and CEO Mike Splinter, Brocade Communications CEO Mike Klayko, Synopsys Chairman and CEO Aart de Geus, and Centrify CEO Tom Kemp.

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Governance & Fiscal Reforms

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group has a long-standing tradition of supporting bi-partisan governance and fiscal reforms for California, which annually rank among the highest state policy priorities for businesses.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group endorsed Proposition 14 in the “top two open primary” initiative and opposed Proposition 27 to protect the 2008 redistricting reform measure approved by California voters – the Leadership Group was successful in both efforts. In addition, the Leadership Group has strongly supported the Redistricting Reform ballot measure which resulted in redrawing the political boundaries for all congressional, state legislative and other statewide offices. In 2013, the Leadership Group supported the statewide Term Limits ballot initiative to bring more experience and stability to California’s political system. Most recently in 2016, our organization successfully supported Proposition 54, the Public Display of Legislative Bills Prior to Vote initiative, which greatly increased the transparency in our state legislature.

The Leadership Group is also a strong proponent of thoughtful, fiscal reform principles. California’s business climate will benefit from a more disciplined and performance-focused state fiscal system, which should be built on the foundation of accountability and results.

  • Budgeting for performance: Require clear goals and measure the performance of every program
  • Multi-year budgets: Adopt more flexibility and long-term planning in the state budgeting process, which was enacted into law by Governor Brown in 2011
  • Limit one-time revenue use
  • Manage volatile revenue spikes and increase reserves through a rainy day fund
  • Legislative transparency & oversight: Make all bills available to the public three days before a vote
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Candidate Forums

Frequently, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group will interview candidates who are seeking local, state and federal office. While the purpose is not to endorse, the Leadership Group reviews candidates to determine if they are closely aligned with our principles and policy positions.

Most recently in 2018, forums were held in the following districts:

  • San Jose City Council District 7
  • San Jose City Council District 9
  • Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, District 4
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Fresh Ideas from Newly Elected Legislators

The dynamics of our state political process are largely impacted by term limits. Each year, newly elected officials enter into public office with a limited amount of time to make important decisions. The challenge of effectively representing constituencies and maintaining connectivity with the resources and people that help drive our economy can be daunting. Fresh Ideas from Newly Elected Legislators was developed to assist legislators transition into their new role.

“Fresh Ideas” is a roundtable series in Sacramento with Silicon Valley Leadership Group members and recently elected public officials from the administration, California State Assembly and State Senate. Participants are encouraged to share their challenges in their district and at the state level. With this foundation, specific solutions are identified to ensure California’s success – through private sector job creation, improved quality of life for our workers, and a competitive business climate.

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Legislative Activity

2018 Legislation

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Sacramento Advocacy Trip

May 1-2, 2018

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Washington D.C. Advocacy Trip

Each spring and fall, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group travels to Washington, D.C. with a delegation of member executives and public officials to deliver a federal policy agenda, focusing on U.S. jobs and competitiveness. These visits strategically occur with U.S.…

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