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The Government Relations team seeks 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.

Team Leads

Kristen Petersen
Sr. Associate, Government Relations
[email protected]

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Aakash Vashee
Sr. Associate, Government Relations
[email protected]

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Past Wins

Silicon Valley Legislative Caucus

The Silicon Valley Caucus includes 14 legislators: Senators Jim Beall, Anna Caballero, Steve Glazer, Jerry Hill, Bob Wieckowski, and Bill Monning; Assemblymembers Marc Berman, Kansen Chu, Ash Kalra, Evan Low, Kevin Mullin, Bill Quirk, Mark Stone, and Phil Ting. 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.

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

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

Fresh Ideas from Newly Elected Legislators

Staff Lead: Kristen Petersen, Senior Associate of Government Relations

Priority: The Leadership Group’s biannual event, Fresh Ideas From Newly Elected Legislators, is a great orientation for new elected officials to become acquainted with Silicon Valley’s policy priorities. The Leadership Group hosts a series of “get to know you sessions” during a two day trip where member companies better get to know new legislators, and new legislators better get to know one another. Participants have the opportunity to engage with the legislators to discuss solutions to improve California’s business climate and quality of life.

Quantifiable Goals:

  • Execute one Fresh Ideas event
  • target goal of 35 Member Companies in attendance
  • target goal of 11 of 16 newly elected legislators in attendance

Legislative Activity

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Government Relations team advocate for local, county, and state education legislation and ballot measures based on the decisions of its Government Relations Committee, Working Council, and Board of Directors. Both bills and ballot measures are presented to these committees for discussion and voting.

2019 Legislation

2018 Legislation

Annual Events

Virtual Washington D.C. Advocacy Day

When: September 22, 2020 @ 8:00 am – September 23, 2020 @ 1:00 pm

September 22-23, 2020 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM PST Virtual Event  Buy Tickets ABOUT The Silicon Valley Leadership Group travels to Washington, D.C. annually with a delegation of member executives and public officials to advocate for our federal policy priorities,…


Government Relations Committee Meetings

Member-only committee meetings are generally held on the third Tuesday of each month from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. These meetings engage 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

To learn more about joining the committee please contact Kristen Petersen at [email protected]. A full agenda packet with location information, previous meeting minutes and policy briefing papers are distributed at least one week in advance.

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

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