Silicon Valley Leadership Statement: Governor’s State of the State Address and High-speed Rail

San Jose, CA – Carl Guardino, CEO and President of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and one of nine gubernatorial appointees on the California Transportation Commission issued the following statement after Governor Gavin Newsom’s State of the State Address this morning on high-speed rail:

“We’ve always felt it made sense for high-speed rail to connect the world’s agricultural capitol of the Central Valley with the world’s innovation capitol of Silicon Valley; and while we still believe that makes sense, Governor Gavin Newsom needs to make ‘dollars and cents’ out of an always constrained financial budget.

We respect the governor’s decision to build a usable section of high-speed rail between the cities of Bakersfield and Merced in the Central Valley, but let’s underscore that he said it was a starting point; he did not say it was an ending point. He called for the EIR for the entire system and we look forward to working with him in that effort.

We know in Silicon Valley that when a door closes we check the windows – or build a new door. That is certainly the case with an overall vision of shrinking our state through rapid transit options like high-speed rail.

The governor and his team have made absolutely clear that the high-speed rail funds for Caltrain electrification and modernization are fully protected in his proposal. That is critical to the three counties of Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Francisco that comprise that 79-mile system that already carries 65,000 weekday passengers trips; which will grow by 80 percent to 110,000 by 2022 through electrification and modernization.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group continues to applaud Governor Newsom for combining vision with financial stability; and values with fiscal prudence.”

About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group
The Leadership Group was founded in 1978 by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard and represents more than 350 of Silicon Valley’s most respected employers on issues, programs and campaigns that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley, including energy, transportation, education, housing, health care, tax policies, economic vitality and the environment. Leadership Group members collectively provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley and contribute more than $3 trillion to the worldwide economy. For more information, visit