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Why the Bay Area Needs to Act Like a City-State

Victor Jones Memorial Lecture Series
Sixth Memorial Lecture on Metropolitan Governance
Why the Bay Area Needs to Act Like a City-State

Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 4-6 pm | UC Berkeley Alumni House, Toll Room

California and the San Francisco Bay Area are entering a period of unprecedented challenges and changes. The pressures of globalization, lingering effects from the economic recession, managing climate change, and failed attempts in Sacramento to achieve meaningful reforms loom large over the region. Does the Bay Area need to start acting more like a city-state by taking bold steps to achieve pragmatic solutions to its regional problems?

Following the examples of Singapore and Hong Kong, can the Bay Area chart its own path to regional success, despite the political gridlock in Sacramento, and achieve a sustainable future? Can the consolidation and re-engineering of local governments lead the way forward to more effective and efficient models of public service delivery in an era of shrinking tax revenues? Can the Bay Area benefit from thinking more like a city-state and less like a region trapped within a dysfunctional state to chart its own future?

Paul Saffo will deliver the 6th Victor Jones Memorial Lecture on Metropolitan Governance on Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 4-6 pm, at the UC Berkeley Alumni House. The lecture and reception are free and open to the public. This occasional lecture series is a memorial tribute to the late Professor Victor Jones, a pioneer in the study of metropolitan government whose work led to the founding of ABAG.

Paul Saffo is a visionary forecaster with over two decades of experience helping corporate and governmental clients understand and respond to the dynamics of large-scale, long-term change. Saffo is Managing Director of Foresight at Discern Analytics, and he teaches at Stanford where he is a Consulting Associate Professor in the Engineering School and a Visiting Scholar in the Stanford Media-X Program. He is a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, and is a member of the US National Academies Committee on Forecasting Disruptive Technologies. Saffo holds degrees from Harvard College, Cambridge University, and Stanford University.

The Victor Jones Memorial Lecture on Metropolitan Governance brings to the UC Berkeley campus distinguished speakers on the topic of regional affairs, urban studies, federalism, comparative government, metropolitan and local administration, and intergovernmental relations. This lecture is cosponsored by the UC Berkeley Travers Department of Political Science and ABAG. The lecture is free and open to the public (I only wish my schedule would permit me to attend).

For those interested, I worked at ABAG for more than 15 years (1974-1989), including staffing ABAG’s Legislation and Governmental Organization Committee.  Victor Jones often attended meetings of this committee, many of whose members went on to higher office in the State Legislature and/or Congress.

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