Four Tri-Valley mayors are joining forces to gain federal funding for local projects during the United States Conference of Mayors Jan. 18-20. Along with Pleasanton Mayor Jennifer Hosterman, Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti and Livermore Mayor John Marchand, Mayor Candace Andersen will advocate for transportation and technology funding.
Andersen said the Tri-Valley's top priorities are securing funds to repair and improve the Interstate 580-Interstate 680 interchange, create the iGATE informational hub in Livermore and to establish an regional communication system that links Contra Costa with Alameda County. Because there are no longer earmarked funds for such projects, Andersen said the mayors will visit different representatives and agencies to plead their case.
"When (representatives) see this level of regional cooperation, they are more inclined to help us," Andersen said, noting the mayors will visit with the departments of transportation, energy and justice.
Although the mayors collectively decided to forgo requesting funds for I-680 improvements, funding for the interchange and I-580 repairs are crucial. Last year, Mayor Sbranti called the 580 corridor one of the most congested in the region and said investment would improve air quality as well as the local economy.
Funding for iGATE (innovation for Green Advanced Transportation Excellence) will also encourage economic development along the I-580 corridor. The state-of-the-art technology center combines the resources of the Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories with regional business parks, high growth businesses and universities to build a collaborative environment that can create green technologies and jobs.
"This technology is very beneficial to the region in creating new jobs and green jobs," Andersen said. In December, Danville announced a push to open its own iGATE hub.
Although San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson will not attend the conference -- instead, he will be at a three-day training conference for new mayors and city officials -- Andersen said the city has had an integral role in setting the agenda for Tri-Valley advocacy.
"I do not lack for any confidence in Candace Andersen's ability to carry this out," Clarkson said. "I hope (the mayors are) successful, hope that they're able to get some good feedback, some buy-ins for that incubator in that Livermore area."