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By Steve Levy

Connecting Values and the Economy

Uploaded: Aug 6, 2012

I believe that my family and I are connected to generations past and future. I believe this for living in Palo Alto and for living in this world. That is one of my values.

I am grateful for the contributions of past generations that made Palo Alto a wonderful place to live and raise a family and still a wonderful place to live now. I am grateful for their investmetns and their welcoming of growth and change and diversity.

So in Palo Alto I support investing for the next generation and for continuing to welcome people and diversity. I welcome Stanford as a neighbor and their need to remain competitive as a university, as a medical center and as a center for innovation. As Nancy and I walk through the campus it is much denser than when I was a student with new buildings and residences.

I support welcoming new businesses and new residents within the context of careful planning.

In this case my values are supported by my professional work in understanding the dynamics of the Bay Area and state economy.

My value of investing in education is supported by the finding from my work and the work of others that a skilled workforce is our key competitive advantage and that great schools and universities support our economy and are a necesasary attraction for entreprenuers and families to start and expand businesses and send their children to school in California.

My value of investing in infrstructure to leave Palo Alto and California as good or better than it was given to me is supported by my work and the work of others that infrastructure to move people and goods, to provide water and energy and to have great public facilities that serve residents and businesses is necessary for us to remain competitive in the global economy. This is true in the Bay Area as supported by business leader surveys and true for California.

My value of being a welcoming community whether that be for immigrants or people with different religious or sexual preferences is supported by my knowledge that California has received great economic value from attracting a diversity of people who bring their talent and energy and also different life experience.

So, yes, investing takes money and should be done wisely. And welcoming growth and change brings growth and change, which does not always go smoothly.

But I do not own Palo Alto. I am a visitor here (even 50 years does not change that) and I am connected to generations past and future. Someone must speak for and plan for those future generations who will be the next visitors to Palo Alto. And I know in planning for them I am also planning to keep the economic vitality and energy that we are fortunate to be a part of.