A measure on the San Francisco ballot asks voters to consider a two-phase plan that could lead to draining the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. Leaders on both sides of the debate will tackle this thorny issue and look at other regional water issues in the age of climate disruption.
Gregory Dalton is chief operating officer at the Commonwealth Club of California and Director of The Club's Climate 1 Initiative. He previously was international editor at The Industry Standard magazine, an editor for the Associated Press in New York, and a correspondent in China and Canada for the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper.
Proficient in both Mandarin and Cantonese, he is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Beginning in 1976, Leal served as counsel to U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations In 1982, she served as senior consultant to the California State Assembly's Committee on Ways and Means. In 1985, Leal became vice-president of a health care management company. Leal also worked as a businesswoman, a lawyer, and an investigator in state and federal governments.
Leal was appointed to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in June 1993. She was reelected the following year to a four-year term. While serving on the Board, she chaired its Finance Committee. From 1997 to 2004, Leal served as Treasurer of San Francisco, the City's banker and chief investment officer, winning re-election in 2001 with 87% of the vote. Her duties as Treasurer also included managing all tax and revenue collection for San Francisco.
In 2004, Leal was appointed General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is a regional utility that delivers water to 2.5 million customers.
After her term with the SFPUC, Leal joined Harvard as a Senior Fellow of the Advanced Leadership Initiative, where she researched the delivery of potable water and treatment of wastewater in communities worldwide. Her book, Running Out of Water is based on her work at Harvard.
Running Out of Water, which Leal co-authored with Harvard Professor Peter Rogers, is forward-looking book that offers a sobering perspective on the world's water crisis — why it is happening, where it is likely to strike, and what puts the worst strain on our supply. Ms. Leal now works as a consultant advising public agencies and corporations nationwide on realistic and creative solutions to the water and wastewater challenges they face.
Mike's advocacy and political activism spans over 25 years which has allowed him to hone the strategic skills necessary to lead Restore Hetch Hetchy. He has successfully lobbied Congress to stand up to the powerful trucking industry, he's managed two state-wide political campaigns in California and is a former senior advisor to the Democratic National Committee. Additionally, Mike's experience as the executive leader of numerous non-profit organizations has allowed him to develop significant fund raising, organizational development, financial management and marketing skills that should prove invaluable to the Hetch Hetchy restoration effort. Mike lives in San Francisco, serves as the President of the Board of Directors and is active in local politics.
Spreck has worked for the past 20 years as a senior analyst with the Environmental Defense Fund. Since 1988, he has worked to find long-term, economically viable solutions that will protect and restore the aquatic ecosystems in California and the West. Spreck has played a lead role helping Restore Hetch Hetchy develop alternatives that would assure a reliable supply of high quality Tuolumne River is still available to San Francisco and the Bay Area when the valley is restored.
Jim Wunderman serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Bay Area Council, a business-backed public policy organization in the San Francisco-Oakland-Silicon Valley Bay Area. Led by its CEO members, the Bay Area Council is the strong, united voice of more than 275 of the largest Bay Area employers, representing more than 500,000 workers, or one of every six private sector employees. Since becoming CEO in 2004, Wunderman has led the 64-year-old public policy organization to become one of the most influential, effective institutions of its kind.
Under Wunderman’s leadership, the Council has grown significantly in membership, revenue and profile, and has developed a global competitiveness strategy for the Bay Area that serves as a model for other regions. Some of the core elements of the global competitiveness strategy are to develop world-class infrastructure, a second-to-none education system, and to enact a smart growth plan that will stand in an era of climate change and economic pressures. Wunderman has also helped the Council develop deep and collaborative relationships with leaders in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento.