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|Full Biography for Dave Pine|
San Mateo Daily Journal - February 28, 2011
Public service and politics in his genes
By Sue Lempert
It's not a surprise that Dave Pine, a candidate for the District One Board of Supervisors seat, has devoted a major portion of his life to politics and public service when you discover he is a distant cousin of Tip O'Neil, the legendary leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. His mother was a Boston Callahan, an Irish Catholic family with ties to Tip. Pine grew up in a small New Hampshire town where politics and elections were a preoccupation, where presidential candidates came to visit every four years and where Jimmy Carter slept on the couch in a home not far away.
His dad was the son of a fisherman who immigrated to Somerville, Mass. from Newfoundland, Canada where the family ran a small dairy farm. He was the first in the family to attend college and became a professor and dean of education. Dave's mother was a teacher and later an administrator; his brother, an assistant principal; and his sister an admissions officer.
In the summer of his freshman year at Dartmouth College, Dave was a driver for the Democratic challenger for governor. They visited every coffee shop and every factory in New Hampshire. It was an epic race. The challenger won and the young chauffeur was hooked. At age 19, Pine was elected to the state Legislature. It was not that big a deal, he said, because there are 400 members and he probably wasn't the youngest. But he did receive a $20,000 Truman Scholarship for students interested in pursuing a career in public service.
Pine went on to law school at the University of Michigan and made his first trip west when he was a summer intern at the Palo Alto law firm of Fenwick and West. After graduation in 1985, he was offered a job at a major Washington, D.C. law firm but decided instead to stay with the Palo Alto firm because he liked the Bay Area. He met his wife Jane 10 years later. She had also attended law school in Michigan and worked at Fenwick, but their paths did not cross until a blind date arranged by friends. They were married in 1999 and have two young boys.
But before marriage and starting a family, Pine took a risk and left the security and partnership opportunities at the law firm to work for a Silicon Valley startup, Radius Inc. It turned out to be a very smart move. The firm made displays and other peripherals for Mac products. It grew from three employees to 300, from zero earnings to over $100 million in a few years. He was general counsel to the firm. He stayed for six years and was there at the peak of their success. In 1996, he moved to @Home networks which was the beginning of the dot-com revolution. The company introduced high-speed Internet access through cable instead of dial-up. The owners were three major cable companies and venture capitalists. Dave remembers when they used to ring a cow bell when they reached 100 subscribers. It wasn't long before they had over 50 million. It was an incredibly exciting and challenging time in Silicon Valley. Pine worked seven days a week with little time for sleep. As general counsel, he experienced all segments of the business. The firm bought Excite, a $6 billion transaction, and the new company was called Excite@Home located in the former Ampex building in Redwood City.
When Dave was appointed to the Redwood City Planning Commission in 1993, where he served for six years, he was disappointed he couldn't spend more time on issues which appealed to him but it was difficult with the responsibilities at work. However, the seed was planted. In 2000, he left Excite and joined Handspring, a spinoff of the Palm pilot device. It was the beginning of the smartphone era. Pine left three years later and decided to shift his focus to community endeavors while maintaining a private law practice.
He ran for the state Assembly in 2001 when he was a complete novice. The other candidates were Gina Papan, Andy Cassidy and Gene Mullin (the victor). Even though he lost, Pine didn't feel it was a complete mistake. By then, he and his family were living in Burlingame and, in his next election, Dave was successful. He was elected to the Burlingame Elementary School Board in 2003. He served there until he was recruited to run for the San Mateo Union High School District Board. The district was in a financial mess and under attack by the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury. Pine and Steve Rogers ousted two long-term incumbents. A new superintendent was hired, financial stability restored and the excellent reputation of the high school district maintained.
Now Pine is one of the major contenders in a competitive race for supervisor. He leads in fundraising with a healthy contribution of $100,000 from himself but he also leads in the amount raised from others. He has a many endorsements from elected officials including Rich Gordon, newly elected member of the state Assembly and former county supervisor. He has the support of all members of the Burlingame City Council (two are also supporting Terry Nagel), numerous councilmembers and school board members. He is involved in many community activities which range from board member of Community Gatepath, Committee for Green Foothills and member of the county Transportation Authority Citizens Advisory Committee. Dave says he has widespread support throughout the county. Ironically, even though he campaigned for district elections, Pine feels he has a better chance in a countywide race.
DAVE PINE'S ENVIRONMENTAL RECORD
San Mateo Union High School District As a school board member for the San Mateo Union High School District (SMUHSD), I have successfully advocated for green construction practices, the use of solar energy, energy efficiency upgrades, and environmental education.
I helped staff the phone banks organized by the Chapter to oppose Proposition 23. I also have participated in Sacramento lobbying efforts from time to time as part of the Sierra Club California Activist Network.
Sustainable San Mateo County I have been supportive of the work of Sustainable San Mateo County. In November of 2010, my wife and I took advantage of program promoted by Sustainable San Mateo County to have an energy audit conducted of our home by Recurve, Inc. We then hosted an energy audit party at our home where representatives from Recurve and Sustainable San Mateo County explained the testing process, our homes audit results, and ways to lower residential energy usage.
Redwood City Planning Commission From 1993 to 1999, I served on the Redwood City Planning Commission where I gained hands on experience analyzing development plans, making sure projects fully complied with the California Environmental Quality Act, and working to minimize the impact of projects on the city's overall environment and quality of life. As a planning commissioner, I reviewed a broad variety of land use and development issues including the build-out of Redwood Shores, the Kaiser hospital redevelopment, the Franklin Street specific plan and infill housing projects.
Environmental Entrepreneurs I am former member of Environmental Entrepreneurs, which is a national community of individual business leaders who advocate for good environmental policy while building economic prosperity.
Personal Commitment to Green Practices and Environmental Stewardship My commitment to the environment starts at home where my wife and I are avid recyclers, maintain a vegetable garden, and conserve energy and water whenever possible. A smart meter has recently been installed at our home and I track our energy usage using the ennovationz.com web site. Last year, I participated in the Drive Less Challenge and assisted one of the Burlingame organizers with fundraising. Minimizing our own carbon footprint and environmental impact are important vales for my wife and I and ones we want to pass on to our two young boys. Over the last few years, the boys and I have participated in the California Coastal Cleanup Day. Finally, my wife and I are regular donors to a variety of environmental organizations.
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