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San Mateo County, CA May 3, 2011 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Dave Pine

Candidate for
San Mateo County, Board Member; County of San Mateo; Supervisorial District 1

This information is provided by the candidate

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.


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.

  • Green construction practices. In November 2006, the SMUHSD passed Measure M that authorized the issuance of $298 million in general obligation bonds to continue the modernization of the SMUHSD's facilities. I co-chaired the Measure M campaign. Following my election to the SMUHSD school board in November 2007, I championed the adoption of an energy, water and resource conservation policy to commit the SMUHSD to green construction practices and operations. This policy was passed in November 2008, and requires that the SMUHSD to implement effective and sustainable resource practices by ensuring that all major modernizations and new buildings meet or exceed the current minimum Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) design standards in most instances. Among other things, these standards require day lighting, reduced energy consumption, appropriate construction materials, and reduced water consumption. Prior to my election to the SMUHSD Board and the adoption of these standards, past modernization programs did not put a priority on green construction practices.

  • Solar Energy. Beginning in 2009 a school board colleague and I began to advocate for the SMUHSD to deploy solar panels in order to reduce operating costs and reduce the SMUHSD's carbon footprint. The idea was not favorably received initially, but after numerous meetings and presentations our fellow Board members agreed that the SMUHSD should use its savings from other construction projects to install a $30 million three megawatt solar system. This system is now under construction with large solar panel installations underway on the roofs of three high schools, and smaller installations at our other schools. The system will provide over 60% of the SMUHSD's electricity, save almost $1.0 million annually in electricity costs, generate $5.1 million in California solar rebates, and prevent over 4,000 tons of CO2 emissions.

  • Energy Efficiency Upgrades. I also supported conducting a district-wide energy audit. The audit was completed at the end of 2010 at all six of the SMUHSD's campuses. This audit has produced a roadmap for various steps the district will take to reduce its energy consumption. Future projects resulting from this audit will include the installation of pool covers, thermal heating of swimming pools, the use of power management systems, and more efficient lighting.

  • Environmental Education. As a SMUHSD school board member, I also have supported creating environmental education opportunity for our students. For example, I have encouraged the curriculum staff's efforts to develop a clean energy curriculum that will include a module on solar energy. In addition, I have been very supportive of student environmental groups such as Aragon High School's Environmental Impact Committee and Recycling Club.

Committee for Green Foothills I joined the Board of the Committee for Green Foothills (CGF) in August 2004 and served until March 2010. The Board meets monthly, and during my five and half year tenure I became very conversant with numerous land use issues in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. My contributions to CGF include the following:

  • From April 2007 through March 2010, I was the chair of the Advocacy Committee which works with CGF's San Mateo County and Santa Clara County advocated to develop CGF's policy positions and advocacy strategies. During this period, I also was a member of CGF's Executive Committee

  • I was actively involved in fundraising, event planning, and board member recruitment.

  • I advocated for CGF to become more involved in housing issues and helped develop CGF's housing policy.

  • On two occasions I served on a subcommittee responsible for selecting a new executive director for the organization.

Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club I have been a member of the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club since 2002. I have contributed to the work of the Chapter in a variety of ways:

  • I served on the endorsement committee for the Burlingame council race in 2005. I also coordinated the work of the political endorsement committee in connection with a San Mateo County Office of Education board member race in 2006 and the Foster City council race in 2007.

  • I have assisted the Chapter with fundraising on a number of occasions:

In December 2004, I helped organize a holiday reception and fundraiser at the Baylands Interpretive Center in Palo Alto. In 2006 - 07, I served as the Chair of the fundraising committee. During that time, I worked on major donor fundraising and the "March Window" appeals in 2006 and 2007. The fundraising appeal letter that we developed was published by the national Sierra Club as a model. During my tenure as Chair of the fundraising committee, the Chapter also put in place a fundraising outings program whereby Chapter members participate in domestic and foreign trips and a portion of the participation fee goes to the Chapter. I also worked with the Chapter Director to improve the performance of the Chapter's telefundraising effort.

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 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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Created from information supplied by the candidate: April 26, 2011 20:43
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