This Page is for really inquiring minds!

Bureaucracy has become a way of life.  In the San Francisco Bay Area alone there are hundreds of city, county and regional departments, agencies, commissions, authorities, joint powers, committees, bureaus -- the list is endless.  Studying all the entities populating this endless list could be a life-time avocation. For those who really wish to dig deep into this labyrinth as it relates to regionalism, for serious research or amusement, we offer this page.  Most of the content is in the form of links provided by Nine-County Coalition members and friends to websites related to subjects discussed in the NCC website.

SUSTAINABILITY - A Mantra for Our Times (Continued from Articles Section)

*Population Council – First serious attempt at population management

1952-  John D. Rockefeller III, philanthropist, creates the Population Council.  Governed by a board of directors, this foundation conducts research and programs related to development and population in 50 countries.  The foundation’s objectives state, “Together with NGO and government partners, our international staff identifies challenges, develops and tests innovative solutions, and scales up successful strategies.”

*United Nations Headquarters Completed
UN Visitors Centre

1952 – United Nations Headquarters located in New York City is completed.  From a fact-sheet issued by Public Inquiries, UN Visitors Centre:  ”During the latter half of 1946, following selection of the United States as host country, a special United Nations site committee studied possible locations in such places as Philadelphia, Boston and San Francisco… A last minute offer of $8.5 million by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., for the purchase of the present site was accepted by a large majority of the General Assembly on 14 December 1946. New York City completed the site parcel by additional gifts of property. The site chosen by the United Nations was a run-down area of slaughterhouses, light industry and a railroad barge landing

*The Future of Federalism by Nelson A. Rockefeller – Consolidation of power at the federal level

1962 - Nelson A. Rockefeller, Governor of New York State, delivers a series of three Godkin lectures on “The Future of Federalism” at Harvard University. These lectures were published in book form.  From Page 37, which can be read on The Internet Archives: "The local governments have no ‘sovereignty’  to counterbalance federal sovereignty, nor the fiscal power to resist its blandishments.  And this is a fact to be kept in mind when considering federal legislation in the areas of housing, social reform, urban renewal and the like, particularly if that legislation is designed to bypass the States."
*Federal public law 91-213 – Continuation of efforts started in 1952 by the Population Council

1970--  President Richard M. Nixon establishesthe Commission on Population Growth and the American Future, chaired by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller III.  From chapter on Guiding Urban Expansion:  "To anticipate and guide future urban growth, the Commission recommends comprehensive land-use and public-facility planning on an overall metropolitan and regional scale. The Commission recommends that governments exercise greater control over land-use planning and development."

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Consolidation of all federal environment-related agencies

1970 – President Richard M. Nixon consolidates all federal environment-related agencies into EPA, following the recommendations of the President’s Advisory Council on Executive Organization, led by Roy Ash (the Ash Commission)

*United Nations Declaration on Environment and Development, and Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests – First serious global effort at management of development and populations.

1992-  The U.N. adopts an ambitious comprehensive plan to manage global development and populations.  The plan’s Preamble states:  “We are confronted with a perpetuation of disparities between and within nations, a worsening of poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy, and the continuing deterioration of the ecosystems on which we depend for our well-being. However, integration of environment and development concerns and greater attention to them will lead to the fulfillment of basic needs, improved living standards for all, better protected and managed ecosystems and a safer, more prosperous future. No nation can achieve this on its own; but together we can - in a global partnership for sustainable development.”

*HUD Cooperative Agreement H-59-51-CA – Federal funds help think tanks develop planning policy

2002 – Funded by the Federal Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD), the American Planning Association publishes Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook:  Model for Statutes for Planning and the Management of Change.  “The Guidebook and its accompanying User Manual are the culmination of APA's seven-year Growing Smart project, an effort to draft the next generation of model planning and zoning legislation for the United States.

*California Assembly Bill 32 – First serious legislation setting greenhouse gas emission targets

2006--  AB32, Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, “marked a watershed moment in California’s history.  By requiring in law a sharp reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, California set the stage for its transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future.  AB 32 was the first program in the country to take a comprehensive, long-term approach to addressing climate change.”

*California Senate Bill 375 – Follows AB32 in setting specific goals and empowering agencies for regional action.

2008 -- SB 375, Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008, contains two principal mandates:  1)  a regional transportation plan with a sustainable communities strategy for achieving stated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and light trucks; 2) a planning and zoning plan requiring each city, county, or city and county to prepare and adopt a general plan for its jurisdiction that contains certain mandatory elements, including a housing element.

*Plan Bay Area

2013--  “Plan Bay Area marks the nine-county region’s first long-range plan to meet the requirements of California’s landmark 2008 Senate Bill 375, which calls on each of the state’s 18 metropolitan areas to develop a Sustainable Communities Strategy.”


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):  International environmental treaty adopted May 1992, opened for signatures of participating nations at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro June 1992, and entered into force March 1994.  The treaty’s objective is to "stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system".  There are no binding limits on greenhouse emissions or enforcement mechanisms; instead the framework offers outlines of how to draw up international agreements to accomplish the objectives of UNFCCC.  The U.S. is a signatory.

The parties to the UNFCCC meet annually to work on methods to achieve the objectives of the treaty’s objectives.  Some of their more significant work includes,

Kyoto Protocol:  Concluded in 1997.  It established legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the period 2008-2012.  The United States is not a signatory.

Cancun Agreement:  Established 2010.  It states that future global warming should be limited to below 2.0 C (3.6 F) relative to the pre-industrial level.  Participants reached consensus on the establishment of the Green Climate Fund as a method by which richer nations fund the climate efforts of poorer ones.  The United States is a signatory.

Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol:  Adopted December 2012, but not yet entered into force due to lack of sufficient signatories.   Establishes the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, from January 2013 through December 2020.

Paris Agreement:  Adopted December 2015, and entered into force November 2016.  The main objective of the agreement is to 1) Hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2.0 C above pre-industrial levels, and make efforts to hold the increase to 1.5 C., 2) pursue resilience and low greenhouse gas emission development, 3) make finance flows consistent with low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.  The United States is not a signatory.


Function:  Work place of members of the state Senate and Assembly, where state legislation is written, introduced, and voted on by Senate and Assembly members.


Most cities have a similar land use plan that is adapted to local preferences. This is a diagram posted on line by CEQA

Most cities have a similar land use plan that is adapted to local preferences. This is a diagram posted on line by CEQA




SCC:  State Coastal Conservancy
Function of agency:  Acts with others to preserve, protect, and restore the resources of the California coast, ocean, and the San Francisco Bay Area


ABAG:  Association of Bay Area Governments
Function:  Council of governments and regional planning agency for the nine counties and 101 cities and towns of the San Francisco Bay region.

MTC:  Metropolitan Transportation Agency
Function: Transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.  MTC distributes money to Bay Area transit agencies from many different sources, including the Federal Transit Administration.

OBAG:  MTC’s One Bay Area Grant program
Function:  A funding approach that aligns MTC’s investments with support for focused growth.
Special links:
PBA:  Plan Bay Area
Function:  Long-range integrated transportation and land-use/housing strategy through 2040 for the San Francisco Bay Area.  Jointly approved on July 18, 2013, by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) Executive Board and by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), to meet the requirements of California’s 2008 Senate Bill 375, which calls on each of the state’s 18 metropolitan areas to develop a Sustainable Communities Strategy to accommodate future population growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks.

PBA 2040:  Plan Bay Area Regional Initiatives
Function:  Collaboration on key initiatives to develop an integrated long-range transportation and land-use/housing plan, tackle climate change, improve air quality, protect the Bay, and increase energy efficiency.

PBA Special Links:

Plan Bay Area: How we talk about the Plan
Urban Sim
Redwood City
ABAG May 15, 2014 demographic report
Haggerty Plan Bay Area format
Ekland Public Outreach
Peter Singleton Redwood City
CARB GHG Reduction Tool
Chas Cagnon Technology
Chris Pareja Vote of the People
Peter Singleton Documenting Destruction

Joan Veon

Open Learning

PDA:  Priority Development Area

Function:  Locally-identified, infill development opportunity areas within existing communities that are primed for a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly environment served by transit.

PDA Showcase:


BAAQMD - Bay Area Air Quality Management District

Function:  Tasked with regulating stationary sources of air pollution in the nine counties that surround San Francisco Bay



Board and Committees: 


BARC:  Bay Area Regional Collaborative

Function:  The Bay Area Regional Collaborative (BARC) coordinates the planning efforts of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).


The United States Federal Government:  The official handbook of the Federal Government. It provides information on the agencies of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. It also includes information on quasi-official agencies; international organizations in which the United States participates; and boards, commissions, and committees. The Manual begins with reprints of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution


In the Federalist No. 46, James Madison wrote on January, 1788, “The federal and state governments are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people…the ultimate authority, wherever the derivative may be found, resides in the people alone.”  

James Madison was speaking of the people of what would become the United States on June, 1788, once the Constitution was ratified by all states.  Nothing has changed since then.  We still have a republican form of representative self-government, where the people rule.  The principle exemplified by James Madison still refers to a sovereign nation ruled by its people.  

Thank you to a Nine-County Coalition participant for recommending a book that discusses the principle of sovereignty in depth:  Sovereignty or Submission:  Will Americans Rule Themselves or be Ruled by Others, by John Fonte.  The book is a winner of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) book award for 2012.  John Fonte is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.