San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed eats, sleeps and positively spits pension reform. He slammed through PR in San Jose with the help of voters in 2012, and while Measure B hasn’t accomplished everything it wanted, Reed’s doubled down with a proposed statewide measure (also being challenged in court).
Getting the money to put a PR initiative on the state ballot takes beaucoup bucks, which is part of the reason Reed’s been speaking at conferences across the country the last year while rallying support from hedge-fund billionaires like Paul Singer and venture capitalist Michael Moritz.
But it seemed a little odd when Reed’s calendar showed a Jan. 31 meeting with Tim Draper, the third-generation VC who coined the term “viral marketing.” Draper has a proposed initiative of his own called the “Six Californias,” which is the kind of perfectly ridiculous idea only rich people can get away with.
Draper suggests splitting the state into six performance-art style slices of pie, which would include leaving Silicon Valley and San Francisco buddied up in a bottle-opener shaped territory. A spokesperson for Reed said the mayor often takes meetings with VC folks to encourage them to locate their businesses in San Jose. But could it be that Reed was simply waiting for Draper to tire out on the crazy talk before turning the discussion to pension reform? The mayor’s spokesperson said that Reed is unlikely to support the Six State initiative but “has all sorts of irons in the fire.”