Santa Clara County, CA November 2, 1999 Election
Smart Voter

Full Biography for Jim Burch

Candidate for
Council Member; City of Palo Alto; Unexpired Short Term


This information is provided by the candidate

James E. Burch

Born Evanston, Illinois, February 27, 1926. Family moved to San Mateo, California, in 1940. Graduated from San Mateo High School in June, 1943, and entered the U.S. Army (Infantry) in June, 1944. Served in USA, Hawaii, Pacific area. Following the dropping of the atomic bombs, waded ashore in Japan in September, 1945, as part of the Army of Occupation. Transferred to Armed Forces Radio Service and became Program Director of Station WVTQ in Osaka, Japan. Honorably Discharged May, 1946.

1946-1947 Free-lance radio writer in Hollywood.

1947-1950 Radio, television, and advertising work, Phoenix, Arizona.

1951-1974 Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn (BBDO), San Francisco. Sixteen years as Vice-President and Creative Supervisor on Standard Oil Company of California (Chevron), U.S. Steel, Pacific Telephone, Cling Peach Advisory Board and other accounts. Awarded two CLIOS for creative work. Seven years as VP and Management Supervisor on Pacific Telephone and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). During this same period, co-founded the Urban Coalition in San Francisco.

1974 BBDO went public with its stock and I left to begin a second career as a full-time volunteer activist. President, Creative Initiative Foundation, a non-profit educational foundation. President, Project Survival, a state-wide volunteer organization on behalf of Proposition 15, the Nuclear Safeguards Initiative. Member, the Global 2000 Project and the Beyond War Foundation. Co-creator of The Beyond War Award which was given annually to those who made significant contributions "to building a world beyond war." Producer of seven television "spacebridges" linking various continents, nations, and U.S. cities for the Beyond War Award ceremonies.

July, 1987-February, 1988 Co-director of the Beyond War storefront office in Des Moines, Iowa, during 1988 Presidential campaign. Met and interacted with presidential candidates from both Republican and Democratic parties. Attended both the Democratic National Convention (Atlanta) and the Republican National Convention (New Orleans) in 1988.

At Present Volunteer at Foundation for Global Community, Palo Alto. Member of the Board of Trustees. Advisory Board member for Timeline, bi-monthly publication of the Foundation. Co-producer of seven video programs which are offered free of cost via satellite to PBS stations throughout the United States: Most recently, Children and Nature: Awakening a Sense of Wonder with Dr. Jane Goodall; Water: Sacred and Profaned; and The Living Land.

For three of the past five years: President, San Alma Homeowners Association, Palo Alto.

My wife, Wileta, and I were married March 11, 1950. She has always been an active and equal partner in all of these activities, including leading educational seminars for adults and youth, and co-producing the television documentaries.

Two children: Barbara Lindsay, a teacher in the Palo Alto school system, and Bill Burch, owner of an audio production services company in Palo Alto. Three grandchildren, all attending Palo Alto High School: David Lindsay, 17, a senior; Merrill Burch, 16, a junior; and Kristina Lindsay, 15, a sophomore.

Home: 177 Hemlock Court, Palo Alto 94306 (650) 858-2348 Email:

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