CA WaterFix - New Plan, Same Essential Goal

Gary Toebben on February 20, 2018 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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With a month left before winter turns to spring, California once again finds itself in a familiar situation - a dry winter, marked by heat and fires and a return to drought conversations. Today, the State Water Board is expected to permanently adopt regulations to reinstate water conservation practices that were allowed to expire in 2017 after plentiful rain and snow last winter.

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Taking a Large Megaphone to D.C.

Gary Toebben on February 13, 2018 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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It has never been more important for Los Angeles County and Southern California to raise its collective voice in Washington, D.C. One month from today, 150 business, civic and elected leaders will head east for Access Washington, D.C., the region's largest annual advocacy trip. This is the only time during the year when multiple business organizations, public agencies, non-profits and elected officials travel together and speak with one voice on issues that are important to the L.A. area economy and quality of life.

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Looming Immigration Deadline Threatens L.A. Workforce

Gary Toebben on February 6, 2018 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last year, I joined with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti at a press conference to highlight the economic contributions of immigrants in Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles.  The event marked the release of a New American Economy (NAE) report on Los Angeles.

The report found that foreign-born residents comprise 43 percent of the employed labor force in L.A. County and they contributed more than $232 billion to L.A. County's GDP in 2014. This contribution represented 35 percent of the County's total GDP.

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Homeless Solutions We Need Now

Gary Toebben on January 30, 2018 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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December marked a milestone in Los Angeles’ homelessness efforts when City and civic leaders gathered to break ground on the first Proposition HHH housing project for the homeless.  Approved in November 2016 by more than 76 percent of Angelenos, HHH authorized $1.2 billion over 10 years to construct 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing in the City of L.A.

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L.A. Chamber in Montreal to Stress Importance of NAFTA

Gary Toebben on January 23, 2018 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Fourteen million … that’s the number of American jobs that are dependent on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Over the past two days, senior trade representatives of Canada, Mexico and the United States launched the 6th round of NAFTA negotiations in Montreal.  Concurrently, 25 representatives of chambers of commerce from across the three countries gathered in Montreal for the “Metro Cities for a Renewed NAFTA” summit.

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Education a Priority in Governor Brown's Budget Proposal

Gary Toebben on January 16, 2018 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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This past week, Gov. Brown released his 2018-19 budget, the last for his administration.  Education was a priority, and it should be. California needs to produce 2.5 million more graduates over the next 10 years with degrees and credentials that our growing businesses need. The Governor's budget proposal makes clear that investments in California’s future workforce are paramount to driving the state’s economic growth and prosperity.

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RecycLA -- Government Overreach

Gary Toebben on January 9, 2018 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Five years ago, I wrote a Business Perspective entitled “A Trash Proposal That Stinks,” warning that a vote the L.A. City Council was about to take to implement a complete overhaul of the waste haul system for commercial and multi-family facilities would have many negative consequences and be very expensive for businesses. The business community argued that the City could achieve all its waste reduction and recycling goals through a non-exclusive franchise system, developing a set of standards that all haulers would need to meet in order to operate in L.A.

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The Chamber's 2018 Priorities

Gary Toebben on January 2, 2018 at 10:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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A special message from President and CEO Gary Toebben on working with members toward the Chamber's 2018 priorities.

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LAWA Leads on Solving Homelessness

Gary Tobben on December 19, 2017 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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As Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) moves forward on its $5.5 billion Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP), one of the key components has been to address homelessness at Manchester Square. Manchester Square is the site of the future Consolidated Rental Car Facility and until two years ago, it was home to as many as 420 people experiencing homelessness. Today, the homeless population at Manchester Square has been reduced to approximately 120 people and progress continues to be made.

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Let's Not Make Working-Class Housing More Expensive in Los Angeles

Gary Toebben on December 12, 2017 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Tomorrow the Los Angeles City Council will vote to approve a per square foot impact fee on new commercial, industrial and residential construction in L.A. Labeled an Affordable Housing Linkage Fee (AHLF), this new development fee by city government will be used to fund low-income housing. While the business community strongly supports affordable housing, we're advocated against this proposal because it will make middle-class housing more expensive to build, buy or rent.

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