D.C. - We're Not Going With Hat in Hand

Gary Toebben on March 13, 2018 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Today, 160 business and civic leaders are in Washington, D.C. for the region’s annual ACCESS Washington, D.C. trip. The delegation will meet with dozens of members of Congress and the Administration about issues that are important to our economy and our quality of life.  Here is our advocacy agenda.

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A Step Forward on the 710 Freeway

Gary Toebben on March 6, 2018 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last Thursday, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) voted to invest $1 billion in early action projects and a clean technology fund to improve congestion and air quality on the 710 Freeway between Long Beach and the 60 Freeway. Early action projects and their timing will be identified in the spring and include improvements like a truck by-pass lane at the 405 & 710 interchange, updated ramps for 24 streets along the corridor, modernized interchanges and a clean technology fund. The Metro Board did not include the addition of two new lanes as recommended by Metro staff and urged by the business community. That authorization will require a future vote for approval, but last week’s action was a step forward.

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Time To Show We Are Serious About Fixing Our Housing Crisis

Gary Toebben on February 27, 2018 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, the coalition that successfully supported Proposition HHH in November 2016 reconvened to announce that every Council district in the City of Los Angeles was pledging to support a minimum of 222 new units of permanent supportive housing by July 2020. Six members of the City Council, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and the LA/OC Building Trades committed to supporting and creating these 3,330 citywide units in the next three years.

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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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