The Business Perspective

LADWP Infrastructure Investments Deserve Our Support

Gary Toebben on February 16, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Angelenos in every corner of the City at one point or another have been impacted by a broken water main or electricity blackout. These incidents are the most visible signs of our aging water and power systems and the necessity of maintaining the infrastructure in the 465 square-mile area served by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP). The business community has a long history of recognizing that improvements to and maintenance of our utility infrastructure is key to the health of our economy and has supported rate increases that dedicate funds to this use.

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Transportation Funding Needs Green Light in Sacramento

Gary Toebben on February 9, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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In his State of the State address in January, Gov. Jerry Brown once again called on the Legislature to find a solution to California’s funding gap for highways, bridges and transit. The funding shortfall for the basic transportation needs of our state is getting worse every day and our businesses, residents and visitors are grumbling. 

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Cashing in on the Promise of College

Gary Toebben on February 2, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Each year thousands of qualified high school seniors do not apply to college because they fear the financial barriers are too great and they are unaware of opportunities to secure financial aid. In 2014, the “California Financial Aid Tracker” from Education Trust-West revealed that 40 percent of California’s public high school graduating seniors do not file financial aid applications and leave millions of dollars of financial aid unused. 

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Big Opportunities for 21st Century Investments

Gary Toebben on January 26, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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When it comes to investing in Los Angeles’ transportation infrastructure, we are in a golden era. The promises of Measure R are becoming a reality with the Regional Connector, Purple Line extension and Crenshaw/LAX line in full construction mode. Expo Phase II, connecting downtown to Santa Monica, is in the final testing phases, and the Gold Line Foothill extension is scheduled to open in March. The long-discussed goal of connecting the Metro system to LAX and transforming the way passengers access the airport terminals is now in the environmental planning stage.

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Ending Homelessness Attracts Hundreds of Caring Citizens

Gary Toebben on January 19, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, both the City and County of Los Angeles presented plans to address homelessness and invited public comments. The plans appropriately described the growing number of homeless persons and the shortage of affordable housing as a crisis. Each plan outlined suggested expenditures of approximately $100 million per year or $200 million total per year to take bold and comprehensive action. Both plans indicated that existing funds could be re-prioritized to get the ball rolling but that a dedicated revenue stream would be needed to sustainably fund the proposals. Neither recommended a specific revenue source. 

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Partnering To Address a Crisis

Gary Toebben on January 12, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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When a community like Porter Ranch is facing a crisis, it is appropriate to expect a response from government that collaborates with citizens and the private sector to communicate helpful information about what caused the problem, and develop partnerships to address short and long-term responses and solutions. Such a response from government took place last week when the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) and the Southern California Gas Company (SoCal Gas) announced a new plan to partially address the release of natural gas and fumes from the Aliso Canyon storage facility owned by SoCal Gas.

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Happy New Year and 16 wishes for 2016

Gary Toebben on January 5, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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With January in full swing, I wanted to share my “wish list” for improving the economy of the City and County of Los Angeles for the upcoming year. Here’s what my dream year would look like:

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Region Ends Year with More Jobs & Other Successes

Webmaster on December 22, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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As 2015 comes to a close, we should celebrate that Los Angeles County has 73,200 more jobs than one year ago and our unemployment rate stands at 5.9 percent, down from 8 percent in November 2014. The result is a happier holiday season for many families and friends.

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Federal Education Bill Is Good for California Economy

Webmaster on December 15, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, both houses of Congress passed and the President signed into law the Every Student Success Act (ESSA). This bill replaces the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation that was enacted 12 years ago. The goal of ESSA is to ensure that all students, including our youngest learners, have equal access to a quality education no matter their background or ethnicity. 

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Don'ít Doom L.A. to a Permanent Housing Shortage

Gary Toebben on December 8, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last month, a group of activists calling themselves the “Coalition to Preserve L.A,” led by Michael Weinstein with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, filed papers to place an initiative on the November 2016 ballot that would establish a citywide building moratorium on higher density housing. The measure is officially titled “Restrictions on General Plan Amendments, Required Review of General Plan; Building Moratorium Initiative Ordinance,” but don’t be fooled by the archaic sounding language. The implications of this measure would be devastating to Los Angeles and doom us to a permanent housing shortage.

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