More than 200 Bipartisan Business and Civic Leaders Advocated for Investment in Southern California Infrastructure during the Region's Premier Advocacy Trip to Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today on Capitol Hill, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, numerous regional officials and a 200-member delegation of bipartisan Southern California business and civic leaders joined together to kick off Access Washington, D.C., the region's premier advocacy trip to the nation's capital. During this year's trip, the delegation called on federal legislators to "Build America Together," by making federal investments in the Southern California infrastructure that is helping to fuel the national economy.
Alongside Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Santa Monica Mayor Herb Katz, City of Huntington Beach Mayor Debbie Cook, City of San Gabriel Mayor Harry Baldwin, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent David L. Brewer III, members of the Los Angeles City Council, leaders from five county transit agencies and more than 20 Southern California business advocacy and trade organizations, the delegation met with more than 75 lawmakers on key issues such as transportation and goods movement, aviation and public safety, education and workforce development, housing, energy and climate change and much more.
"Southern California is a main engine of the national economy, and the prosperity of our region is essential to the economic vitality of the entire country," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "With over 1.5 million businesses and 18 million residents, Southern California is also the top entry point for all goods and visitors entering the U.S. Increased federal investment in our infrastructure will yield tremendous returns that create jobs and strengthen the middle class from coast to coast."
The Southern California economy is essential to the future growth and prosperity of the nation. According to the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the region accounts for approximately six percent of the nation's total share of employment, wages and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Without investment in Southern California ports, airports, public transportation systems, housing and education, Washington, D.C. lawmakers risk derailing vital job creation and destabilizing the nation's backbone for trade and economic development.
"There is no doubt that Southern California provides a significant return on investment to America. With an economy ranking 15th in the world, the region has more people, more businesses and more international trade than 47 states in our nation," said Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34). "I thank the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce for uniting this group of more than 200 business and civic leaders to come to Washington to remind my colleagues of the tremendous value Southern California adds to our nation's economy."
Among the many issues the delegation discussed with lawmakers, transportation, housing and economic stimulus policies were a key focus of this year's trip. In the current economic climate, the delegation promoted policies to increase investment in transportation projects, provide support for employer assisted housing, and offer incentives across industry sectors to help stimulate job growth and the economy.
"Southern California's roads, ports, airports, schools, waterways and other infrastructure help make America stronger," said Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. "Investments in our region will help to stimulate the national economy through the continued flow of goods, visitors and talent in the years to come."
Access Washington, D.C. is a partnership of nearly two dozen business advocacy organizations, non-profits, educational institutions and local government leaders.
# # #
Access Washington, D.C. is hosted by nearly 20 Southern California business advocacy organizations including: Central City Association; Foreign Trade Association of Southern California; FuturePorts; Hollywood Chamber of Commerce; Korean American Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles; Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; Los Angeles Business Council; Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce; Mobility 21; NAWBO-LA; Orange County Business Council; Pasadena Chamber of Commerce; Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce; Southern California Association of Governments; Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce; UNITE-LA., Inc, United Chambers of Commerce San Fernando Valley & Region; U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Valley Industry & Commerce Association; and World Trade Week.