Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Announces Positions on March 8 City Ballot Initiatives


February 3, 2011 2:00 pm

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce announced today its position on each of the 10 initiatives included on the March 8 Los Angeles City ballot.

“Our Board of Directors discussed each one of these issues and how they will impact businesses and the overall community,” said L.A. Area Chamber President & CEO Gary Toebben.

Following those conversations, the Chamber’s Board of Directors adopted supportive positions on the following Charter Amendments:

•    Charter Amendment G - Fire & Police Pension
•    Charter Amendment J - DWP; Submission of Preliminary Budget to the City Council
•    Charter Amendment N - Campaign Finance
•    Charter Amendment P - Establishment of Contingency Reserve Account & Emergency Reserve
•    Charter Amendment Q - Employment Provisions

“Pension reform has been an important focus of this Chamber’s work over the past several years and while the reform proposed in Amendment G falls short of what we had hoped for, the Chamber believes this is a step in the right direction,” Toebben said.

Additionally, the Chamber’s Board voted to oppose the following ballot initiatives:

•    Charter Amendment H - Bidder Campaign Contributions & Fundraising Restrictions; Campaign Trust Fund
•    Charter Amendment I - DWP Office of Public Accountability (OPA); Ratepayer Advocate
•    Charter Amendment L - Public Library Funding
•    Proposition M - Taxation of Medical Marijuana Collectives
•    Proposition O - Los Angeles Oil Production Tax

“By far, the toughest decision for our Board was to oppose Amendment L,” Toebben said.  “Libraries are an integral part of our City’s quality of life.  However, this initiative is the type of ballot box budgeting that has exacerbated state and local budget problems. The most responsible way to protect essential city services such as libraries is for city leaders to implement long-term budget and pension reforms.”

The Board also opposed Amendment I, which establishes an Office of Public Accountability within the Department of Water and Power.

“We strongly support greater transparency and public oversight of DWP.  However, we believe Amendment I is not specific enough to give us confidence that it would effectively achieve that end result,” Toebben said.  “Beyond that, this amendment is just creating another layer to the system, when the ultimate responsibility rests with City Council under the City Charter.”

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The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region.  For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.


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