Thursday | April 19, 2012


This Week At The Chamber
Read the latest happenings

Member News
Read good news from Chamber members

Issues of Interest
Read about what's going on in your community


FRI | April 20
Energy, Water & Environmental Sustainability Council
Featuring LADWP General Manager Ron Nichols
more info | register

TUE | April 24
Referral Network
Business Breakthrough Tuesdays
more info | register

TUE | April 24
Emerging Commerce Council
The Rise of Clean Technology in L.A.
more info | register

WED | April 25
Land Use, Construction & Housing Council
A 21st Century Downtown
more info | register

THU | April 26
HIRE LA's Youth Breakfast
Featuring U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis
more info | register

View all upcoming events on our Web Calendar.




"A project of this scope can last for 100 years, we can't be short sighted in investments."

—Jerry Meral, deputy secretary for the California Resources Agency regarding the Bay Delta Conservation Plan at a special briefing hosted by the Southern California Water Committee at the Chamber Monday.

"Some Latin American countries are becoming importing power houses. They need almost everything we manufacture."

—Ambassador Charles Shapiro, president of the Institute of the Americas at the Global Initiatives Council meeting Wednesday.

"'Made in America' is the world's strongest brand and it continues to be."

—Wanda Felton, first vice president and vice chair, Export-Import Bank of the United States, at the Exporting: Increasing Your Revenues event Thursday.

  Media Highlights  



Villaraigosa's legacy rides on transit plan
Los Angeles Times, April 18
Read more

Obama clears way for Colombia free trade pact
Los Angeles Times, April 16
Read more

Los Angeles Zoo
L.A. Daily News, April 18
Read more

L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa Signs Development Reform Ordinance Cutting Red Tape
California Newswire, April 12
Read more



"We never intended to do it, but we backed our way into becoming one of the largest gang prevention organizations in the country," said Homeboy Industries Founder and Executive Director Father Gregory Boyle at the Chamber's Power Hour Series on Monday. Father Boyle discussed what has made Homeboy Industries succesful and touched upon the organization's business model. "We've just beat out Cheetos as the No. 1 snack at Ralphs," he said. Contact Pat Clark, 213.580.7595.

Mayor Villaraigosa focuses on transportation in State of the City
On Wednesday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa delivered his annual State of the City address. Focusing on transportation, Villaraigosa said that "regardless of what Washington does, we’re not going to wait another day." While America Fast Forward remains tied up in Congress, the mayor has proposed an extension of Measure R, the half-cent sales tax to fund transportation. "Building all of the Measure R rail, highway and bus projects on a fast track will create the mobility and jobs that the citizens of L.A. County want and deserve,” said Chamber President & CEO Gary Toebben. The Chamber's Transportation & Goods Movement Council recently voted to recommend that the Board of Directors support AB 1446, giving Metro the authority to ask voters for a permanent extension of the tax. Contact Jessica Duboff, 213.580.7558.

Transportation reauthorization moves to conference committee
On Wednesday, by a vote of 293-197, the House passed a 90-day extension that would fund transportation from June to the end of the fiscal year in September. Prior to the vote, the Chamber sent a letter to Southern California House Republicans urging them to move on the bill. In March, both chambers passed a ninth extension of transportation reauthorization so that the gas tax would not expire on March 31. This latest extension allows the House to move into conference with MAP-21, the Senate bill that passed last month, which includes language on America Fast Forward. Contact Jessica Duboff, 213.580.7558.

Chamber hears from LAUSD Superintendent Deasy on parcel tax
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy illustrated budget challenges facing the district at the Chamber’s Education & Workforce Development Council Friday. Carefully avoiding argument in support or against a parcel tax, Deasy presented likely repercussions for both scenarios. "While I think California is fundamentally at a place where it just deliberately and woefully underfunds public education — higher education, K-12 education and preschool education — I believe that there are ways that we can correct that," Deasy said. "I also hold on the other side of the argument that taxation on top of what we currently do is the last resort you should go to." The Chamber's Board of Directors will decide whether or not to support the tax. Contact Sonia Campos-Rivera, 213.580.7538.


Microsoft named 3rd best corporate citizen
Microsoft Corporation was recently rated the 3rd "Best Corporate Citizen" by Corporate Responsibility magazine. This is the first year Microsoft has made it towards the top of this prestigious ranking of the world's top 100 corporate citizens. The list ranks companies based on environmental impact, climate change, human rights, philanthropy, employee relations, financial performance and governance. Above, Microsoft's Director of North America Community Affairs Andrea Taylor attends the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate the release of the list. Read more.

Los Angeles International Airport to receive runway safety lights
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced they are moving forward on the second phase of the Runway Status Lights project at Los Angeles International Airport. The project informs pilots of potential runway safety hazards and greatly reduces the possibility of runway incursions. Construction is estimated to begin in September with an anticipated completion of May 2013. The FAA is funding and managing the installation of this phase and will work closely with LAWA to minimize impacts to airport operations. Read more.

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Leadership Southern California explores Ventura County
Strengthening regional collaboration is key, said Simi Valley Councilmember Glen Becerra to the Leadership Southern California 2012 class on Friday as they explored Ventura County. "As a politician, I want to make the best decision for our City," Becerra said. "However we all need to do our fair share and work together and look at the larger impact and how our region can thrive together." Fellows also visited The Limonera Company, Food Share of Ventura County and the Naval Base. Leadership Southern California 2013 class is now recruiting. Early application deadline is Monday May 14. Contact April Tam, 213.580.7526.




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20th Anniversary Opportunity Bus Tour
Tuesday, April 24, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
South Los Angeles

Join Operation HOPE on the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King riots/civil unrest, and the 20th anniversary of the founding of Operation HOPE, for the 20th Anniversary Opportunity Bus Tour. U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson is the keynote speaker. Register now.


The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is the voice 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