Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce I Sept. 3

Los Angeles City Councilmember John Lee sworn in to represent the 12th District
On Friday morning, the Chamber's L.A. Jobs PAC endorsed candidate, John Lee, was sworn in at L.A. City Hall to represent the northwest San Fernando Valley communities. The PAC endorsed Lee because we believe his deep knowledge of city government, familiarity with all the diverse communities in the district and his collaborative approach will allow him to produce results on Day One. The Chamber was present to congratulate the new councilmember.

State legislature fiscal committee deadline
Last Friday was the deadline to get bills out of fiscal committees in the California State Assembly and California State Senate. There are now two weeks of floor session remaining before the Sept. 13 deadline to pass legislation. Highlights of legislation we continue to work on include:
  • SB 150 (Beall): Chamber-sponsored bill, in partnership with John Burton Advocates for Youth, to improve a financial aid program for foster youth. The bill passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
  • AB 5 (Gonzalez): READ our letter urging a compromise for the gig economy. There are still exemptions we will continue to urge this week, particularly for business-to-business relationships, before the floor vote.
  • AB 1483 (Grayson): Took a support position on this bill to improve data collection on housing.
  • SB 58 (Wiener): Attended L.A. City Council meeting to urge them not to oppose a pilot program for certain communities to extend closing hours until 4 a.m. Came out of appropriations with a 3 a.m. compromise.
Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education celebrates final report
Last Wednesday, Sonia Campos-Rivera, senior director of education policy and public affairs, joined Speaker Anthony Rendon and members of the Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education in Sacramento to celebrate the final recommendations report. The two-year process resulted in the development of comprehensive recommendations aimed at strengthening early education programs, supporting the early education workforce and increasing financial investments for the future of early education. The Chamber is grateful the business community was invited to participate in this critical process and provide feedback and support.
Maria S. Salinas appointed to Future of Work Commission
Chamber President & CEO Maria S. Salinas was appointed last Friday to Gov. Gavin Newsom's Future of Work Commission. The Commission will be tasked with making recommendations to help California leaders think through how to create inclusive, long-term economic growth and ensure workers and their families share in that success. We also congratulate Chamber member Soraya Coley, president of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, on her appointment. See the full list HERE.
Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas talks fire season
Last week's Accenture Pancakes & Politics Breakfast Speaker Series featured Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Chief Ralph Terrazas. He oversees the department's 3,246 uniformed fire personnel, who respond to more than 1,110 emergencies daily throughout the LAFD's 471-mile jurisdiction. The Chief's remarks focused on how the LAFD is preparing for fire season, the technology and tools they have implemented to fight fires and resiliency steps the business community can take to recover from a natural disaster. SEE THE PHOTOS.

City Council committee hears vacancy tax motion
Last Wednesday, the L.A. City Council Housing Committee took up the proposed vacancy tax motion, which asks City staff to report back the current amount of vacant and habitable housing units in the City and to recommend policy options for a potential "Empty Homes Penalty" structure to be considered by voters in 2020. The business community expressed concerns with the accuracy of the statistics referenced in the motion and the variety of reasons as to why units may be vacant, such as rehabilitating existing units and complying with Ellis Act requirements. The Committee added in two more provisions for the report back: to work with the industry and include reasons why units are vacant, and to explore potential incentives and policy options to prevent vacancies in the City.
Chamber travels to Big Creek to learn about energy generation
Policy Manager Kendal Asuncion spent part of last week with a group of representatives from Southern California on Southern California Edison's Big Creek Retreat. During the retreat, Asuncion toured SCE's carbon-neutral hydroelectric facilities, and learned about the history of Big Creek and SCE's managed forest lands practices. The attendees discussed wildfire and forest management and California's clean energy production. Edison updated attendees about its ongoing efforts to harden the grid, develop preventative measures to reduce wildfire risks and make its infrastructure more resilient.
ACCESS L.A. City Hall confirmed for Oct. 2
Join us on Wednesday, Oct. 2, as we present our annual L.A. City Council Districts Economic Report to the L.A. City Council. We will be participating in the Council meeting at 10 a.m., and then having a reception with elected officials and policymakers at the Chamber that evening from 5:30-7:30 pm. Register HERE.
Policy council updates
This morning, the Transportation & Goods Movement Council met with Kome Ajise, executive director of Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), who discussed key internal initiatives to maintain SCAG's planning edge, the Connect SoCal Plan and Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). Peter Carter, senior manager of system-wide mobility corridors at Metro, updated members on the Sepulveda Transit Corridor, including the four alternatives under consideration for the Valley-Westside section of the project, the role pre-development agreements may play in its delivery and the potential variations that are still being evaluated for the Westside-LAX section. SEE THE PHOTOS.

Upcoming councils:
  • Joint Government & Fiscal Affairs and Education & Workforce Development, Sept. 17, featuring speakers on both the state and local paid family leave initiatives. RSVP HERE.
  • Land Use, Construction & Housing, Sept. 25, with representatives from the L.A. City Planning Department on updates to DTLA 2040. RSVP HERE.


Sept. 5 - Opportunity Zone event with Congressmember Nanette Barragan
Sept. 5 - Los Angeles Police Foundation Above & Beyond Awards Luncheon
Sept. 7 - Councilmember John Lee community swearing-in ceremony
Governor Gavin Newsom Announces Members of the Future of Work Commission, Imperial Valley News, 8.31.19; Lee defeats Lundquist in Los Angeles special election, Ballotpedia News, 8.16.19
L.A. Area Chamber | laareachamber@lachamber.com | http://www.lachamber.com
350 S. Bixel St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017