Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce I Nov. 25

Los Angeles County Fire Department Proposes Ballot Measure
The Los Angeles County Fire Department serves more than 2,200 square miles and 59 cities and unincorporated communities. On Tuesday, L.A. County Fire Chief Daryl Osby and Deputy Fire Chief Jon O'Brien joined the Government & Fiscal Affairs Council to present the challenges the department faces as wildfires continue to become more prevalent in Southern California and the number of calls for services steadily increases. The L.A. County Fire Department and the L.A. County Board of Supervisors is proposing a ballot measure parcel tax that would increase revenue for the department, going towards infrastructure and technological advances. The Council discussed the ballot measure at length and decided to not take a position yet, but wait for more clear information to be available. Language is projected to be released by Dec. 4 if the Board would like this on the March ballot. We will keep policy council members updated and schedule an update phone call to take a position that will then be forwarded to Executive Committee for a final vote. SEE THE PHOTOS.
Fifth and Hill Project Heard in CPC
Last Thursday, the Chamber's public policy team spoke in favor of the Fifth and Hill project at the City Planning Commission. This project's sizable investment in the Pershing Square area of downtown L.A. brings much-needed housing, new hotel units and restaurant space near transit to activate the neighborhood. The City Planning Commission approved the staff's recommendations to move the project forward, which will be heard at the City's Planning and Land Use Management Committee.
Roundtable Discussion on Development Fees and Housing Affordability
The Chamber participated in a roundtable discussion on development fees and housing affordability hosted by Assemblymember Timothy Grayson and Habitat for Humanity Los Angeles. The roundtable focused on local government, developer and special district perspectives on development fees for the creation of critical housing units based on a study done by the Terner Center at the University of California, Berkeley. During the discussion, representatives from the Chamber's policy team emphasized the need for certainty in order for projects to be built because there are multiple avenues to stop a project in a community. The roundtable also tackled other challenges to creating more homes, including land use, the California Environmental Quality Act and updating infrastructure.
McKinsey Global Institute - Affordable Housing in Los Angeles
Mckinsey Global Institute's Initiative on Affordable Housing in Los Angeles launched the findings of their new study on challenges and opportunities to building more affordable housing in our region. This report focuses on recommendations that help accelerate the construction of affordable housing, including the adoption of new construction techniques; streamlining approval and permitting processes; and stabilizing and consolidating public financing for affordable developments. The Chamber participated in a lively discussion on accelerating housing production for middle-income groups with recommendations on the local and state level to help make this a reality.
NextGen Bus Working Group Previews Draft Service Plan
Last Monday, Policy Manager Kendal Asuncion participated in Metro's NextGen Working Group. Over the past 20 months, the working group provided insight and reviewed the analysis from the NextGen team that will guide the first significant redesign of Metro's bus network in more than 25 years. At the working group, staff unveiled the three planning scenarios. Each scenario is projected to increase bus ridership between five and 30 percent, and is anticipated to decrease wait times and travel times and increase bus frequency. The NextGen team will present the draft service plan to the Operations and Safety Committee and Metro's Board of Directors in January 2020, with the goal of a fall 2020 approval of the final service plan.
Transportation Committee Moves Digital Rooftop Advertising Forward
At the City of Los Angeles' Transportation Committee meeting on Nov. 13, Policy Manager Kendal Asuncion supported a motion by Councilmember Nury Martinez and Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell to develop a pilot for digital display advertising to be placed on taxis circulating in L.A. The Chamber supports the motion, which would enable taxi drivers to place rooftop digital advertising on their cars to earn supplemental income. It is an opportunity that is already available to their TNC counterparts. LADOT will report back with a pilot program in 90 days, and the motion will move forward to consideration by the full council.
Chamber Attends SCAQMD's Air Quality Management Plan Advisory Group Meeting
Policy Manager Kendal Asuncion participated in SCAQMD's Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) Advisory Group last Thursday. The advisory group reviewed the 2016 AQMP and related EPA actions. Since the District is an extreme nonattainment area, its attainment date is 2024 to meet the last remaining 11 percent reductions needed to achieve the 1997 air quality standard requirement. The major concerns that were raised during the meeting are that many of the sources contributing to nonattainment are federally regulated, additional incentives and the potential federal sanctions if the District does not meet attainment standards by its stipulated deadlines. The Chamber will continue to work with its members and participate on the AQMP Advisory Group to avoid EPA sanctions. The Southern California Association of Governments also presented on its 2020 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy, its goals to address greenhouse gas emissions and the ways it connects to the AQMP.
Policy Council Updates
Upcoming councils:
  • Health Care - Friday, Dec. 6, with Assemblymember Miguel Santiago. RSVP HERE.
  • Transportation & Goods Movement - Tuesday, Jan. 7. RSVP HERE.
  • Education & Workforce Development - Friday, Jan. 10. RSVP HERE.


Enjoy your Thanksgiving break!
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Responds to Supreme Court Hearings on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, L.A. Area Chamber, 11.13.19; Shipping Containers are the New Home For the Homeless, KFI AM 640, 11.13.19
L.A. Area Chamber | laareachamber@lachamber.com | http://www.lachamber.com
350 S. Bixel St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017