L.A. Area Chamber

    TUESDAY | Dec. 23, 2008





Coming up
at the Chamber

View all upcoming events on our Web calendar.

THU | Jan. 8
Building a 21st Century Workforce Business Leader Meeting
more info

FRI | Jan. 9

Health Care Committee Meeting
more info

MON | Jan. 12
L.A. City Council 5th District Candidates Forum
more info

TUE | Jan. 13
Referral Network
Grow Your Business
more info

TUE | Jan. 13
L.A. Export Series: Session 1
more info

WED | Jan. 14
Aviation Committee Meeting
more info

THU | Jan. 15
Jobs & Business Growth Committee Meeting
more info

THU | Jan. 15
Education & Workforce Development Committee Meeting
more info

TUE | Jan. 20
International Trade & Investment Committee Meeting
more info

WED | Jan. 21
Annual Taste of the Chamber Mixer
more info

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

350 S. Bixel St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.580.7500 tel
213.580.7511 fax


These difficult economic times magnify the importance of strong leadership. As 2008 draws to a close, my wish is that the New Year will usher in civic leadership that is focused like a laser on economic recovery and the creation of jobs for our citizens and our communities.

In Los Angeles, our elected officials are struggling with mounting budget deficits, growing unemployment and a set of regulations and processes that slow down job creation rather than speeding it up. Successfully streamlining these regulations and processes will be crucial to our economic recovery. Action must be taken quickly on the 100 recommendations in the Los Angeles Economy & Jobs Committee report released in January 2008. Likewise, action on the 13 motions introduced by L.A. City Councilmember Greig Smith (Los Angeles Legislative Economic Action Plan - L.A. LEAP) should also be considered urgent.  Both sets of recommendations call for streamlining our cumbersome business licensing and development processes in order to stimulate the growth of businesses, jobs and tax revenue.

In the state capitol, collective leadership now takes a back seat to partisan inflexibility.  Even as California’s government moves closer to a complete shut down, Republicans and Democrats have yet to develop a bipartisan solution to solve the state budget crisis. Nowhere is strong leadership needed more than the state Legislature. In 2009, we expect talented lawmakers to step forward in Sacramento.

At the federal level, many of us are impressed by President-elect Barack Obama’s swift and focused transition process.  Congress has shown signs of bipartisan collaboration when crafting legislation to rescue and stimulate the economy. We applaud the focus on infrastructure projects that will put businesses and people to work immediately. We encourage Congress to continue this type of leadership in 2009.

Business must and will do its part.  Here at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, we are committed to a vision of regional economic recovery. Our recovery agenda will prioritize policies and projects that create jobs and strengthen our communities. We will champion good government, investment in infrastructure, expanded trade, environmental sustainability and workforce development.

The Chamber is focused on developing the next generation of leaders and civic entrepreneurs. Our Southern California Leadership Network (SCLN) programs, Leadership L.A. and Leadership Southern California, have graduated hundreds of aspiring leaders who are now serving our businesses, government and communities. And a new class begins in March.

Reaching our collective vision will not be easy.  As Charlie Woo, the founder of Megatoys and the recipient of SCLN’s Excellence in Civic Leadership award said, "We need to be curious beyond our comfort zones to make a difference." The Chamber pledges to do just that in 2009 – working with our business members, labor, environmental groups, local residents and lawmakers to find common ground to accelerate economic recovery and the creation of new jobs.

Leadership matters. There will be no demand for caretakers in 2009.  We have a collective responsibility to guide our businesses and communities in the year ahead. The difference between success and failure will be leadership. The L.A. Area Chamber wishes you a wonderful holiday season.  We look forward to leading with you in 2009.   

And that's The Business Perspective.

Gary L. Toebben
President & CEO
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

The Business Perspective is a weekly opinion piece by Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, produced with the input of Samuel Garrison, Vice President of Public Policy.

by Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce


L.A. Business

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Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, 350 S. Bixel St., Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.580.7500 | fax: 213.580.7511 | info@lachamber.com | www.lachamber.com

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