L.A. Area Chamber

    MONDAY | March 2, 2009




Coming up
at the Chamber

View all upcoming events on our Web calendar.

TUE | March 3
U.S.-Korea Green Tech Business Forum Luncheon
more info

THU | March 5
Trade Finance Tools for Exporting in an Economic Downturn
more info

MON-THU | March 9-12
Southern California On The Hill - Access Washington, D.C.
more info

TUE | March 10
Referral Network
Grow Your Business
more info

TUE | March 10
L.A. Export Series: Session 5
Getting Paid for Export Sales
more info

WED | March 18
Global Initiatives Committee Meeting
more info

FRI | March 20
Principal for a Day
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



With the unemployment rate in California at 10.1 percent and Los Angeles County at 10.5 percent, one would think that finding ways to create more private-sector jobs by encouraging small and large businesses to take root and grow in Los Angeles would be the rallying cry for every candidate running for office in the Los Angeles Primary Election tomorrow. But that is not the case. You hear very little from most candidates about the action they would take to give Los Angeles companies an advantage against their competition in other cities when it comes to staying in business and accelerating their recovery from the recession.

Instead, the biggest issue on the ballot, Measure B – the solar initiative – would ask taxpayers for $1 billion to $3 billion in rate increases and add to the ranks of some of the highest paid public employees in the community. And Measure E, which would force the Los Angeles City Council to have an open and transparent discussion about what it takes to retain and recruit private sector jobs is off the radar screen for most candidates.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors urges voters in Los Angeles to oppose Measure B and support Measure E, which would enable the City Council and the community to develop a plan for how to help new and existing businesses create more good jobs in our community.

Two weeks ago, the Chamber responded to a news story about a campaign by the Denver Chamber of Commerce to encourage California companies to pick up roots and move to Colorado. Denver folks sent thousands of letters to California CEOs and hired an airplane to fly a banner over Los Angeles to draw attention to the campaign. Such efforts to recruit California companies and lure jobs are not unusual, but the public nature of this initiative during a recession should cause our citizens and our elected officials to take notice. We simply cannot sit idly while every other city and state in the nation is talking about how to create new private-sector jobs, especially when part of their plan is to attract the best out of California, whether it is movie production, technology or manufacturing.

Elected officials in Los Angeles should be starting every speech with a discussion about jobs. Yes, fighting crime is important, and so is reducing traffic and improving education. The Chamber has aggressively supported initiatives in each of these areas. But quality of life starts with a job. And so does the tax revenue it takes to fight crime, reduce traffic and reform education.

Tomorrow’s election has far too many unopposed or nearly unopposed races, which may be part of the reason why most local campaigns are not talking about the big issue, which is jobs. In last week’s The Business Perspective, I outlined the Chamber’s endorsements in tomorrow’s election. I hope you will join us in setting the stage for the next four years in Los Angeles when every conversation with an elected official should begin with the word jobs.

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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