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WED | Dec. 10
WED | Dec. 10
Small Business Owners Roundtable: Preparing for the New Year
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.
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This holiday season’s headlines are filled with news of financial rescue packages and the growing number of Americans who are without a job. In Washington, D.C., President-elect Barack Obama and Congress are trying to put politics aside in order to put people back to work. That is not the case in Los Angeles where politics is trumping jobs.
More than 150 workers would have a job by Christmas if the Los Angeles City Council voted to resume construction on the Providence Holy Cross Medical Center expansion in Mission Hills. It’s been more than two months since a Superior Court judge ordered the Council to decide whether to let the project proceed or require a two-year long environmental impact study. The City Council has yet to vote on this project that received unanimous approval from the Planning Commission and strong support from its neighborhood association and employees.
This desperately needed 136-bed expansion is a unique bright spot at a time when most local hospitals are struggling to stay open. When finished, Providence Holy Cross will be the “greenest” hospital in the state and will employ more than 250 additional full time, high-skill health care jobs.
The city of Los Angeles has never required a hospital expansion to produce a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Construction on the expansion is 20 percent complete and contrary to arguments by those pushing for the delay, the building conforms to all seismic standards and there has not been a single formal community complaint since construction began earlier this year.
So why isn’t the L.A. City Council doing everything it can to put 150 construction workers back on the job and hasten the speed at which 250 new jobs are created?
These construction workers are off the job because the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) – a union with a deep political war chest - is pressuring Councilmembers to require the EIR. The SEIU is using the two-year delay as leverage in its efforts to get the hospital’s employees to join the union after a 2 to 1 vote in opposition to unionization several years ago.
Most of the current economic crisis is outside of our local control. And most of the solutions being discussed in Washington, D.C. cost billions of dollars. Giving Providence Holy Cross the authority to continue construction and put people back to work is something that the L.A. City Council can do today and it won’t cost taxpayers a dollar. That is the kind of holiday cheer that hundreds of families in Los Angeles would like to hear about today.
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.
Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
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