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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Los Angeles, CA 90017
The collective voice of Los Angeles business took a major step forward today. The L.A. Area Chamber joined with 43 other local chambers of commerce, trade groups and other business organizations throughout L.A. County to launch the Los Angeles County Business Federation – or BizFed – a grass roots alliance to amplify our collective voice and advance our shared agenda through strength in numbers.
In the era of online advocacy, the BizFed creates a virtual network to organize and mobilize the many business groups that represent individual constituencies in L.A. County. In addition to facilitating pro-business and pro-economic development advocacy activities, the new BizFed Web site will provide an index of L.A. County businesses by the local, state and federal legislative districts in which they reside. Developed by students at the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business, we hope this database and mapping system will allow elected officials to more accurately weigh the merits of the issues before them and the extent of their impact on the individual businesses in their districts.
If numbers speak volumes, the BizFed has the potential to be a strong voice. The 44 initial organizations in the federation already represent more then 70,000 businesses employing more than 1.2 million people. BizFed will weigh in on the issues that matter to all businesses in L.A. County, regardless of size, industry or location. Initially, these issues will include lobbying for initiatives that reduce traffic congestion, curb gang violence and improve K-12 education. These issues were identified as three important challenges facing L.A. County businesses in a new independent study that BizFed did with the Employers Group.
The Chamber is particularly proud to be affiliated with BizFed. The idea was borne at our 2006 Board retreat and grew under the leadership of 2007 Board Chair David Fleming, Latham & Watkins, LLP. We have a long history of building coalitions to address economic and legislative issues in our state and region. Every year we bring civic and business leaders together on behalf of Southern California during our Access Washington, D.C. advocacy trip. Two years ago we partnered with the League of Women Voters to initiate term limits reform and ethics reform in the city of L.A. and this year we joined with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Common Cause and AARP to initiate statewide redistricting reform.
If we are to succeed in our mission to create a better business environment that will result in more and better job opportunities in L.A. County, businesses must take an active role in communicating with elected officials. In the end, these communications will encourage business and government to work together to build a stronger economy. And when that happens, every business and citizen in L.A. County will benefit.
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.
Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
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