November 1, 2019
2019 Business Forecast Conference Edition

In This Issue
" The California economy is one of the most diverse economies in the world. We continue to lead in technology and innovation."

- Jeffrey Kravetz, Regional Investment Directors for U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management, during the Economic Forecast Breakfast.
Media Mentions

BYD to Moderate Transit Panel at VICA Conference

Metro Board OKs Moving Forward with North Valley Bus Rapid Transit Studies
Streets Blog LA

Economists Forecast Solid But Softening 2020 at VICA Conference

Valley Forecast Panel: To Stave Off Recession, Tackle the Housing Crisis and Job-Wage Gap
Los Angeles Daily News

New Rent Law Dents Buildings
October 28


VICA Thanks our Renewing Members 


El Camino Real Charter School

Gelb Enterprises

Granada Hills Charter School

Meridian Pacific

Multicultural Learning Center


Welcome our New Members

Gannet Fleming

TriStar Realty Group

Events Calendar

Labor & Employment Committee
Wednesday, November 6
8:30 to 10 a.m.
Hilton Universal Hotel
555 Universal Drive,
Universal City
Click  here to RSVP

Education Committee
Thursday, November 7
8:30 to 10 a.m.
VICA Office
16600 Sherman Way,  Suite 170,  Van Nuys
Click  here to RSVP

Transportation Committee
Tuesday, November 12
8 to 10 a.m.
The Garland
4222 Vineland Ave.,
North Hollywood
Click here to RSVP

After Dark with Councilmember John Lee
Tuesday, November 12
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Toll Bros - Cascades at Westcliffe
20340 West Aberdeen Lane,  Porter Ranch
Click here to RSVP

Energy, Environment & Utilities Committee
Sponsored by The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Thursday, November 14
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
VICA Office
16600 Sherman Way, Suite 170,  Van Nuys
Click here to RSVP

Extraordinary Women in Leadership 
Tuesday, November 19
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The Garland
4222 Vineland Ave.,
North Hollywood
Click here to RSVP

Hot Issues 

Eviction Moratorium
The Los Angeles City Council approved an emergency moratorium to temporarily ban evictions for cases other than non-payment of rent or criminal activity. The moratorium is set to last until January 1.

A RAND Corporation analysis found that pilot programs aimed at providing housing for those experiencing homelessness reduced healthcare and social service costs in Los Angeles County. 

Housing Construction
Facebook pledged to commit  $1 billion to address the housing crisis, planning to build approximately 20,000 new homes in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

California State University
California State University Chancellor Timothy White announced his decision to retire from his post next year.

Water Supply
The Trump Administration announced plans to have more water diverted to California farmers. Critics argue the move will weaken protections for endangered fish, while proponents point out the importance of supporting the country's largest agricultural economy.

Cap and Trade
The Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit against California for its cap-and-trade agreement with Quebec, arguing that the agreement undermines the federal government's ability to pursue a unified foreign policy.

GPS Navigation
The Los Angeles City Council are considering an enforcement of a prohibition on GPS apps re-routing drivers in ways that are "inconsistent with City street designations."

2020 Local Elections
Former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon announced his candidacy to run for Los Angeles County District Attorney against incumbent Jackie Lacey.

2020 Congressional Elections
Following Representative Katie Hill's announcement to resign from office, several figures have announced their candidacies for the vacated seat, including Assemblymember Christy Smith, Former Representative Steven Knight, and former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.

Uber, Lyft and Doordash unveiled a state ballot measure that would maintain the status of ridesharing drivers as independent contractors, while laying out a system for healthcare subsidies and workplace rights. 

Automaker-California Agreement
Leading automakers, including General Motors and Toyota, sided with the Trump Administration in a lawsuit against California's tougher fuel economy and carbon emission standards.

Economists and Experts Forecast the National, State and Local Climate in 2020
Moderator Kurt Fuess ( Bank of America Merrill Lynch ) with speakers Sarah House ( Wells Fargo Securities ), Economist Somjita Mitra and Jeffrey Kravetz ( U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management ).

Industry leaders, economists and experts attended VICA's 31st Annual Business Forecast Conference (BFC) on Friday, October 25, for the Economic Forecast Breakfast, panels on a variety of topics impacting businesses, and a keynote from David Miller of Universal Studios Hollywood. The event, presented by the Southern California Gas Company and Wells Fargo, brought business leaders together to discuss critical issues as we approach 2020.

The BFC kicked off with the Economic Forecast Breakfast, sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and U.S. Bank, and moderated by Kurt Fuess ( Bank of America Merrill Lynch ). S arah House, Director and Senior Economist at Wells Fargo, began the forecast by looking at the economy at the national level, which is expected to grow despite the uncertainties caused by the trade war and cuts in interest rates. House remained optimistic, saying that "the fundamentals are in really good shape right now." Jeffrey Kravetz, Regional Investment Director at U.S. Bank, gave a favorable look at the California economy, which will continue to be a powerhouse despite ongoing challenges such as the housing crisis, adding that "the consumer is really who drives the economy." Economist Somjita Mitra rounded out the discussion by taking a look at the strong economies of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, saying that recession fears are over-exaggerated, but cautioning about the economic risks of not addressing growing housing costs. 
David Miller of Universal Studios Hollywood Discuss Entertainment and Tourism in Los Angeles
Presenting Sponsor and VICA Board Member Robin Choi (Wells Fargo), Keynote Speaker David Miller (Universal Studios Hollywood), and Presenting Sponsor and VICA Board Member David Meza (Southern California Gas Company).

David Miller, Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing for Universal Studios Hollywood, discussed exciting new changes coming to the theme park in 2020. Miller began with a brief overview of the park's history and Universal Studios' role in growing the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, and particularly in the San Fernando Valley. Speaking about the theme park's newest rides and seasonal events, Miller explained how bringing people's favorite movies to life has attracted greater tourism to the San Fernando Valley. He expressed his hopes that Universal Studios Hollywood will continue to greatly contribute to the Valley's economy, saying that he is proud to "have a place that's here and in our neighborhood, and that people around the world want to come and see it."

The luncheon was sponsored by Sun Hill Properties / Hilton Universal City.
Track One, Panel One: Healthcare - The Doctor Will See You Now
Clyde Wesp (Valley Presbyterian Hospital), Bruce Benton (California Association of Health Underwriters), Teresa Stark (Kasier Permanente) and VICA Board Member Michael Tou (Providence St. Joseph Health).

Expanding healthcare coverage while keeping it convenient and affordable was the main topic of this panel moderated by VICA Board Member Michael Tou (Providence St. Joseph Health). Bruce Benton (California Association of Health Underwriters) began the panel by examining the differences in proposed policies such as 'Medicare for all' and 'single-payer', as well as the importance of balancing healthcare coverage and healthcare costs. Teresa Stark (Kaiser Permanente) addressed the potential impact of single-payer on employer-provided health insurance, and discussed strategic partnerships with pharmaceutical companies to ensure low drug costs for patients. Clyde Wesp (Valley Presbyterian Hospital) spoke on the challenges and opportunities associated with efforts to improve healthcare delivery systems. This panel was sponsored by Valley Presbyterian Hospital and was part of the 'Healthcare and Homelessness' track, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente.
Track One, Panel Two: Addressing Homelessness - Not as Easy as It Looks
Kris Freed (L.A. Family Housing), Hugo Villa (The Village Family Services), Janey Rountree (California Policy Lab, UCLA), Deputy Mayor of City Homelessness Initiatives Christina Miller and VICA Chair Lisa Gritzner (LG Strategies).

Strategies to address homelessness was the main topic of this panel moderated by VICA Chair Lisa Gritzner (LG Strategies). Christina Miller, Deputy Mayor of City Homelessness Initiatives, discussed ongoing efforts to provide more shelter for those experiencing homelessness and the importance of private-public collaboration. "We need to be patient," Miller said with regards to long-term plans to tackle homelessness; but "we also need to be impatient" because of the urgency of the crisis. Janey Rountree (California Policy Lab, UCLA) spoke on research she has conducted, which dispels several myths about homelessness and how it is being used to better inform public policy. Hugo Villa (The Village Family Services) discussed the importance of helping homeless youth before they fall into chronic homelessness. Kris Freed (L.A. Family Housing) stressed the importance of supportive housing in breaking the cycle of homelessness. The panel was sponsored by The Village Family Services and was a part of the 'Healthcare and Homelessness' track, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente.
Track Two, Panel One: Transportation -  See It Through
Thomas Stone (BYD America), Joseph Quitter (HNTB), Stephen Polechronis (AECOM), Brian Freund (Flatiron Construction) and Richard Clarke (Metro).

Moderated by Thomas Stone (BYD America), this panel discussed the challenges and opportunities Los Angeles faces as the City moves forward with its major transportation projects. Chief Program Management Officer for Metro, Richard Clarke, provided an overview of Measure M Projects, specifically in the Valley, and associated challenges such as minimizing the disruption of traffic near construction sites. Brian Freund (Flatiron Construction) discussed the importance of picking the right delivery method for construction, and the role of public-private partnerships in driving innovation. Stephen Polechronis (AECOM) spoke about the need for Metro and elected officials to work more closely together during construction to minimize costs. Joseph Quitter (HNTB) discussed the goal of integrating these projects into one, cohesive network that will further connect the Valley to other parts of the region. This panel was sponsored by BYD America, Flatiron Construction and HNTB. This was a part of the 'Transportation and Energy' track, sponsored by Clear Channel Outdoor and Metro.
Track Two, Panel Two: Energy and the Green New Deal - Don't Be Deceived
Loraine Lundquist (California State University, Northridge), Margita Thompson (California Resources Corporation), Patty Senecal (Western States Petroleum Association) and Chuck DeVore (Texas Public Policy Foundation).

VICA Board Member Layne Lawson (Clear Channel Outdoor) moderated this panel, which featured a discussion on California's climate goals and Los Angeles' proposed 'Green New Deal'. Margita Thompson (California Resources Corporation) discussed the costly impact California's policies have had on working families and businesses while laying out a better approach that considers costs to help meet our climate goals. From the perspective of a former California state legislator, Chuck DeVore of the Texas Public Policy Foundation examined the major challenges California faces in achieving its emission and climate goals. Loraine Lundquist (California State University, Northridge), provided a different perspective, talking about the positive impacts California's climate policies have had on cutting emissions and providing new jobs. Patty Senecal (Western States Petroleum Association) discussed the impact L.A. City's Green New Deal and L.A. County's Sustainability Plan would have on workers, especially for those in the oil and gas industry. This panel was sponsored by California Resources Corporation and PBF Energy, and was part of the 'Transportation and Energy' track, sponsored by Clear Channel Outdoorand Metro.
Track Three, Panel One: Sports -  All Eyes on Us
VICA Board Member Scott Mills (The Garland), Renata Simril (LA84 Foundation), President of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission Kathy Schloessman, and Chief Administrative Officer for the Rose Bowl Game Kevin Ash.

The expansion of sports in Los Angeles and what this means for the economy and the community was discussed in this panel, moderated by VICA Board Member Scott Mills (The Garland). President of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission Kathy Schloessman expressed her optimism regarding the economic benefits of the City's successful bids to host major sporting events and the potential for sports venues to be built in the West San Fernando Valley. Chief Administrative Officer for the Rose Bowl Game, Kevin Ash, explored the Rose Bowl Parade's role in spurring tourism to Southern California, talking about the efforts taken to make the Parade more engaging to a wider and more diverse audience. Renata Simril spoke about the LA84 Foundation's youth sport programs, saying that they allow kids to break through poverty, fund their future education and helps them "become their best selves." The panel was sponsored by the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board. This panel was a part of the 'Sports and Economic Development' track sponsored by California Lutheran University.
Track Three, Panel Two: Economic Development - Beyond the Crystal Ball
VICA First Vice Chair Brad Rosenheim (Rosenheim & Associates), Isabella Casillas Guzman (Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development), Jamshid Damooei (California Lutheran University) and Ellia Thompson (Ervin Cohen & Jessup).

The future of land use, infrastructure and economic development in the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles was the main topic of this panel, moderated by VICA First Vice Chair Brad Rosenheim (Rosenheim & Associates). As the California population grows older and richer, Jamshid Damooei (California Lutheran University) discussed how demographic changes will impact the California economy. Isabella Casillas Guzman of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development spoke about the government's role in preparing small businesses for these demographic changes. Ellia Thompson (Ervin Cohen & Jessup) provided insight into what small businesses can expect as demographic shifts impact development patterns in the Valley. The panel was sponsored by Ervin Cohen & Jessup, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The 'Sports and Economic Development' track was sponsored by California Lutheran University.
Track Four, Panel One: Data Security -  Blink of an Eye
James Theiring (Mission Community Hospital), Zack Schuler (NINJIO), Steven Reese (Microsoft), Adam Grant (Alpert, Barr & Grant) and VICA Vice Chair Charles Crumpley (San Fernando Valley Business Journal).

Moderated by VICA Vice Chair Charles Crumpley (San Fernando Valley Business Journal), the panel discussed the increasing significance of data security for businesses. James Theiring (Mission Community Hospital) warned about the potential harm of cyber attacks by recounting his experiences following a ransomware attack at the hospital. "You can't take I.T. for granted," Theiring said, "or underestimate the need." Adam Grant (Alpert, Barr & Grant) continued by listing off the legal and operational risks businesses might face if they don't strengthen their data security. Zack Schuler (NINJIO) noted that "93 percent of all breaches are due to human error," and advised attendees to purchase cyber liability insurance as a precaution. Steven Reese (Microsoft) discussed how individuals and businesses can shore up their defenses against common hacking methods. The panel was sponsored by NINJIO and was part of the 'Election and Data Security' track, which was sponsored by the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
Track Four, Panel Two: 2020 Elections - Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear
Dan Schnur (University of California, Berkeley), Matthew Klink (Klink Campaigns), Sherry Bebitch Jeffe (KNBC), Andrew Busch (Claremont McKenna College) and VICA Member Pat Joyce (KP Public Affairs).

Experts addressed the main issues and topics to keep an eye on in the upcoming 2020 elections in this panel moderated by Pat Joyce ( KP Public Affairs ). Sherry Bebitch Jeffe (KNBC) discussed how the impeachment inquiry will impact the 2020 elections. Addressing predictions for who's going to win the presidency, Jeffe reminded attendees that "any poll is just a snap shot in time." Dan Schnur (University of California, Berkeley) explored California's role in the presidential primary elections. Andrew Busch (Claremont McKenna College) discussed how the U.S. economy's performance might influence voter behavior. Matthew Klink ( Klink Campaigns ) discussed the potential impact of California's ballot measures on other races in 2020. The panel was sponsored by  KP Public Affairs . The 'Election and Data Security' track was sponsored by the  Los Angeles Police Protective League .
The holiday season is approaching and there is no better place for your event than the Airtel Plaza Hotel. Offer your guests an amazing experience, with a special holiday menu to conclude an unforgettable evening! 
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