November 2, 2018
2018 Business Forecast Conference Edition

In This Issue
"California needs a balanced energy future... affordability and choice matter. "

- Southern California Gas Company President & COO Bret Lane addresses the VICA Business Forecast Conference
Media Mentions

The Conservative and Fiscally Responsible Vote on Proposition 3 is YES
October 23

Can L.A. County Stormwater Tax Clear the two-thirds Bar For Passage
October 25

A Major Reason to Protect the Initiative Process 
October 26

Strong Economy Now, But 'Signs of Slowdown' Seen
October 26

Garcetti Touts San Fernando Valley Business Climate in Speech to Valley Industry Leaders
October 26

Garcetti Talks Homelessness, Economic Development at Business Event
October 26

Recall Effort Against AG is Wrong Target
October 31

Hilton Universal City Owner Revises Expansion Plan
October 31


VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members


Bicker, Castillo & Fairbanks

Gelb Enterprises

Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

VICA Welcomes our New Members


California Eminent Domain Law Group

Iso Realty

Law Office of David L. Fleck, Inc.

The Week Ahead

Transportation Committee
Tuesday, Nov. 6
8:00 to 10:00 a.m.
The Garland
4222 Vineland Ave.,
North Hollywood
Click here to RSVP

Labor & Employment Committee
Wednesday, Nov. 7
8:30 to 10:00 a.m.
Hilton Universal Hotel
555 Universal Drive,
Universal City
Click here to RSVP

Energy, Environment & Utilities Committee
Sponsored by
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Thursday, Nov. 8
12:00 to 1:30 p.m.
VICA Office
16600 Sherman Way, Suite 170, Van Nuys
Click here to RSVP

Save the Date

International Trade Committee with Mexican Consul General
Tuesday, Nov. 13
12:00 to 1:30 p.m.
VICA Office
16600 Sherman Way,
Suite 170, Van Nuys
Click here to RSVP

Ambassador Committee
Wednesday, Nov. 28
8:30 to 10:00 a.m.
VICA Office
16600 Sherman Way,
Suite 170, Van Nuys
Click here to RSVP

Aviation Committee
Hosted by Aeroplex Aerolease Group
Wednesday, Dec. 5
12:00 to 1:30 p.m.
Aerolease Van Nuys East
7943 Woodley Ave, Van Nuys
Click here to RSVP

Leaders Forum with LA General Managers
Presented by Outfront Media
Thursday, Dec. 6
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Sportsmen's Lodge
12833 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City
Click here to RSVP

Hot Issues 

LAUSD's newest offer to the Teachers Union has been called a 'Trojan Horse' by UTLA. Conflict over class size continues to keep both sides from reaching an agreement. VICA has urged both LAUSD and UTLA to avoid a strike.

Ballot Measures
The 2018 election cycle has seen record spending as large amounts of money flow into industry fights on the ballot. This year, hundreds of millions of dollars have been funneled into initiative campaigns over housing and healthcare.

California police and firefighters are chipping in more money to pay for their pensions while the cities that employ them struggle to manage fast-rising retirement costs.

Los Angeles County declared a shelter crisis, providing the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority increased flexibility in how it may spend $81 million in newly available state money and the ability to bypass some regulations to provide emergency housing.

Election 2018
Candidates for attorney General, Xavier Becerra and Steven Bailey, discuss the issues facing California. In separate interviews, both candidates discussed their top priorities,interaction with the Trump Administration, immigration, and more. 

New state rules making it easier for homeowners to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on their properties were designed to address California's housing shortage. Now LA officials plan to test whether ADUs could be a solution for homelessness as well. VICA has advocated for reduced regulation for ADU construction.

Sidewalk Vending
The Los Angeles City Council moved forward with proposed sidewalk vending rules Wednesday in an effort to adhere to new state legislation decriminalizing the practice and requires cities to create a permit or regulatory process if they want to control the industry. VICA has worked with the city to develop a sidewalk policy in the best interest of all Angelenos.

Economists and Experts Forecast the National, State, and Local Economic Climate
Kent Hymel (California State University, Northridge), Jeffery Kravetz (U.S. Bank), and Sarah House (Wells Fargo) forecast local, state, and national economic development

Industry leaders and experts attended VICA's 30th Annual Business Forecast Conference (BFC) on Friday, October 26, for an economic forecast breakfast, panels on a variety of topics impacting businesses, and a luncheon with Bret Lane, President and COO of the 
Southern California Gas Company and  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti . The event, presented by the  Southern California Gas Company  and  Wells Fargo , brought business leaders together to discuss critical issues. 

Attendees began their day with an economic forecast breakfast, sponsored by  Hilton Universal City and  U.S. Bank and moderated by Mark Davis ( Hilton Universal City). Sarah House, Director and Senior Economist at  Wells Fargo, began the discussion with an overview of where the economy is heading at the national level, discussing a potential economic slowdown as we reach the constraints of the market in 2019/2020. Next, Jeffrey Kravetz, Regional Investment Director for the Private Client Reserve of  U.S. Bank, spoke about California's economy, including California's position as the world's 5th largest economy and challenges such as rising home prices and congestion. Kent Hymel, Assistant Professor at  California State University, Northridge, rounded out the discussion with a look at the Los Angeles economy, and how the outlook in the San Fernando Valley compares regionally. 
SoCalGas President & COO Bret Lane and Mayor Eric Garcetti Discuss LA's Economic Engine
Over 400 Guests attended VICA's 30th Annual Business Forecast Conference and enjoyed a luncheon with Bret Lane (Southern California Gas Company) and Mayor Eric Garcetti 

Bret Lane, President and COO of the  Southern California Gas Company , discussed California's need for a balanced energy plan for our state's continued economic success. Lane warned against reliance on a single energy option and stressed the importance of keeping energy affordable for consumers and ratepayers in the state, saying that total electrification is neither an affordable nor practical option. 

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti addresses San Fernando Valley business leaders

Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke about homelessness and economic development noting
that,  the San Fernando Valley is a place of "doers, dreamers and innovators." Garcetti outlined the three tenets of his economic development plan: identifying key industries, building up infrastructure and making sure that no resident is left behind. The mayor also detailed his plan to combat homelessness, which he called "the greatest moral and humanitarian crisis that we face."
The luncheon was sponsored by  The Walt Disney Company.
Mission  One , Panel One : Never Look Back, It Distracts From the Future
Joshua Schank ( Metro), Laura Mohr ( HNTB), Thomas Stone ( BYD America), Samantha Bricker (Los Angeles World Airports), Coby King ( High Point Strategies)

Moderated by VICA's Immediate Past Chair Coby King ( High Point Strategies ), this panel discussed the future of transportation and transit options in the City of Los Angeles. Samantha Bricker (Los Angeles World Airports) spoke about updates coming to LAX and how to best drive the transformation of the airport. Laura Mohr ( HNTB ) described the need to make transportation a primary issue given the city's size and sprawling nature. Additionally, Thomas Stone ( BYD America ) and Joshua Schank ( Metro ) discussed the advantages and disadvantages of Private-Public Partnerships and how they are advancing their respective goals. The panel was sponsored by  BYD America and  HNTB  and was part of the 'Transportation and Housing' track, sponsored by  California Lutheran University  and  Metro .
Mission One, Panel Two:
The Clock is Ticking
Josh Gertler (Consensus, Inc.), Brian Hanlon (California YIMBY), Ellia Thompson (Ervin Cohen & Jessup), State Senator Scott Wiener, Beverly Kenworthy (California Apartment Association of Los Angeles)

California's growing housing crisis was the main topic of this panel moderated by VICA Board Member Beverly Kenworthy (California Apartment Association of Los Angeles). California State Senator Scott Wiener discussed the importance of  local control, saying that "community engagement is key for the expansion of housing." Brian Hanlon (California YIMBY) described the impact of community opposition to development and addressed the consequences of failing to build new housing. Ellia Thompson ( Ervin Cohen & Jessup ) spoke on the challenges developers face, as well as innovative approaches to moving projects forward. VICA Board Member Josh Gertler ( Consensus, Inc. ) addressed which strategies succeeded and failed to gain community support when attempting to build new housing. The panel was sponsored by C onsensus Inc.  and  Ervin Cohen & Jessup. The 'Transportation and Housing' track was sponsored by  California Lutheran University  and  Metro .
Mission Two, Panel One: New Gadgets Changing the Healthcare System
Omkar Kulkarni (Children's Hospital Los Angeles), Jeff Allport (Valley Presbyterian Hospital), Murtaza Sanwari (Kaiser Permanente)

As new technology becomes available in the healthcare industry, our panelists discussed technological innovations and best practices for healthcare delivery. Omkar Kulkarni ( Children's Hospital Los Angeles ) described how new technology can help to address social determinants of health and mental wellness. Murtaza Sanwari ( Kaiser Permanente ) discussed how medical education is evolving to ensure proper care with the emergence of new technological innovations. Paula Wilson ( Valley Community Healthcare ) addressed some of the challenges and benefits of telehealth and telemedicine services, and Jeff Allport ( Valley Presbyterian Hospital ) rounded out the discussion with an update on cybersecurity threats and their impact on hospitals, healthcare technology and patient care. Moderated by VICA Past Chair David Adelman ( Greenberg & Bass ), the panel was sponsored by  Kaiser Permanente  and  PhRMA  and was part of the 'Healthcare and Energy' track sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and  Valley Presbyterian Hospital .
Mission Two, Panel Two:
The Mission Continues
Marne Sussman (Holland & Knight), Tiffany Roberts (Western States Petroleum Association), Assemblymember Laura Friedman

A lively discussion on how California's ambitious climate goals, and their impact on businesses and ratepayers, was moderated by VICA Treasurer Alex Kasendorf ( Alpert, Barr & Grant ). Marne Sussman (Holland & Knight) spoke on the social and economic impacts of California's climate change policies and Tiffany Roberts ( Western States Petroleum Association ) addressed the adverse impacts California energy policies have on affordable housing and on low income families. Assemblymember Laura Friedman discussed recent legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2030, as well as the potential costs of this transition. Margita Thompson ( California Resources Corporation ) described options for businesses and organizations to increase their influence both with policy makers and consumers. The panel was sponsored by the  California Resource Corporation  and  Western States Petroleum Association. The 'Healthcare and Energy' track was sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and  Valley Presbyterian Hospital.
Mission Three, Panel One: License to Vote
Raphael Sonenshein (California State University, Los Angeles), David Koenig (Koenig Consulting), Kerry Cavanaugh (Los Angeles Times), Joel Fox (Fox & Hounds Daily), Lisa Gritzner (LG Strategies)

Panelists discussed the ballot measures voters will consider in the 2018 election. Raphael Sonenshein (Pat Brown Institute at California State University, Los Angeles) discussed how political actors are using ballot initiatives to drive voter turnout, saying, "anything that drives voter turnout is a good thing." Joel Fox ( Fox & Hounds Daily ) touched on beneficial reforms for the ballot initiative process such as having the legislative analyst write the title and summary of measures to have an accurate and nonpartisan assessment of the proposed law. Kerry Cavanaugh (Los Angeles Times) addressed split roll and property tax reform qualifying for the 2020 ballot and David Koenig ( Koenig Consulting ) described the changing ballot measure process and the impact on the 2018 ballot. Moderated by VICA Chair Lisa Gritzner ( LG Strategies ), the panel was sponsored by the  Los Angeles Rams  and was part of the 'November 2018' track sponsored by Aerojet Rocketdyne .
Mission Three, Panel Two:
Rogue Nation
John Pitney (Claremont McKenna College), Matt Klink (Klink Campaigns), Jennings Imel (U.S. Chamber of Commerce), Sherry Bebitch Jeffe (KNBC), Charles Crumpley (San Fernando Valley Business Journal)

Moderated by VICA Vice Chair Charles Crumpley ( San Fernando Valley Business Journal ), panelists discussed candidates running in the 2018 election. Matt Klink (Klink Campaigns) described the impact of President Trump on the election. Sherry Bebitch Jeffe (KNBC) discussed California's competitive congressional races and the success of voter messaging campaigns. John Pitney (Claremont McKenna College) addressed the possible outcomes of this year's election cycle and what they would mean for the next two years of the Trump Administration. Jennings Imel (U.S. Chamber of Commerce) rounded out the discussion by explaining the Republicans' struggle to pass meaningful legislation, despite having control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency. The panel was sponsored by  California State University, Northridge. The panel was part of the 'November 2018' track sponsored by  Aerojet Rocketdyne.
Mission Four, Panel One: Vision for LA
City of Los Angeles Chief Design Officer Christopher Hawthorne, Somjita Mitra (Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation), Robert Grant (Aurora Innovation)

As life in Los Angeles continues to change, panelists discussed what the city will look like three decades from now. City of Los Angeles Chief Design Officer Christopher Hawthorne addressed long-term planning decisions and investments in new technology which will improve mobility and livability in the future. Sahar Shirazi ( WSP USA ) described the importance of new mobility options as a tool to serve historically underserved communities. Somjita Mitra (Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation) discussed the need for jobs that pay a living wage and spoke on the alarming trend of newly generated low-income jobs. When discussing how to create a more positive version of our future city, Robert Grant ( Aurora Innovation ) suggested that the best way to guide consumer behavior towards a more positive vision is to deliver new technology safely, quickly, and economically. Moderated by Layne Lawson ( Clear Channel Outdoor ), the panel was sponsored by  Aurora Innovation  and was part of the 'From L.A. With Love' track sponsored by  Clear Channel Outdoor  and  The Garland .
Mission Four, Panel Two:
Dial T For Tourism
Steve Nissen (Comcast NBCUniversal), Ronalee Zarate-Bayani (Los Angeles Rams), John Choi (Airbnb), Mark Davis (Hilton Universal City), Ernest Wooden (Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board)

Moderated by VICA Vice Chair Steve Nissen (Comcast  NBCUniversal ), the panel discussed Los Angeles's billion-dollar tourism industry. Ernest Wooden, President of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, discussed the growth of the city's tourism industry and the growing number of tourists visiting yearly, as well as their effect on the economy. John Choi ( Airbnb ) addressed the growing influence of millenials on the tourism industry and the resulting shift towards experience-based travel. Ronalee Zarate-Bayani ( Los Angeles Rams ) also described the more experience-based style of travel resonating with younger generations, going on to describe desired experiences as interactive, personal and "digestible." VICA Vice Chair Mark Davis ( Hilton Universal City ) spoke about Los Angeles's unique draw as a tourist attraction and what sets our city apart from other popular places to visit. The panel was sponsored by  Airbnb and FilmL.A. , Inc. The track was sponsored by  Clear Channel Outdoor and  The Garland.
Thank you to all of our sponsors!
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