September 25, 2020

VICA continues to fight for the business community and Valley residents as we face uncertain times.
In This Issue

"The census is about not just funding, it is about power. It is not just representation in congress, [the data is] used to draw the congressional and legislative boundaries, and even local district boundaries. So really voting rights are at stake."

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla

In the News

September 14
San Fernando Valley Business Journal

September 18
Memphis Business Journal

September 22
LB Report

September 24
Los Angeles Daily News

VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members 



Glendale Community College

The Week Ahead

Leaders Forum with Congressman Adam Schiff
Presented by Health Net & Westfield 
Tuesday, September 29
10 to 11:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Save the Date

Not For Profit Committee
Sponsored by Pacific Federal
Thursday, October 8th
8:30 to 10 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Land Use Committee
Presented by The Garland
Tuesday, October 13th
8 to 10 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Leaders Forum with Congressman Mike Garcia
Sponsored by California Resources Corp & Van Nuys Airport
Tuesday, October 13th
11 to 12:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Government Affairs Committee
Sponsored by Dolphin Group & Rodriguez Strategies
Wednesday, October 21st
9 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

First Sip with VICA
Sponsored by Starbucks
Friday, October 23rd
9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Hot Issues 

Executive Order
California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order banning the sale of new gasoline cars by 2035 in a push to reduce greenhouse emissions by having drivers switch to electric cars.

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) has decided to halt all new claims for the next two weeks in order to put a faster and more efficient unemployment system in place.

California Wildfires
40 cannabis farms worth millions are being threatened by the August Complex fire, the largest wildfire in California history. Many growers are not evacuating in order to protect their crops from the fire, which threatens their livelihood and the economy.

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Los Angeles Unified School District. The suit claims that the distance learning plan has caused "enormous learning losses" and left tens of thousands of students without access to basic education.

The PAC-12 presidents and chancellors have voted to have a 7 game football season starting in early November. The teams plan on having daily COVID-19 antigen testing to curb the spread of the virus.

Valley Businesses
The Daily Wire, a conservative news and opinion website, is moving its headquarters from Sherman Oaks to Nashville. The company's 75 employees will have until October 1 to decide whether or not to follow the company to Tennessee.

A federal judge has ordered that the U.S. Census must continue until the end of October, contradicting the Trump administration's timeline for the census to end at the end of September. Government attorneys are expected to appeal the decision. 

The COVID-19 death toll in the United States has surpassed 200,000, and cases in the U.S. have risen to almost 7 million. California alone has now had over 15,000 deaths, but saw the positive test rate drop below 3% for the first time.

A new study estimates that the U.S. economy has lost $16 trillion due to discriminatory practices based on race, including access to education and business loans. The study also notes that if key areas of discrimination were fixed, the U.S. economy would see a $5 trillion boost over the next 5 years.

United Airlines has announced a new plan to offer instant COVID-19 testing before passengers board their flights.  The pilot program will be offered to customers flying from San Francisco to Hawaii starting in October.

U.S. Capitol
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is lying in state at the U.S. Capitol, the first woman in the nation's history to be given the honor.

Senator Bob Hertzberg inducts the 2020 Board of Directors

VICA's 2021 Board of Directors nomination and selection process is underway, and we want your nominations! 

Board members must be able to attend regular board meetings and be prepared to vote on a wide variety of public policy issues. Board members must also attend regular committee meetings and VICA events. Additional responsibilities may include calling or writing lawmakers, attending press conferences, testifying, authoring editorials, interacting with top opinion leaders and more. 

For more information on the 2021 Board of Directors guidelines, click here.

If you or someone you know is interested in participating on the board in 2021, please click on the nomination form below and submit to If you don't want to serve on the board, but are interested in serving as a committee chair, please let us know that on the nomination form. Applications are due by Wednesday, September 30th!

VICA opposes Proposition 15, a ballot measure known as 'split roll', which would remove Proposition 13 property tax protections for commercial and industrial properties by up to $11.5 billion per year, increasing the costs of living and the costs of doing business in California.

While proponents claim that small businesses will be protected from the tax hikes created by Prop 15, most small business rent their space, and large property owners will pass on the cost of the increased tax through higher rent. Those higher costs will be passed onto consumers, resulting in increased prices for essentials and an increased cost of living.

Proposition 15 creates more than a billion dollars in new administrative costs for county assessors, burdening local governments with the costs of implementing this already costly measure. Beyond this, the $11.5 billion in increased taxes has little to no oversight, transparency or accountability, allowing decision makers in state and local government to use it however they please.

California already has some of the highest income and sales taxes in the country, as well as the highest cost of living. Proposition 15 would exacerbate these burdens for small businesses and consumers alike. Vote NO on Proposition 15.

Presenting Sponsors

Tuesday, September 29, 2020
10 - 11:30 a.m.
Adam Schiff

Congressman Adam Schiff represents California's 28th Congressional District, and throughout his tenure in Congress, he has focused on growing the economy, bolstering national security, strengthening our communities, helping small businesses,and improving education, safety and health care for our children. In his 10th term in the House of Representatives, Schiff currently serves as the Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
oversees the nation's intelligence agencies including components of the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, State and Energy. Schiff is currently on a leave of absence rom the House Appropriations Committee.


FREE to VICA Members! 
Last chance to register!

VICA supports Proposition 19, which would make necessary changes to California's property tax law to help vulnerable Californians while also generating critical revenue for wildfire protection and response by establishing the California Fire Response Fund and County Revenue Protection Fund.

Proposition 19 would specifically remove location restrictions to allow seniors, individuals with disabilities and victims of wildfires to transfer the taxable value of their homes to a replacement home anywhere in California. This would make it easier for wildfire victims or those impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis to move closer to relatives or places with greater access to medical care.

In addition, Proposition 19 would generate revenue to fund public schools, social services and wildfire protection by closing loopholes that allow out-of-state investors and trust fund heirs to receive tax breaks for inheriting vacation and rental properties. It is expected that Proposition 19 could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Vote YES on Proposition 19.

Jack Rubens is a Partner at the Sheppard Mullin law firm, which is based in Los Angeles. He has worked with Sheppard Mullin since 1984. His focus with the firm is on land use and real estate law, where he represents developers to secure entitlements for residential, commercial and institutional projects. On a personal note, Jack is an avid backpacker and he and his girlfriend just returned from a scenic and challenging trip to the Minarets region of the Sierras (in between the fires).  

When asked a few questions about VICA and his experiences he shared these thoughts with us:

  1. Tell us about your experience with VICA, how has VICA been valuable for you? 
    • I grew up in the Valley (Woodland Hills), and was working on an increasing number of development projects here, so I thought it would be helpful and interesting to get involved with VICA. Since we joined in 2015, Sheppard Mullin's membership has been very rewarding. In particular, as a co-chair of the Land Use Committee, I've kept abreast of proposed laws, ordinances and policies, as well as political developments, that affect the Valley.
  2. If you were to tell a peer or friend about VICA, what would be your sales pitch? 
    • If you do substantial business in the Valley, if you need to know the movers and shakers here, if you really want to know what's going in the Valley and help shape its future, you need to join VICA.
  3. What is your favorite experience or memory with VICA?
    • I've really enjoyed my Access D.C. trips with the VICA contingent, where we lobby Congress on behalf of Valley interests, dig into transportation and other important issues and engage in some serious networking.
  4. How has your company made commitments or adjustments to support employees and/or the community during the COVID-19 pandemic? 
    • Our firm has really pulled together in response to the pandemic. Many of us regularly work at home for now, and we've implemented strict protocols for those who prefer the office. We've had a series of town hall and other (Zoom) meetings to discuss the impacts of COVID-19, provide personal and professional support for our attorneys and staff, including our working parents, and determine how best to help our clients during this very challenging time. I'm especially proud of the firm's recent community and pro bono work. For example, we partnered with The Rotary Club of Los Angeles to distribute 30,000 face shields to front-line healthcare and homeless service providers and emergency first responders. We're also working with LA Represents, a coalition of law firms, bar associations and attorneys, to provide pro bono legal services to help small businesses, vulnerable tenants, domestic violence victims, low income and other Angelenos facing extreme hardship due to the pandemic. In addition, we joined more than 125 law firms to launch the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, which provides pro bono services to address systemic racism and inequality exacerbated by the pandemic.

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