May 22, 2020

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

"The recovery from COVID-19 depends on good Public Policy. We need to come together as Americans."

- Assemblymember Tom Lackey during the VICA Government Affairs Committee Meeting.


VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members 


Lamar Advertising of Los Angeles

Motion Picture Association of America


Pegasus Transit

The Week Ahead

Ambassador Committee
Tuesday, May 26
2 to 3:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click  here to RSVP

Save the Date

Aviation Committee
Sponsored by Aeroplex/Aerolease
Wednesday, June 3
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Sports, Entertainment, Tourism and Hospitality Committee
Thursday, June 4
8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Land Use Committee
Sponsored by The Garland
Tuesday, June 9
8 to 10 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Healthcare Committee
Sponsored by Mission Community Hospital
Thursday, June 11
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Government Affairs Committee
Sponsored by Dolphin Group and Rodriguez Strategies
Wednesday, June 17
9 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Hot Issues 

Federal Guidelines
The Center for Disease Control released its guidelines for reopening restaurants, transit, businesses and schools. The guidelines include increasing testing, maintaining social distancing, staggering school start times, restricting transit ridership, and opening childcare facilities for essential workers' children.

Economic Recovery
The U.S. Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, appeared in an interview with 60 Minutes expressing optimism that the country's economy will begin to "heal" in the remaining half of the year. However, Powell believes that the significant downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could mean economic recovery will take a long period of time.

Reopening L.A.
Los Angeles County Officials announced that they plan to fully reopen economic activity by July 4. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer stressed that reopening efforts must rely heavily on scientific data to ensure public health and safety.

Reopening Nationwide
Over the weekend, many states in varying degrees reopened businesses and slowly rolled back 'Stay-at-Home' orders. Filings nationwide for unemployment claims have fallen for the first time since the beginning of 'Stay-at-Home' measures, but total claims remain high at about 3 million.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced that guidelines to resume film and TV production will be issued on Monday, May 25. Although resumption of film production is not expected until Phase 3 of the Governor's Reopening Roadmap, several counties who have controlled the spread of the coronavirus will be allowed to restart filming sooner than others.

Governor Gavin Newsom indicated that professional sports could return to California as early as the first week of June. According to the State's reopening guidelines, resuming sporting events can start in Phase 3, and live audiences will be allowed to attend sporting events in Phase 4.

According to research into historical cases, economists find that younger workers recently entering, or attempting to enter, the job market will be impacted the most by economic recession. This translates into lower opportunities for higher paying jobs later in their lives. 

The Los Angeles City Council introduced a motion which proposes to cap third-party food delivery app fees to 15 percent.

The Regents of the University of California are moving forward with a landmark decision to drop SAT and ACT requirements as part of its admissions review process. The feasibility study will begin this summer to find alternative tests or methods for identifying student college readiness.

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago Joins VICA Members in Virtual VICA After Dark

At this week's VICA After Dark, we were joined by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago. The event started with breakout sessions where attendees were able to connect in small group forums to discuss current events and catch up on business. Assemblymember Santiago joined us shortly after to share updates from Sacramento. He shared "economic and healthcare concerns remain a top priority" and the government continues to review budget concerns and how best to plan as we move forward. Assemblymember Santiago said things are moving as quickly as possible, but also at a slower pace. Where typically the Capitol is full and you can catch up or meet with other members or staff quickly in the hall or run downstairs to meet, the Capitol is empty and things take a bit longer to move.

Two issues, healthcare and economic insecurity, have been keeping the Assemblymember and his staff busy. Assemblymember Santiago said "we are trying to address them as best we can and as quickly as possible." In closing, the Assemblymember said he will keep "his eye on the ball on how to keep people healthy and safe while we revitalize our economic system."

Thank you to our Sponsors Charter Communications and Parsons.

5:30 to 9 PM

VICA invites you to the San Fernando Valley Hall of Fame Home Edition.

Join VICA members, business leaders and officeholders for a virtual event, as we celebrate our VICA Member Hospitals during a reception, program, dinner and dessert - all from the comfort of your home.

VICA Meets with State Legislators in First Ever Virtual Advocacy Day
The VICA Delegation meeting with Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silve.

On Thursday, VICA hosted its first ever virtual Sacramento Advocacy Day as VICA members met with several State Legislators to discuss the most pressing issues facing California today. The VICA E-Delegation met with State Controller Betty Yee, Assemblymembers Rob Bonta, Marc Levine, Devon Mathis, Adrin Nazarian, Sharon Quirk-Silva and Blanca Rubio, Senator Bob Hertzberg, and staff from the Office of Senator John Moorlach.

VICA Delegation speaking with State Controller Betty Yee.
At the top of the meeting agenda was discussing COVID-19 response measures with Legislators and what they expect to see over the next few months. VICA members and State Legislators had productive conversations on the implementation of one-sided eviction moratoriums which hurt property owners, allowing more flexible work schedules for essential workers and those working remotely, as well as reconsidering changes to the classification of independent workers. In the meetings, VICA discussed the importance of continuing legislative efforts to build more housing even during, or even because of, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you to all the State Elected Officials and staffers for meeting and candidly speaking with VICA about the most urgent issues facing California today.

The VICA Delegation with Senator Bob Hertzberg.

VICA has created and developed a COVID-19 Resource and Information page on our website.  This resource and information page was created to provide you with helpful resources, ongoing updates and information for today and well into the future as we discover this new and changing business environment. Along with other businesses, legislators and community members, VICA stands united as San Fernando Valley Strong,  #SFValleyStrong . Follow us on Twitter @SFValleyStrong and visit our webpage for details. 

We are here to support continued successes and a brighter tomorrow.

Support Bill to Make California Energy Cleaner and More Secure
VICA supports Assembly Bill 3163 (Salas), which would expand the definition of biomethane to include renewable natural gas that is produced through  non-combustion thermal conversion. California continues to pursue its ambitious goal to make the state carbon neutral by 2045, but this cannot be achieved by solar and wind energy alone. Breakthroughs in the thermal conversion of agricultural waste into natural gas provides Californians a renewable and cleaner source of energy which can take advantage of our existing natural gas infrastructure and support employees in California's gas companies. Supporting AB 3163 will ensure California will meet its environmental goals while continuing to support jobs in our critical energy sector.

VICA Member Spotlight: Victor Berrellez
Victor Berrellez is VICA First Vice Chair and serves on the VICA Board of Directors.

Victor Berrellez is the current Relationship Manager for US Bank in Encino, working with businesses with annual revenues ranging from $25 million to $500 million. Moving to the SFV in 1969, Victor graduated from Granada Hills High School ("pre-Charter"). He later surprised everyone by earning degrees in Business Finance from Loyola Marymount University and CSUN. His business career includes working for Xerox, a decade-long stint running a family-owned electronics distributor, and nearly 30-years as a commercial banker for  Bank of America , City National Bank, and California United Bank. He used to enjoy watching game shows until he appeared on "Jeopardy!" and lost to a 5-time champion. Victor volunteers with non-profit groups in the 818, hoping to make The Valley a better place to live.

Tell us about your experience with VICA, how has VICA been valuable for you?
VICA is a group that advocates for support of businesses and workers in the San Fernando Valley. VICA has been instrumental in providing a unified voice for Valley residents with municipal, state and Federal government representatives. I can recall the time when the Valley was a thriving hub of manufacturing, distributing and exporting businesses. Today, not so much. Changes in the regulatory environment made it more difficult for these businesses to provide decent jobs at a decent profit, and VICA helps governments better understand the needs of these job-creating companies.  

If you were to tell a peer or friend about VICA, what would be your sales pitch?
VICA is the essence of collective representation where everyone has a voice in the process. They take the desires and needs of the group and make a unified pitch to those in government, the media and the community. Our goal is to provide an enduring and unyielding effort to obtain a fair share for the Valley. 

What is your favorite experience or memory with VICA?
Just getting to know the individual members and their backgrounds is a thrill. The "After Dark" meetings give everyone a change to relax and get to share stories in a very social environment.  

Has your company made commitments or taken action to support employees and/or the community during the COVID-19 pandemic? 
This time of "shelter in place" has been difficult for all in the community. US Bank is committed to helping our clients and other businesses find ways to finance their businesses while revenues have been limited. We have provided help in obtaining tens of thousands of loans through the Paycheck Protection Program for over $2 billion which helped keep millions of employees on the payroll. US Bank has been very supportive of its' employees, providing support to have us work from home during this time and keeping our customers informed on new technology that helps them find solutions to their banking needs.   

Stratiscope's John Bwarie Leads VICA University Webinar on Maintaining Purpose During Crisis
On Tuesday, Stratiscope CEO John Bwarie hosted a VICA University Webinar on how businesses and employers can maintain their purpose and mission during a period of crisis. Bwarie stressed the importance of checking in and staying engaged. with stakeholders, which includes employees and their families. Also discussed was the importance creating long term plans and goals, and creating barriers to prevent fatigue. Thank you John Bwarie and Stratiscope for leading this VICA University Webinar and for sharing valuable information for San Fernando Valley businesses to continue meeting their mission as we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic.
Committee Meetings
Transportation (5/18)
Sponsored by The Garland
  • Joshua Schank, Chief Innovation Officer for Metro, presented on COVID-19 impacts on Metro operations and projects.
  • David Libatique provided updates about the Port of L.A. and the progress of the Logistics Victory of Los Angeles (LoVLA) Initiative.
  • Christina Lotspike (U.S. Chamber of Commerce) provided updates about federal transportation and infrastructure legislation.
Government Affairs (5/20)
Sponsored by Dolphin Group and Rodriguez Strategies
  • Robert Lapsley, President of the California Business Roundtable, presented on the Restarting California Plan put together by the California business community.
  • Assemblymember Tom Lackey provided updates on the work of the State Legislature as Legislators return to Sacramento.
  • The committee recommended to support Assembly Bill 3069 (Lackey) the LEAP Internship for former foster youth and youth experiencing homelessness.
  • The committee recommended to support Ballot Initiative 19-0003, the Family Home Protection and Fairness in Property Tax Act.
Member Messages:
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