VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
Friday, January 22
In This Issue
  • Quote of the Week
  • Recap: VICA After Dark
  • Members
  • Upcoming Events
  • VICA Advocacy: Action Alerts
  • Hot News
  • Member Spotlight
  • 2021 Government Handbook
  • Committee Recap
  • Member Messages
"And together, we shall write an American story of hope, not fear; of unity, not division; of light, not darkness. A story of decency and dignity. Love and healing. Greatness and goodness."
President Joe Biden
Inaugural Address
VICA After Dark with Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares
VICA Chair Brad Rosenheim leads a Q&A Session with Assemblymember Suzette Valladares
VICA welcomed Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares to our Virtual VICA After Dark on Tuesday. Valladares spoke of bipartisan solutions, support for people with disabilities, and enhanced early childhood education.

The Assemblywoman spoke of her role as a Latina in the California Republican party, and how her personal history and growing up in the San Fernando Valley shaped her political outlook. She discussed plans to work with other lawmakers to resolve issues in our communities, saying that, "We can't be the party of no. We have to be the party of solutions."

When asked about the divisive nature of politics, being in the minority party, and working across the aisle, Valladares looked back at her work in non-profits, saying, "It has been my job to identify a community issue and to bring all stakeholders, regardless of party, to the table to find solutions that work."

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, The Walt Disney Company, for making the VICA After Dark with Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares possible.
VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members
Platinum Member:
Bronze Member:
Upcoming Events

Early Bird Ticket Price: $50
(Purchase before February 19)
Regular Ticket Price: $100
Includes Breakfast

Circle of Influence & Business Leader members receive a free ticket to this event - please contact Cathy to reserve your free seat. 
The Week Ahead
VICA's 1st Advocacy Day Trip of 2021
Tuesday, January 26
Online Video Conference
Only 12 Spots Available - almost sold out!
Ambassadors Committee Meeting
Tuesday, January 26 - Postponed
Rescheduled to February 23rd
10 to 11a.m.
Online Video Conference
Save the Date
Labor & Employment Committee Meeting
Wednesday, February 3
9 to 10:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference

First Sip with VICA
Friday, February 5
9 to 10 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Education Committee Meeting
Thursday, February 4
9 to 10:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Land Use Committee Meeting
Tuesday, February 9
8 to 10:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference
EEMU Committee Meeting
Wednesday, February 10
12 to 1:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
VICA Advocacy
Action Alert: Voice Your Concerns with Hazard Pay to the Board of Supervisors
Your voice is needed to urge the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to complete a thorough economic and policy analysis before voting on any Grocery Hazard Pay ordinance.

The proposed $5 per hour increase is equivalent to a 30 percent wage increase, a cost which would be passed onto consumers in the form of higher grocery costs. This could negatively impact many in our region who are struggling to afford living costs during the pandemic.

VICA is thankful for the grocery workers who have truly been on the front lines, ensuring that we have reliable access to food and necessities throughout this crisis. As an acknowledgement of this sacrifice, grocers have undertaken massive efforts and spent millions of dollars to implement safety policies and provide bonuses, paid time off, and other benefits. Further, grocery workers will be amid the first groups to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The County cannot impose these suffocating provisions on businesses when they are not providing "Hero Pay" to the countless County essential employees who are keeping Los Angeles running.

Express your concerns at the Board of Supervisors Meeting on Tuesday, January 26th at 9:30 a.m. by calling (877) 226-8163 and entering Participant Code 1336503!
Petitioning for Protection of the Digital Safety Net
The Connected Commerce Council (3C) has organized an open letter to be sent to local and national lawmakers urging them to protect access to the digital safety net - the platforms, services, and marketplaces that have kept small businesses alive over the past year.

Now more than ever, policies must reflect how today's businesses operate. In the modern economy, affordable digital tools power our businesses and enable strong and direct relationships with customers. Going forward, 3C is asking our elected leaders to prioritize:

  • Small business partnerships with digital platforms - supporting them rather than attacking them
  • Small business access to capital
  • Small business education and access to skills, particularly digital skills that are increasingly important

Businesses are the heart of our communities and the engine of our economy. Businesses understand and accept the challenge of leading our national recovery, but they can't do it alone. 3C is looking to collect as many signatures as possible before the end of the month, when they will share it with elected officials throughout California and around the country. Learn more at this website and please join us by signing the petition below to show support for the digital tools that have been critical to so many businesses large and small during the pandemic!
Fighting for Bereavement with Dignity While Still Protecting Businesses
VICA supports Assembly Bill 95 (Low), which will require employers to grant employees between 3 and 10 business days of unpaid bereavement leave upon the loss of a loved one, but only if it is amended to remove the private right of action.

The guaranteed ability to grieve a loved one without fear of losing one's job or facing discrimination by one's employer is a basic human dignity. Not only would AB 95 allow employees to properly grieve, but it would also fill a gap found in current family leave laws by standardizing bereavement leave throughout the state. Bereavement leave has already been introduced in many areas in California, including Los Angeles County. AB 95 would make it easier for employers to comply with provisions rather than having to follow different statutes, or lack thereof, in different jurisdictions.

Still, with all the benefits of AB 95, it is impossible to ignore the fact that it will saddle businesses with civil liabilities and legal fees, as it would authorize a private right of action. This would lead to costly litigation, which many businesses cannot afford, exacerbating financial struggles that businesses already face due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.

We must protect the basic dignity to grieve, but California cannot afford to place even more regulatory burdens on businesses that are struggling to stay open. Urge your legislators to fill the gap in current family leave laws!
Hot News
Eviction cases in California are expected to double to 240,000 over the next year due to COVID-19 related rent debt and expiration of eviction protections.

Pandemic Relief
A state audit criticized the distribution of COVID-19 relief in California, saying that Governor Newsom gave far less relief per person to smaller communities.

National Parks
Yosemite National Park to remain closed through the weekend after high winds downed two giant sequoias and caused millions of dollars in damages.
California is seeing record COVID-19 deaths this week, a lagging indicator of the holiday-fueled spike in cases, even as cases and hospitalizations start to decline.

The California Supreme Court has rejected a petition to force LAUSD to partially reopen in-person instruction for students facing the highest need.

Swearing In
Alex Padilla, San Fernando Valley native, was sworn in to the United States Senate on Wednesday, vowing to address pandemic and eviction relief.
Member Spotlight
Barry Cohn - JorgensenHR
Barry Cohn is the Chief of Human Resources at JorgensenHR. He resides with his wife, Renee, in West Hills along with their goldendoodle. He and his wife met on 25 years ago and blended their families when their kids were 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11, four girls and one boy. Barry loves baseball especially the Dodgers, he likes reading mysteries & spy novels, non-fiction, business books and he is a fan of film noir, his favorite channel is TCM. He loves all music except opera and rap/hip-hop. 

When VICA asked a few additional questions, these responses were shared:

  • Tell us about your belief in VICA, how has VICA been most valuable for you?  
I joined VICA because I work with 400 employers and to be able to be their voice with legislators and communicate their issues, concerns and desires. 

  • If you were to share an experience with someone about VICA, what would that be? 
I think the best experiences with VICA is personally interacting with legislators in the city, county and state.

  • Share with us what you believe to be the greatest accomplishment VICA has achieved? 
The greatest accomplishment VICA has achieved in its 70+ years, is being the voice of business in the San Fernando Valley.

  • What was your organizations and/or your greatest accomplishment in 2020? 
In 2020, JorgensenHR helped over 100 companies navigate the waters of moving to remote work, returning to work and understanding the COVID laws and requirements imposed on employers. 

  • Can you share what VICA has meant for you and your business during COVID? 
During COVID I have been able to participate in more events in VICA because of the online platforms, such as Zoom. In the past, travel concerns and time constraints were hinderances to my participation. 

> Please share a brief biography and a fun fact about yourself that people would love to learn, ie: you love skydiving, you have run a marathon, you started your own business at a young age, etc. (2-3 sentences) 

> Tell us about your belief in VICA, how has VICA been most valuable for you? 

> If you were to share an experience with someone about VICA, what would that be? 
> Share with us what you believe to be the greatest accomplishment VICA has achieved?

> What was your organizations and/or your greatest accomplishment in 2020?

> Can you share what VICA has meant for you and your business during COVID?

Send responses and headshot to Shauna Carter
2021 Government Handbook
Committee Report
Aviation Committee (1/19)

  • Hiroshi Ishikawa, Senior Regional Planner for the Aviation Program at the Southern California Association of Governments, presented on the 2020-2045 Connect SoCal Plan.
  • Pamela Marcello, Senior Director of Government and Public Affairs for the Hollywood Burbank Airport, gave updates on the state of the airport and the rebuilding process post-COVID-19.
  • Flora Margheritis, Airport Manager of the Van Nuys Airport, gave updates on the airport and airport operations, both throughout the pandemic and moving forward.
Government Affairs Committee (1/20)

  • Jean Armbruster, Director of the PLACE (Policies for Livable, Active Communities and Environments) Program for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, gave updates and answered questions about the County Public Health Councils
  • Tim James, Director of Local Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs for the California Grocers Association, spoke to the committee about the negative effects of recently introduced hazard pay/hero pay proposals.
  • Leila Lee, Community Business Manager at the Office of Mayor Garcetti, presented on pandemic response, restrictions, and resources for businesses.
Not-For-Profit Committee (1/21)

  • Jan Masaoka, CEO of Cal Nonprofits, updated the committee on what to expect in 2021 for California Not-For-Profits and advocacy.
  • Tania Ibanez, Senior Assistant Attorney General for the Charitable Trusts Section of the Office of the California Attorney General, gave a presentation on new forms for charities and fundraisers.
Member Messages
The Colleges of Law is offering a micro-credential course for future law students, business professionals, and international participants. The course will focus on the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government while exploring key concepts inherent in the U.S. constitutional system such as federalism, the separation of powers, and the rule of law and civil society. Register for the four-week course here.

Learn more at
Member Messages
Get Your Message in VICA Weekly!
VICA members can promote their business, events and news in VICA Weekly. Member messages are available for $50 per week or $175 for four weeks. Messages are text-based and may not contain more than 70 words. A logo may be added for an additional $5 per week. For more information or to schedule your member message, contact or call (818) 817-0545.
Presenting the business perspective on behalf of employers in the
San Fernando Valley cities of Los Angeles, Burbank, Glendale, Calabasas,
Hidden Hills, San Fernando and Santa Clarita.