May 8, 2020

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

"We need to look internally to make sure the City is not an impediment."

- Councilmember Bob Blumenfield at VICA's Virtual After Dark on planning Los Angeles' reopening and recovery.

Media Mentions

  ABC 7

May 5

San Fernando Valley Business Owners Eager to Open, but Major Challenges Lay Ahead
May 6

L.A. County Allows Reopening of Some Retail Businesses Starting Friday
May 6

May 7

How Shopping Will Change When Some Retail Stores Reopen Friday
Los Angeles Daily News
May 7


VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members 

President's Circle


Premier Partner








Callahan Public Affairs

Urban Solutions

Welcome our New Members

KB Home


The Week Ahead

Newsmaker Connection with Senator Henry Stern
Presented by  State Farm
and  Mission Community Hospital
Wednesday, May 13
10 to 11:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click  here to RSVP

Energy, Environment, Manufacturing and Utilities Committee
Sponsored by The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Thursday, May 14
12 to 1:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click  here to RSVP

Save the Date

Transportation Committee
Sponsored by  The Garland
Monday, May 18
9 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click  here  to RSVP

VICA University with Stratiscope CEO John Bwarie
Tuesday, May 19
1 to 2:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Government Affairs Committee
Sponsored by Dolphin Group and Rodriguez Strategies
Wednesday, May 20
9 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Advocacy Day
Thursday, May 21
All Day
Only 12 spots available!
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

VICA After Dark
Speaker TBA
Thursday, May 21
4 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

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

Hot Issues 

 California Reopening
Today marks the beginning of the second phase of Governor Newsom's 4-phase plan to reopen the California economy. This means a limited loosening of the Stay at Home order where certain businesses such as flower shops, bookstores and music stores are allowed to reopen.

As Los Angeles prepares to reopen certain businesses for curbside pickup orders, Mayor Eric Garcetti urges Angelenos to support and shop at local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Garcetti also reminds Angelenos to maintain cautionary measures this weekend.

Jobs Report
The federal government's job report places a hard number to show the massive impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on the economy. Having dropped to near-historic lows at 3.5 percent in February, the unemployment rate rose to 14.7 percent in April.

Colleges across California have received emergency funding through the $14 billion Federal CARES Act Emergency Grant program. California State Universities received  $525 million, the University of California system $260 million, and California community colleges $580 million.

Charter Schools
United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) doubled down on their opposition to campus sharing agreements between charter schools and other LAUSD schools, staging protests and using the public health crisis as a point of contention.

California Budget
The first assessment of the economic damages brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the closing of businesses found California's budget deficit to reach $54.3 billion. Governor Newsom expects steep cuts in spending and hopes to secure federal aid for California.

Independent Contractors
State Attorney Xavier Becerra has  filed a lawsuit against transportation network companies for failing to comply with AB 5, which reclassified many traditional independent contractors as employees.

The closure of dine-in restaurants and many other businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic has revived interest in drive-through restaurants and drive-in entertainment venues.

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield Discusses Emergency Response at VICA Virtual After Dark

On Thursday, Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield joined VICA for a special Virtual After Dark mixer. Attendees began the event in breakout sessions where they mingled, shared stories and recent experiences. Councilmember Blumenfield then addressed attendees, answered a series of questions and spoke about the City of Los Angeles' situation as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic. "We know some businesses might not be able to weather the storm," the Councilmember said, "but, we need to do everything we can to make it easier for them to survive."

Councilmember Blumenfield shared how his experience during the response to the 1994 Northridge earthquake allowed his team to mount an effective emergency response to the pandemic. Speaking about his Emergency Preparedness Team, the Councilmember said it "was critical during the fires, and we didn't imagine a pandemic, but when the pandemic did hit [the team] really helped." 

Regarding the Right of Recall ordinance recently passed by the L.A. City Council, Blumenfield explained how he was able to narrow the ordinance's scope to only include the most regulated sector of the hospitality industry. This ensured that a majority of Valley businesses would avoid the Right of Recall's regulatory burdens. 

Thank you to our presenting sponsor, Mission Community Hospital, and co-sponsors Amazon and Westfield for making this event possible.

Presented by

10 to 11:30 a.m.
Via Online Video Conference

Henry Stern
California State Senator, 27th District

VICA's Newsmaker Connection lets our members connect with important government and business leaders.

Register now to receive more details.

Governor's Executive Order on Workers' Comp Exposes Businesses to Further Hardships
On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order which provides workers' compensation benefits for employees who have contracted COVID-19. The order creates a rebuttable presumption that any employee with COVID-19 contracted it at work. VICA urged the Governor to reconsider this order, seeing it as creating a major hurdle for businesses already struggling to survive the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers don't control their employees, and those employees who may have caught COVID-19 outside of work can easily abuse this Executive Order. The rebuttable presumption opens up businesses to lawsuits, preventing them from focusing their financial resources towards staying alive and contributing to the State's recovery after the pandemic subsides. VICA will work with the Governor and the State Legislature to make sure that businesses have access to resources needed to weather these difficult times.

1 to 2:30 p.m.
Via Online Video Conference

Maintaining Purpose During Crisis

with John Bwarie
CEO, Stratiscope

Join VICA for a special webinar with  Stratiscope CEO John Bwarie. John will discuss the following topics: 
  • Align your business purpose, mission, and values with your key stakeholders by taking the right community actions during the crisis 
  • Raise your positive visibility and recognition by selecting a cause or effort using proven formulas that make a measurable impact 
  • Inspire your team to build greater engagement within your organization at a time of greater separation 
  • Sustain the effort and sense of purpose over the long, unpredictable cycles of crisis
Register now to receive meeting details.

City Council Moves Forward with Rent Increase Freeze
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council moved forward with a motion which would freeze rent increases on apartments units subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). VICA strongly urged the City Council to include a clear sunset date for the ordinance. As currently written, the freeze would continue until 90 days after the end of the local emergency period. It is unclear to what extent the City of Los Angeles would follow Governor Newsom's phased plan for reopening, thus making the rent increase freeze go on for an indefinite amount of time. The City Council did amend the motion, allowing City agencies to report on ways to assist owners of RSO units who are experiencing a loss in rental income. VICA continues to work with the City of Los Angeles to ensure emergency measures taken to help renters also address the concerns of property owners and housing providers.

Only 12 Spots Available!

This Advocacy Day will allow direct interaction with state elected officials and create the freedom for discussion on issues that are vital to our members. Join VICA in our monthly Advocacy Day. Don't miss this opportunity to be heard on how legislation affects your company.

Event admission is $50 and is only available to VICA members.

Support Legislation that Lowers the Cost of Housing Construction
VICA supports a package of bills intended to lower impact fees, which would subsequently lower the costs of housing construction across California. These three bills would make changes to the Mitigation Fee Act and includes the following:
  • AB 1484 (Grayson) would limit how local governments can assess impact fees and require a nexus study before assessing those fees. This would ensure that development projects are not charged impact fees for unrelated services. 
  • AB 3147 (Gabriel) would allow developers to challenge unreasonably high impact fees while paying for them to prevent delays and additional costs to projects.
  • AB 3148 (Chiu) would reduce the impact fees for the construction of affordable housing units if they are built as part of a density bonus projects. VICA also requests that these fee reductions be expanded to include transit-oriented developments.
Impact fees have been a major barrier to housing construction in California by raising the costs of new developments. Supporting these bills would be a step in the right direction by lowering the associated costs of construction and help California tackle our critical housing shortage.

VICA Member Spotlight: Charles Crumpley
Charles Crumpley is one of VICA's Vice Chairs and serves on the VICA Board of Directors.

Charles Crumpley has been the editor of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal since 2016. Prior to this, Charlie served as editor of the Los Angeles Business Journal for 10 years. He was named L.A.'s News Person of the Year in 2015, and received the Justice Armand Arabian Leaders in Public Service Award in 2019. Charlie's pre-pandemic hobbies includes visiting museums, enjoying Asian cuisine, and watching baseball and football games. Charlie has exactly one Barry Manilow song in his playlist, but can't seem to explain why.

Tell us about your experience with VICA, how has VICA been valuable for you?
One truly strong aspect of VICA is that it keeps you informed of upcoming statutes and ordinances that could affect the way you work and what you do. The staff is amazing at identifying business-impacting legislation early in the process, and the organization exists to give us a voice in shaping legislation. Or at least it gives us a voice to register our objection.

If you were to tell a peer or friend about VICA, what would be your sales pitch?
The organization is great at keeping you informed of statutes and ordinances that affect the way you do business. And the networking is unparalleled because the membership is made up of influential and engaged business people.

What is your favorite experience or memory with VICA?
I enjoy hearing topical issues from newsmakers. And the drinking and noshing with fellow members is always fun. 

Has your company made commitments or taken action to support employees and/or the community during the COVID-19 pandemic? 
You know, we've tried to continue working as normally as possible. Just carrying out our usual duties seems to be fulfilling and, I hope, somewhat helpful.  
Thanks & Appreciation for ALL that YOU Do!
Thank you Teachers and Nurses for your tremendous efforts, care and the sacrifices that you make for the community. You are all very appreciated.

A BIG Thank You to our Education & Healthcare Members:

Boys & Girls Club of San Fernando Valley 
Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley 
Boys & Girls Clubs of America 
California Lutheran University 
California State University, Northridge 
Cedars-Sinai Health System 
Champs Charter High School of the Arts 
Child Care Resource Center, Inc. 
Children's Hospital Los Angeles 
City of Hope 
DaVita Inc. 
Discovery Cube Los Angeles 
Eisner Health 
El Camino Real Charter High School 
El Centro De Amistad, Inc. 
El Proyecto Del Barrio
Exceptional Minds 
First 5 LA 
FirstMed Ambulance Services, Inc. 
Glendale Community College 
Golden Heart Ranch 
Granada Hills Charter School 
Harvard-Westlake School 
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital 
Homes 4 Families 
International School of Los Angeles 
Kaiser Permanente
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society 
Los Angeles County Office of Education- GAIN 
Los Angeles Mission College 

Los Angeles Pierce College 
Los Angeles Valley College 
Mission Community Hospital 
Multicultural Learning Center 
North Los Angeles County Regional Center 
North Valley Occupational Center 
Northeast Valley Health Corporation 
Penny Lane Centers 
Pharmaceuticals Research & Manufacturers of America 
Phillips Graduate Institute 
Providence Health & Services 
San Fernando Community Health Center 
San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center Inc. 
Saybrook University 
The Adult Skills Center 
The Buckley School 
Tierra del Sol Foundation 
UCLA Government & Community Relations 
University of Phoenix 
University of Phoenix 
University of Southern California, University Relations 
Valley Community Healthcare 
Valley Cultural Foundation 
Valley Presbyterian Hospital 
Valley Village 
Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America 
Woodbury University 
YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles 
Committee Meetings
Labor and Employment Committee (5/6)
Sponsored by The Hilton Universal City
  • Nick Gaines, staffer from the Office of Senator Henry Stern, presented on State and Federal resources available for businesses impacted by the current economic crisis.
  • Sue Bendavid (Lewitt & Hackman) presented on employment topics and issues businesses should know regarding COVID-19 and all related legislation and orders passed in response.
  • Victor Parker, Los Angeles District Director at the Small Business Administration, presented and answered questions regarding the CARES Act's Paycheck Protection Program and the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan.
Education Committee (5/7)
  • LAUSD Board Member Kelly Gonez discussed policies and actions taken in response to COVID-19 and answered questions about education after the pandemic.
  • Kezia Miller, School Mental Health Coordinator at LAUSD, presented on the Trauma Informed Training at Early Education Centers.
  • California State University, Northridge Provost Mary Beth Walker discussed the impact of COVID-19 on higher education.

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.