VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
Friday, March 5
In This Issue
  • Quote of the Week
  • Civic Snapshot
  • Members
  • Job Opportunity
  • Upcoming Events
  • VICA Advocacy
  • Media Mentions
  • Hot News
  • Member Spotlight
  • Member Messages
"We are living right now in a time of enormous opportunity. [. . .] All of you in California are at the forefront of this movement, and your state has been for some time, urging us forward. "
Former Maryland Governor Martin O' Malley
Civic Snapshot
VICA's Civic Snapshot
Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin, California State Controller Betty Yee, and VICA President Stuart Waldman at VICA's Civic Snapshot.
This week, VICA hosted the Civic Snapshot presented by Grant Thornton and featuring former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin, and California State Controller Betty Yee.

Former Governor O'Malley updated VICA on his work with Grant Thornton, as well as predictions for the road ahead in politics, government, and the United States as a whole. State Controller Betty Yee provided insight into the State's reliance on income tax and the vulnerabilities this causes, but also explained that California is in a better position than expected after a year of impermanent solutions to our economic crisis. Finally, City Controller Ron Galperin explained that as we see various sectors reopening, the government will be required to provide more equitable access and be more responsive.

Then, Former Governor Martin O'Malley led a Q&A session with our two guests. Questions included thoughts on the exodus of Californians to other states with lower taxes on business and development. In response, City Controller Ron Galperin said, "The other thing that I think we need to look at is not so much the taxes that are paid by businesses, but about how we go about regulating. [. . .] If we find ways to ease some of the regulatory burdens or at least simplify them, that is going to help just as much, if not significantly more, than what taxes they may pay."

Overall, the Civic Snapshot was an informative and fun event! Thank you so much to the presenting sponsor, Grant Thornton, as well as all of the VICA members who were in attendance.
VICA Welcomes Our New Members
VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members
Platinum Member:
Bronze Member:
Upcoming Events
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. 
Contact Shauna Carter for additional details. | 805.558.0731
The Week Ahead
Transportation Committee Meeting
Tuesday, March 9th
9 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Healthcare Committee Meeting
Thursday, March 11th
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Save the Date
VICA's March Advocacy Day
Tuesday, March 16th
Online Video Conference
Almost SOLD OUT!
Government Affairs Committee Meeting
Sponsored by Amazon
Wednesday, March 17th
9 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Extraordinary Women in Leadership Breakfast
Friday, March 19th
8:30 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
VICA Advocacy
Hazard Pay Ordinances Approved in Los Angeles
This week, VICA provided more comments to the Los Angeles City Council against the second reading and approval of new Hazard Pay Ordinances. Despite VICA's ongoing advocacy efforts, the Los Angeles City Council rushed these damaging ordinances through the approval process, ignoring warnings from the Chief Legislative Analyst that these policies could cause multiple unintended consequences.

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

As a result of similar Hazard Pay ordinances by the Long Beach City Council, the Kroger Company announced the permanent closure of 25 percent of its stores in Long Beach. Los Angeles could see a similar fate now that Los Angeles has approved this Hazard Pay ordinance.
Voicing Concerns About the Expansion of Fire District 1
VICA expressed concern to the Los Angeles City Council Public Safety Committee this week regarding the expansion of Fire District 1 to add regulations to the construction of multifamily units. While VICA understands that wildfires pose a devastating risk, our current wood structural design uses state-of-the-art engineering data, technology, and standard for wood products to ensure they are safe and have substantial fire resistance. Wood is already required to be treated with fire retardant chemicals and wrapped into fire resistant drywalls when used. VICA has been a strong advocate for solutions that address our city's housing crisis, and this policy could counter construction efforts and negatively impact housing production at all income levels. VICA urged the committee to consider the costs and impacts that this motion would have on construction throughout Los Angeles. The motion was passed, but VICA will continue to work with the City Council to oppose any new, burdensome, and unnecessary regulations on housing construction.
Media Mentions
Hot News
School Reopening
Governor Newsom has signed a $6.6 billion plan that provides incentive funding for school districts across the state to reopen classrooms for young students.

The US economy gained 379,000 jobs in February, indicating that the labor market is finally showing signs of recovery after the COVID-19 crisis.

Seven counties in California, including San Francisco, have moved to the red tier, a less restrictive tier in the COVID-19 reopening plan.
Los Angeles has warned against spring break travel as the county nears the requirement for guideline leniency, saying that progress can be easily reversed.

Citing concerns about budget constraints, LA County has announced that it will not expand Project Roomkey, a program that shelters the homeless in hotels.

Vaccine Rollout
The State of California has announced that it will allocate 40% of available vaccines to residents of disadvantaged communities to speed up reopening plans.
Member Spotlight
Robin Choi
Wells Fargo
Throughout Robin Choi's 16-year career at Wells Fargo, he has held a number of positions, including personal banker, branch manager and sales development consultant. In 2011, he moved to the east coast where—in the span of three years—he became the area president for the Greater Philadelphia/Delaware-South District. He is currently the region bank president for Northeast Los Angeles, overseeing more than 65 branches and 1,200 banking professionals.

He loves to fish and is always looking forward to the next fishing trip.

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?  
Wells Fargo has a long-standing partnership with VICA that has allowed us to champion for small business owners in the region. Together we have worked together to strengthen our local economy and continue to create opportunities for local business owners.

If you were to share an experience about VICA, what would that be? 
I appreciate this forum that educates the larger community at advocating for the pressing issues in the San Fernando Valley business community.

What do you believe to be the greatest accomplishment VICA has achieved? 
VICA had created long-term economic growth and improved the quality of life for communities in the San Fernando Valley.

What was your organizations and/or your greatest accomplishment in 2020? 
At Wells Fargo, we understand that our small businesses play a vital role in our economy. In July 2020, Wells Fargo launched the Open for Business Fund by donating all fees generated through our participation in the first round of PPP – approximately $400 million. This small business recovery effort is creating opportunities for near-term access to capital and technical expertise, and addresses the road ahead to meaningful economic recovery, especially for Black/African American, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American entrepreneurs among other minority business owners. Through December 31, 2020, the Open for Business Fund has deployed more than $84 million in philanthropic capital to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), helping an estimated 16,000 struggling minority-owned small businesses and helping to keep in place 50,000 jobs.

Can you share what VICA has meant for you and your business during COVID? 
As a business leader in San Fernando Valley, my team and I are committed to the success of small businesses and our communities, just as VICA has been. During these unprecedented times, VICA continues to be actively engaged in programming and advocating for our local business community.

> 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
Member Messages
The 21st Century Social Impact Strategies for Global Leadership program is normally offered at $140 per person, but as a friend of Saybrook University, VICA members can enroll with the following discounts. See registration dates noted below for discount options:

• March 1 – March 14 – 75% discounted rate ($30)
• March 15 – March 28 - $50% discounted rate ($60)
• March 29 – Regular rate (as posted)

Please contact Tom Hayashi for more information
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.