March 20, 2020

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
VICA will remain up and running. In light of Los Angeles County closures, VICA staff have promptly set up an infrastructure to continue our work remotely. VICA will continue fighting for the Valley and the business community as we face uncertain times.
In This Issue
" Working together, I am confident that we can meet this moment and take the necessary and immediate steps to address our economic and societal needs as we continue to address - and begin to recover from - this unprecedented crisis."
Governor Gavin Newsom on announcing a statewide "Stay at Home" order. 

Media Mentions

Coronavirus Effect
March 16

Members 
__________________

VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members 

Platinum Member

(2001)
__________________

McDonald's
(2011)

The Week Ahead

Ambassador Committee
Tuesday, March 24
8:30 to 10 a.m.
Webex Video Conference
Click  here to RSVP
______________________
Save the Date

Sacramento Advocacy Day
Wednesday, April 1
CANCELLED

Not-For-Profit Committee
Sponsored by Pacific Federal
Thursday, April 2
8:30 to 10 a.m.
Webex Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Land Use Committee
Sponsored by The Garland
Tuesday, April 14
8 to 9:30 a.m.
Webex Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Government Affairs Committee
Wednesday, April 15
8:30 to 10 a.m.
Webex Video Conference
Click here to RSVP


Hot Issues 

Economy
According to a report by the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the U.S. has entered a recession, a first in 11 years. Slow downs in the tourism sector and in global trade are expected to impact California the most.

Public Health
Carnival offered federal and state governments the use of its cruise ships as temporary hospitals. Carnival only seeks reimbursement for essential costs. 

Transportation
Metro announced that there are no plans to stop operations. Metro has increased the cleaning regimes in buses, trains and facilities. Rider requirements for Metro parking passes are waived for the rest of March and all of April.

Education
Governor Gavin Newsom told Californians to expect schools to remain closed for the remainder of the academic year until summer. The Governor also announced efforts to receive a federal waiver from state standardized testing for this year.

Weather Conditions
Weeks of March rains across Southern California have eased earlier projections of drought conditions in the state. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, only 75 percent of California is considered to be abnormally dry, down from 78 percent earlier in the month.

Environment
The recent slump in travel and economic activity is expected to decrease greenhouse gas emissions this year. City of Los Angeles officials stated that they will continue to pursue their environmental goals.

Automakers
U.S. automakers are looking at ways to convert their plans to manufacture medical equipment such as ventilators. President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, which authorizes the White House to compel such plant conversions should they wish.



Emergency Measures in Response to COVID-19 Recap
As federal, state and local decisionmakers continue to work on addressing the current public health crisis, VICA is monitoring their actions to keep our members up-to-date on the situation.

Federal Level
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Trump administration has declared a  State of National Emergency. This declaration makes available $42 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster fund to various state governments.

Congress has voted to pass a legislative response package called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201 ). The bill includes provisions for more state flexibility in unemployment benefits, paid sick leave, family and medical leave for employees affected directly or indirectly  by the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 18, President Donald Trump signed the bill into law. 

On March 18, the U.S. Senate released a $1 trillion economic stimulus package bill, which includes a plan to give checks for cash payments directly to American families. This package includes provisions for $1,200 for every adult in a family, $500 for every child, and caps eligibility for receiving checks to individuals with an annual income of $99,000 or higher. 

The Internal Revenue Service extended the deadline for income tax payments to July 15. The deadline for filing tax returns is still April 15, however eligible taxpayers may request a six-month extension. 

State Level 
The California State Legislature limited their meetings to focus on a quick response to the COVID-19 outbreak in California. In response to the Governor's declaration of a state of emergency on March 4, the Legislature quickly passed Senate Bill 89, which provides $1 billion for emergency funding, and Senate Bill 117, which frees up $100 million available to aid local education agencies. Governor Gavin Newsom signed both bills on March 17. The State Legislature will adjourn from March 20 to April 13.

In addition to the initial declaration of a state of emergency, Governor Newsom issued Executive Orders which guarantee state funding for affected schools, and puts a halt to evictions, foreclosures and utility shut-offs. The Governor also suspended standardized testing for schools this year, authorized $150 million in emergency funding to aid Californians experiencing homelessness, and requested $1 billion in federal aid.

On March 19, Governor Newsom announced a statewide "Stay at Home" order, requiring non-essential businesses; such as dine-in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms, convention centers, etc.; to close until further notice. Essential businesses that can maintain continuity in operations are grocery stores, gas stations, medical facilities, pharmacies, banks and laundromats. 

Local Level
On March 15, Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an  emergency order  to temporarily close all bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, entertainment venues, bowling alleys, arcades, gyms and fitness centers in the City of Los Angeles until March 31. In addition, restaurants were prohibited from serving food to dine-in customers.  The Mayor has ordered a moratorium on evictions during this local emergency period if the tenant can prove an inability to pay rent because of circumstances related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Mayor also relaxed parking enforcement for the next two weeks with a possible extension to three weeks

Mayor Garcetti also announced that 42 recreation centers will be converted into temporary housing for residents experiencing homelessness.

On March 17, the Los Angeles City Council introduced 55 emergency measures to provide relief and slow the spread of COVID-19. Among these motions were a moratorium on street vending, an emergency 14-day paid sick leave program, 24-hour public park restroom access, and emergency childcare centers for the children of first responders.

On March 19, the City and County of Los Angeles announced a "Safer at Home" order, which went into effect today. The order requires non-essential businesses to close and prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people in an enclosed space. The order will remain in effect for one month.

ADDITIONAL COPIES ARE NOW AVAILABLE!

Directory compiled through January 2020. Data in this directory is subject to change. If you are interested in 10 or more copies,  click here to fill out the order form.

CONTACT US TO RESERVE YOUR 2021 AD SPACE EARLY!

VICA Continues Business as "Usual"
VICA Government Affairs Committee Virtual Meeting

This week, VICA continued business as "usual" with a successful transition to a virtual platform where we held our first ever VICA committee meeting via video conference call. We had the pleasure of being joined by Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, California State Senator Henry Stern and Allison Dembeck with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as over 55 of our members and partners. The committee covered a number of pressing issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the impacts its had on the San Fernando Valley and business community, as well as legislation introduced and approved to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield  o pened by laying out the challenges COVID-19 has presented to the San Fernando Valley, stating that " 20% of Valley residents have lost jobs or pay due to the crisis, and a 40% drop in cargo containers are coming to Los Angeles. " The number one priority for the Councilmember and City is the health and welfare of our community; keeping the economy going is a very close second.  Councilmember Blumenfield  stated that in this rapidly changing landscape  "continuous information is being shared through social media and online resources."   Blumenfield answered questions regarding remote connectivity and expansion support, drive thru testing options and locations, as well as concerns surrounding the closure of public counters. In response to these concerns,  Councilmember Blumenfield   expressed his support to achieve optimal community well-being and continues to work with city and state officials.
Senator Henry Stern joined the meeting with updates to share that Sacramento has continued business prior to recess and is very active. He stated, " we are trying to keep the economy moving in anyway we can". He shared that there are continued conversations surrounding efforts for SB 82 and SB 117. The legislature has authorized remote strategies to ensure that legislation can quickly reconvene. Regarding COVID-19, Senator Stern stated that it is "important to get broad community testing", and he is looking to get state and fiscal resources to address this. The senate has organized themselves into strike teams, Senator Stern is serving to support senior homes and wellness checks. He closed by stating, " the more that VICA and it's delegation can inventory needs, the more we can shape the outcomes and prevent and negative hits in our area. The Valley is a hot spot, and the more we can work together to establish working groups and regular check-in's the better we will be"
Allison Dembeck Aitken, Executive Director of Congressional & Public Affairs with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce joined the meeting to share updates on legislation moving at the federal level. Legislation included, a Senate bill to related to foreign intelligence, emergency funding bills, SNAP provisions, senate task forces: small business liquidity, airlines assistance, money market and more. The Senate is moving on issues such as paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave, tax credits and sick leave. Aitken also talked about the 6 phase approach for moving legislation, saying "the U.S. Chamber has outlined a whole host of recommendations and guidelines on what should be done for paid benefits."  The U.S. Chamber is and will remain in close conversations with Congress to help shape legislation that works for businesses and workers. 

Available Resources:
VICA Urges County Supervisors to Cancel Hearing on Developer Arts Fee
VICA applauds the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and their tireless efforts to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and providing relief to residents and businesses. Currently, a Board hearing regarding the residential developer art fee is still scheduled for April 7. During these unpredictable times, VICA urges the Board to abandon the implementation of a county arts fee and to officially cancel the April 7 hearing. We believe that protecting the public's health and addressing the economic impact of the outbreak on residents should is of critical importance. Pursuing a county arts fee at this time would surely negatively impact residents across the county. VICA is committed to working with the Board of Supervisors to help keep housing affordable and our communities safe, and will fully support the County Health Department's directives and ensure full cooperation from our members. 

Committee Meetings
Government Affairs Committee (3/18)

In addition to hearing from Councilmember Blumenfield, State Senator Stern and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the committee recommended to: 

  • Support AB 2058 (Gabriel) - the Affordable Housing Preservation Tax Credit;
  • Support SB 891 (Chang) - California State Lottery Revenue Allocation;
  • Oppose AB 1905 (Chiu) - Housing and Homelessness Response Fund: Mortgage Interest Deduction; and
  • Oppose AB 2389 (C. Garcia) - Adult Performers Employment Rights.
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 cathy@vica.com  or 
call (818) 817-0545.