VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
Friday, January 15
In This Issue
  • Quote of the Week
  • Recap: Newsmaker Connection
  • Members
  • Upcoming Events
  • VICA Advocacy: Action Alerts
  • Hot News
  • Member Spotlight
  • Media Mentions
  • 2021 Government Handbook
  • Committee Recap
  • Member Messages
"Let's be clear: those who run America's small businesses aren't just business leaders, they're civic leaders and community leaders. They're the ones who sponsor Little League games, scholarships, and all kinds of local causes and activities.

We must do right by them."
Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris
Newsmaker Connection with LAPD Chief Michel Moore
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore addresses members at VICA's Newsmaker Connection.
VICA welcomed Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore to our Virtual Newsmaker Connection this week. Chief Moore spoke on important issues, including public safety, impending budget cuts and the resurgence of violent crime in our neighborhoods.

Chief Moore expressed concern with the hundreds of sworn officers and civilian employees the department will need to lay off in 2021 amid the highest unemployment rates in history. Especially when these jobs require millions of dollars and many years of investment in training, he shared that the workforce reduction would be crippling to the department.

When asked what businesses can be doing about this public safety crisis, Chief Moore said, " to bring voice to this - as a business, as a stakeholder, as a community member, as an investor." He shared and urged that we need to make sure our local, state and even federal officials know pubic safety and mental health professionals are necessary and that this is not just a community concern, but a business concern as well.

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, State Farm, for making this Newsmaker Connection with Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore possible.
VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members
Upcoming Events
Join VICA for a special
VICA After Dark with
Suzette Valladares
38th Assembly District

January 19, 2021
Virtual meeting at 4 p.m.
Register today!

Assemblywoman Valladares grew up in the San Fernando Valley, the granddaughter of a farmworker who worked alongside Cesar Chavez in the vineyards near Bakersfield. She was blessed with loving parents who valued education, family and community responsibility.

After college, she went to work as a district representative for former local Congressman Buck McKeon. During that time she was honored as a “SCV 40 under Forty” by the Santa Clarita Business Journal. In 2012, Suzette left the public sector and became Executive Director of Southern California Autism Speaks. Her career is based on serving others, with a passion for early childhood education and advocacy.
Bringing Sacramento to you!

January 26, 2021

VICA’s regular advocacy trips to the state capitol are crucial to ensuring the voice of the business community is heard by legislators. As we are staying home we want to still offer our Advocacy trips to you virtually.

This member-only Advocacy Day will allow direct interaction with state elected officials and create the freedom for discussion on issues are vital to our business community.

$50/ Member
Space is limited: Only 12 slots
(registration must be paid to hold your space)

Sacramento Advocacy Trips are reserved for VICA members.

The Week Ahead
Aviation Committee Meeting
Tuesday, January 19
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference

Government Affairs Committee Meeting
Wednesday, January 20
Noon to 2 p.m.
Online Video Conference
VICA After Dark with Assemblymember Valladares
Tuesday, January 19
4 to 6 p.m.
Online Video Conference

Not-For-Profit Committee Meeting
Thursday, January 21
8:30 to 10 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Save the Date
VICA's 1st Advocacy Day Trip of 2021
Tuesday, January 26
Online Video Conference
Only 12 Spots Available - almost sold out!
Ambassadors Committee Meeting
Thursday, January 26 - Postponed
Rescheduled to February 23rd
10 to 11a.m.
Online Video Conference
VICA Advocacy
Fighting for Flexible Work Scheduling
VICA supports Assembly Bill 230 (Voepel), which would allow non-exempt employees to request a flexible work schedule of up to 10 hours per day within a 40 hour workweek, without employer obligation to pay overtime compensation.

VICA has been advocating for flexible scheduling for years because of the positive impacts on both employers and employees. AB 230 will provide employers with the ability to meet employee demands without causing the undue financial burdens of overtime compensation. Further, many workplace physical distancing requirements will still be in place even after many return to work, and flexible scheduling will make it easier to have fewer employees in the office.

Flexible work scheduling will be imperative for a return to a new normal of physical distancing, transit distancing, and hybrid school schedules. Now more than ever, it is crucial to approve AB 230 and allow flexible scheduling.

VICA urges you let the California Legislature know to SUPPORT AB 230!
Pushing for Feasible Solutions to the COVID-19 Housing Crisis
VICA has urged the Legislature to find a workable and timely solution to the COVID-19 pandemic tenancy crisis. The best way to do this is to SUPPORT Senate Bill 3 (Caballero) and OPPOSE Assembly Bill 15 (Chiu). SB 3 is an extension of the nonpayment eviction bill, AB 3088 (Chiu, 2020) through March 31, which will allow sufficient time for discussions between all relevant parties. However, VICA opposes AB 15, which extends AB 3088 provisions for a year or longer without reexamining how the policies will affect tenants and property owners.

While we recognize certain provisions are needed to help tenants who are unable to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant extension of AB 3088 will not provide any relief to tenants or landlords to help cover the cost of rent due. Even with the necessary SB 3 extension, many landlords will have gone a year without collecting rental income, and therefore, any effort such as AB 15 to extend these provisions out further without adequate solutions will cause irreparable damage. Many property owners will be forced to sell their properties at a devalued price, begin to default on their bank loans, or even file for bankruptcy. These factors will further strain our state's housing market and any efforts towards economic recovery.

California faces a difficult path forward, and providing assistance to those who are facing financial hardships will play an important role in our recovery. However, extensions such as those proposed in AB 15 will only transfer the burdens of the pandemic to rental property owners.

For these reasons, VICA urges you to let the Legislature know to support SB 3, which will provide time for discussion of a feasible solution to our current tenancy crisis without damaging our economy with the extension proposed in AB 15.
Hot News
Vaccine Rollout
California is allowing residents 65 and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but there are not yet enough doses in LA County to vaccinate that group.

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner says that all students will need to be immunized before returning to campus once the vaccine is available to them.

Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered 1,000 National Guard troops to protect the State Capitol ahead of FBI warnings of violent protests on inauguration day.

US jobless claims rose this week, with the biggest weekly rise in unemployment claims since the pandemic started in March.
President-elect Joe Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion plan for the pandemic and economic crisis, including $440 billion for local governments and businesses.

LA Councilmember Kevin de Leon is set to propose a range of motions with the goal of creating 25,000 housing units for the homeless by 2025.

California Budget
The LA Board of Education has authorized litigation against the Governor's plan to reopen schools as well as to recover costs of providing meals in the community.

Theme Parks
Disneyland, closed for almost a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has ended its annual pass program, but they will be replaced with new membership options.
Member Spotlight
Christine Aghassi - Dolphin Group
Christine Aghassi began her career in Boston at a boutique public relations firm shortly after graduating from Emerson College. It was there she mastered the art of cutting stories out of actual newspapers, taping them to paper, copying them and faxing them to clients. She didn't have access to the Internet. That honor was bestowed on the Senior VP of Media who had a window office. "One day..." she imagined that she too could have the Internet at her desk. Fast forward 27 years and a lot has changed. Following more than a decade in ballot measure campaign management, Aghassi has transitioned to public affairs and she is now the owner of Dolphin Group Strategic Public Affairs where they often tackle complex political and policy issues for a diverse array of clients. Aghassi is still deeply connected to her New England roots as her parents still live north of Boston and it is where she met her now-husband, Jeff, who was working on the set of The Crucible. Fun Fact: Method actor Daniel Day-Lewis met his wife on the set too. A third couple from that film divorced, but 2 out 3 ain't bad.

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?  
As a strategic public affairs firm, Dolphin Group represents a wide array of clients in fields such as housing, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and education - all with differing goals and objectives. Our clients come to us to help them navigate the complex political and business landscape. VICA is a valuable resource for us and our clients because of its vast network and connections, its strong advocacy efforts, and its commitment to the community - and its members. 

  • If you were to share an experience with someone about VICA, what would that be? 
Not all chambers and business organizations are alike. It is important in this recovering economy that we prioritize how we spend our advocacy dollars. VICA is a one-stop shop for our needs. We get the networking with colleagues and influencers, we get personal attention for our issues and ideas and we get fun, engaging and informative events to attend.   

  • Share with us what you believe to be the greatest accomplishment VICA has achieved? 
This is an easy one...VICA and its staff and leadership have gone above and beyond through the pandemic to keep members informed and engaged. While policy wins are always an important measurement, this past year has really been about keeping people in touch with one another, sharing best practices, discussing concerns and ideas for recovery and for maintaining and expanding its presence in the policy sphere.   

  • What was your organizations and/or your greatest accomplishment in 2020? 
Can I skip this one? No? Well the answer is this: No layoffs, happy clients, and an optimistic outlook for the coming year. 

  • Can you share what VICA has meant for you and your business during COVID? 
No business can operate successfully with its head down. VICA has helped its members navigate a rapidly changing landscape, sharing access to resources and information. VICA is one of my favorite organizations for all the reasons above and because at the end of the day, I just really like the people and more than ever, that matters.  

> 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
Media Mentions
2021 Government Handbook
Committee Report
Transportation Committee (1/12)
Sponsored by The Garland

  • Mark Vallianatos, Executive Officer of Innovation at Metro's Office of Extraordinary Innovation, provided updates on the Metro COVID-19 Recovery Task Force.
  • Tham Nguyen, Senior Director of Metro's Office of Extraordinary Innovation, presented an overview of the Metro Traffic Reduction Study.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force (1/12)

  • Miles McPherson, author of The Third Option: Hope for a Racially Divided Nation presented on his six step diversity training approach mentioned in his book.
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.