April 17, 2020

VICA continues to fight for the  business community and Valley residents as we face uncertain times.
In This Issue
" VICA is a very important organization to me, especially right now. Because I know small details make a difference on whether businesses have to shut their doors."

- Councilmember John Lee during VICA's Government Affairs Committee Meeting

Media Mentions

Not Everyone Can Work from Home
April 13

L.A. County Moves to Protect Delivery Workers
April 14

L.A. Was Already Facing Financial Troubles. Then Came the Coronavirus Outbreak
April 16


VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members 

Premier Partner


Elevate Public Affairs

San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center

Set Decorators Society of America

The Week Ahead

VICA After Dark with Controller Ron Galperin
Thursday, April 23
4 to 6 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click  here to RSVP

Newsmaker Connection with Councilmember David Ryu
Friday, April 24
10 to 11:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click  here to RSVP

Save the Date

Newsmaker Connection with LAUSD Board Member Nick Melvoin
Tuesday, April 28
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Labor and Employment Committee
Sponsored by Hilton Universal City
Wednesday, May 6
8:30 to 10 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Education Committee
Thursday, May 7
8:30 to 10 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Transportation Committee
Sponsored by The Garland
Tuesday, May 12
8 to 10 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

Hot Issues 

Executive Order on Sick Leave
On Thursday, Governor
 Newsom  announced that California food and grocery workers will receive two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave that is intended to cover shortages in the federal government's paid sick leave legislation.

Reopening Roadmap
Governor Gavin Newsom revealed a roadmap outlining the six critical indicators that will inform future decisions on modifying California's stay-at-home order. Click here for more information on the roadmap and the six indicators.

Mayor Eric Garcetti also unveiled the ' Five Pillars' that will also inform City decisions on reopening once the pandemic subsides. Mayor Garcetti stated that he does not foresee large public events to come back until at least 2021.

State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara ordered insurance companies to adjust premiums for the months of March and April because of lower risks tied to the stay at home orders. 

Paycheck Protection Loans
Officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that all $349 billion allocated for the Paycheck Protection Program has been lent and that the agency will no longer take any applications. The SBA is requesting Congress increase funding to the program.

Angeleno Card
From Tuesday to Thursday, the HCIDLA opened up applications for eligible Los Angeles residents to receive prepaid debit cards of up to $1,500 to provide economic relief during ongoing crisis.

Metro announced changes coming to its bus and rail schedules to take into account the decrease in transit ridership due to the pandemic. Beginning on April 19, Metro will operate on a modified Sunday schedule for all days of the week.

Gaspar Insurance Leads VICA University Webinar on Business COVID-19 Concerns and Other Issues

This week, VICA held a Virtual VICA University where we heard from Gaspar Insurance Services, Inc. on a variety of topics to review how to ensure the protection of your business and how to make sure you ask the right questions as a business owner. The attendees learned a great deal with topics covering Business Interruption Coverage, Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI), Hired and Non-Hired Exposures, Workers Compensation Claims, Impacts of AB5, Discrimination Claims, as well as Insurance Programs and Incentives available. In closing, Tim Gaspar mentioned "you have to make sure you ask the right questions, to ensure you have the right coverage."

Thank you to Gaspar Insurance Services CEO Tim Gaspar and Senior Business Consultant Justin Grooms for presenting. We truly appreciate your partnership.
The South Bay's Internet Problem
In 2019, VICA opposed the allocation of $4.4 million of Measure M funding for the Fiberoptic Network Project in the South Bay. Despite there being zero transportation nexus and despite the concerns that were raised by stakeholders, the Metro Board authorized Measure M dollars for the project.  Yesterday, the Metro Executive Management Committee considered and moved forward with a request by the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (COG) for an additional $2.5 million to fund th Fiberoptic Network Project. Again,  VICA voiced opposition and urged Metro to deny the request as it would do nothing to improve transportation in our region and it is not what voters supported when they approved Measure M. We are hugely disappointed that this has moved forward and hope that the Board will realize this not what Measure M funding should be spent on. 

4 to 6 p.m.
Via Video Conference Call

Ron Galperin
Los Angeles City Controller

Join the VICA After Dark mixer and v irtually mingle with other prominent business leaders from the community!

Board of Supervisors Move Forward With Eviction Moratorium Expansion
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors moved forward with a motion to expand the eviction moratorium for the County. VICA submitted a letter and provided comments to the Board of Supervisors, expressing concerns an eviction moratorium would have on smaller landlords and property owners. VICA requested:

  • The deferral period of rent repayment to remain six months. 
  • Documentation be required to show a tenant's loss of income is related to COVID-19.
  • The eviction moratorium only apply to unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County instead of all 88 cities in the County. 
The Board's decision to move forward with the eviction moratorium is going to make it difficult for owners and operators to pay their mortgages and other bills in order to continue operating. Owners will be forced to make tough decisions regarding maintenance issues and staffing which impacts the livelihoods of those who service the properties. 
VICA Joins Coalition Letter for Stronger Protections for Business During Extraordinary Times
VICA joined a coalition requesting Governor Newsom for assistance and liability protections for businesses working in critical industry sectors. In the midst of this unprecedented crisis in our nation's history, many businesses, especially those providing critical services, have stepped up in response to this pandemic. Nevertheless, these businesses face threats from opportunistic lawsuits and private rights of action. Either by executive order or through urgency legislation, we believe the Governor could provide critical businesses the protections and certainty needed to continue serving their communities and see through this crisis.

10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Via Online Video Conference

David Ryu
Los Angeles City Councilmember

Proposed Tax Credit Will Help Preserve Affordable Housing Statewide
VICA supports Assembly Bill 2058 (Gabriel), which would create a $500 million Affordable Housing Preservation Tax Credit program to preserve existing affordable apartment properties and mobile-home parks. 1.4 million California households are in desperate need of affordable housing. AB 2058 would incentivize owners of affordable housing properties to keep units affordable, rather than converting them to market rate rents when current subsidies or deed restrictions expire. It would prevent 34,554 at-risk affordable units from converting into market rates, especially over 8,500 currently income-restricted apartments in Los Angeles. It would also guarantee the current tenants of these affordable units that they would not be priced out of their homes and keep vacant units affordable to lower-income families. 

VICA Member Spotlight: Mark D. Davis
Mark D. Davis serves on both the VICA Executive Committee and the VICA Board of Directors.

Mark Davis is the President & CEO of Sun Hill Properties, which includes the Hilton Universal. Mark has over 40 year of experience in the hospitality industry, with over 57 trips to China (equivalent to three one-way trips to the Moon), and has 12 grandchildren. He is a dedicated business and family man.

Tell us about your experience with VICA, how has VICA been valuable for you?
VICA provides the opportunity to engage with some of the smartest minds in business. There is always someone that has experienced or studied most any challenge facing modern economics in a highly politicized environment. The diversity and perspective available to any member engaging to understand the dynamics for making a decision is invaluable. There is simply no other single resource greater due to the vast coverage of business minds in the Valley with a broad spectrum of valuable insight.

If you were to tell a peer or friend about VICA, what would be your sales pitch?
If you are a business enterprise, profit or non-profit alike, and not involved in VICA you are simply not fulfilling the potential of your professional impact to your company as well as what you can give back to the community. VICA is both a Pay it Forward and Get Paid beneficial organization. Get involved, get engaged, participate. You owe it to yourself, your team members and your community.  Together we make it a better place for everyone.

What is your favorite experience or memory with VICA?
There are many faves, but to name a couple: the annual fire side chats, luncheons with Stuart to discuss our business and how VICA can make things better. Stuart is a listener and he makes you feel comfortable and vital. Secondly, the after hours are a great time to just get to know the movers and shakers of the Valley. To engage in friendly discussions and sometimes exchange political view points, however yet to convert a Democrat!

Has your company made commitments or taken action to support employees and/or the community during the COVID-19 pandemic? 
Upon return from my January trip to China, last week of the month, the early announcement came warning us of the inevitable movie that was about to play out globally. From my past experience managing potential infectious threats in the industry, I implemented immediate high focused sanitation protocol on all touch points front and back of house, hand washing, etc. 

Thankfully, to date we remain healthy with no reported impact to our team or guests. Of course like many, we reduced operating and leadership staff as the occupancy numbers declined rapidly with the closing of Universal Studios Theme Park and later City Walk. In lieu of just cutting hours, we reduced full days so the team members would qualify for UI benefits. Additionally, we are covering health care for our participating team members that are on lay off during this time, so they don't have to worry about health care coverage. 

At our flag ship property, Hilton Universal, we support 3 other hotels and need to keep payroll and bills paid as well as general management support to all. Last Friday we sponsored a Care Package "drive-by pick up" at Hilton with hygiene products and some basic food pantry items to help our families. Our HR team has provided continued support and guidance to assist laid off team members apply for the Federal and State assistance available. 

I am so proud and honored to work with such a great team of professionals in the industry who are well trained and responsive to the needs of our team members and guests. It is always in challenging moments that you find who the loyal leaders and team members are who put others first and own it. Thankfully, I am not surprised at all to find that our leadership team answered the call as well as our capable and loyal team mates. I am thankful as well that our ownership provides the support and understanding of their important role while we all look forward to better times and they will come. This too shall pass is our hope and prayer with confidence that we will all look back on this as exactly what it was, an unprecedented event in our lifetime. We will persevere together and be stronger on the other side of this valley, no pun intended.

10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Via Online Video Conference

Nick Melvoin
LAUSD Board Member

Committee Meetings
Land Use Committee (4/14)
Sponsored by The Garland
  • Lisa Webber of the Los Angeles Department of City Planning presented on changes made by the Department in Response to COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Catherine Nuezca Gaba and Charmie Huynh presented on changes by the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety to address COVID-19 concerns.
  • HCIDLA provided updates regarding the Ellis Act and Los Angeles Eviction Moratorium.
  • The Committee recommended a "work with author" position on SB 902 (Wiener) the Neighborhood Multifamily Project: Use By Right/Density.
  • The Committee recommended to support AB 1484, AB 3147 and AB 3148, bills which would lower the cost of impact fees for new developments.
Government Affairs Committee (4/15)
Sponsored by Dolphin Group and Rodriguez Strategies
  • Allison Dembeck, Executive Director of Congressional and Public Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, presented on provisions of the CARES Act intended to provide aid and relief for businesses nationwide.
  • Los Angeles City Councilmember John Lee updated the committee on actions the City Council has taken in response to COVID-19, and the importance of giving businesses a voice during this health and economic crisis.
  • The Committee recommended to support and to work with the author on SB 1333 (Durazo) the Homeless Hiring Tax Credit.
  • The Committee recommended to support SB 968 (Allen/Hertzberg) to provide all Los Angeles County voters Vote-by-Mail ballots.
Member Messages:
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