VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
Friday, December 18
In This Issue
  • Quote of the Week
  • Holiday Gift Drive
  • Members
  • VICA Advocacy
  • Bank of America Student Leaders Program: Apply Today!
  • Hot News
  • Member Spotlight
  • Media Mentions
  • 2021 Government Handbook
"T'was a month before Christmas, And all through the town
People wore masks, That covered their frown.

The frown had begun, Way back in the Spring,
When a global pandemic, Changed everything

As the world entered lockdown, To flatten the curve,
The economy halted, And folks lost their nerve.

It's true that this year, Has had sadness a plenty
We'll never forget, The year 2020.

And just 'round the corner, The holiday season,
But why be merry? Is there even one reason?

To decorate the house, And put up the tree,
Who will see it? No one but me.

But I gather the ribbon, The garland and bows,
As I play those old carols, My happiness grows.

Christmas is not cancelled, And neither is hope.
If we lean on each other, I kn0w we can cope.
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The spirit of giving is strong this time of the year, and VICA members are doing all they can to make sure that everyone can have a happy holiday season even with the current crisis.

This week, VICA member Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City made a large donation of hygiene and wellness items to Los Angeles Family Housing, just one example of our San Fernando Valley businesses helping those in need in our community.

If you or your organization have the ability, please consider donating to VICA's Holiday Gift Drive, which helps local non-profits in our community!
Members
VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members
Platinum Member:
VICA Advocacy
Action Alert: S. 4421 TREAT Act
VICA strongly supports S. 4421 (Murphy), the Temporary Reciprocity to Ensure Access to Treatment (TREAT) Act, which will provide temporary licensing reciprocity across state lines to medical practitioners. The TREAT Act is crucial to ensure that our health system is capable of handling national emergencies both now and in the future, and VICA needs you to voice your support to Congress!

The COVID-19 Public Health Crisis has shown that access to health care is crucial to the welfare and economy of our nation. The TREAT Act would allow healthcare professionals to bypass lengthy license requests while still adhering to safety measures. In doing so, the TREAT Act expands possibilities for treatment and provides important flexibility to accessing safe and timely health care in national emergencies.

The United States faces an unprecedented path forward from the COVID-19 crisis and allowing temporary licensing reciprocity for health care professionals will not only play an important role in our current recovery but will also help us prepare for future crises.
Bank of America 2021 Student Leaders Program: Applications Now Open!
Since 2004, the Bank of America Student Leaders Program has recognized thousands of exemplary high school juniors and seniors who have a passion for improving their communities. The program helps students gain a greater understanding of how nonprofits create impact in the community and helps develop students as the next generation of community leaders As a Student Leader, students will:

Word as a paid intern at a local nonprofit for 8 weeks. This internship is designed to provide opportunities for the students to develop and apply leadership skills through hands-on work experience, while raising their awareness of community issues addressed by the host organization.

Attend the week-long Student Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. The week-long, all-expense paid Student Leaders Summit will be held from July 12-17, 2021. Conducted in Partnership with the Close Up Foundation, the Summit introduces students to aspects of civic, social, and business leadership and provides them with knowledge and skills they will use throughout their life to create positive community change.

If you know any students that may be interested in this program, please spread the word! Students can apply for the program by going to www.bankofamerica.com/studentleaders.

For more information about the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.
Hot News
COVID-19
The number of patients admitted with COVID-19 in LA County has ballooned to 5,100 as Southern California reaches 0% ICU capacity.

Housing Market
Southern California home sales are up and prices have risen 11%, the fourth consecutive month of double digit increases.

Prisons
One in every five state and federal prisoners in the United States has tested positive for COVID-19, a rate four times higher than the general population.

Vaccine
A second vaccine by Moderna has been recommended by a CDC advisory panel for FDA emergency use approval, and is expected to be approved.
Education
Several University of California chancellors have called for tuition increases for the Fall of 2022 amid COVID-19 budget constraints.

City of Los Angeles
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is quarantining and working from home after his daughter tested positive for COVID-19. Garcetti is currently testing negative.

Shutdowns
Unions representing teachers, nurses, healthcare, grocery, and hotel employees are calling for a strict one month shutdown in January for Los Angeles County.

Business Closures
Fox & Hounds Daily, a conservative political website that has been operating in the San Fernando Valley for 12 years, is closing its site this week.
Member Spotlight
David Meza - SoCalGas
As a Public Affairs Manager, David represents SoCalGas from Downtown to the San Fernando Valley as a liaison to local government and serves as a spokesperson to the public and media. Previously, he served four years analyzing legislation as a representative and spokesperson for Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez Office and State Senator Gilbert Cedillo. Prior to joining the Legislature, he served as Education Policy Coordinator for the division on education policy issues at the L.A. Chamber. David graduated from Chapman University with an MBA.

When asked a few questions about VICA and his experiences he shared these thoughts with us:

Tell us about your experience with VICA, how has VICA been valuable for you? 
Eye opening to say the least. I have worked across California and have never worked with such an influential group at the business and political level. VICA always steps up for us when we needed them the most.  

If you were to tell a peer or friend about VICA, what would be your sales pitch? 
They deliver tangible results and will not bend to political pressure.  

What is your favorite experience or memory with VICA?
The California Public Utilities Commission and the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources, hosted a townhall to announce the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon facility was safe enough to refill with natural gas to help California meet its energy needs. However, hundreds of angry protestors disrupted the event as Stuart was about to deliver public comment. Stuart was harassed by protestors, yet, stood strong in the face of adversity and delivered his message as to the importance of the re-opening of Aliso Canyon in order to supply the energy demand businesses need to keep California’s economy strong.  

How has your company made commitments or adjustments to support employees and/or the community during the COVID-19 pandemic? 
SoCalGas and the Sempra Energy family of companies want to do everything we can to support our community during this time, especially the most vulnerable. Since March 17, SoCalGas has donated more than $2.9 million to nonprofit organizations throughout our service area to support the region's workforce, feed the hungry, provide bill assistance to customers most affected by COVID-19 and to assist with COVID-19 programs and services throughout our service territory. Together, the Sempra Energy family of companies – including our sister California utility San Diego Gas and Electric and the Sempra Energy Foundation – are stepping up with $13.8 million of donations to those in need during this crisis. Locally, SoCalGas’ efforts will aim to help those in our community that might have been laid off and those unable to feed themselves and their families during this time. We are also focusing support on our customers who may be facing hardships through an existing program managed by the United Way that helps families in need pay for their utility bills. SoCalGas is also supporting the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region in their efforts to serve meals to LAUSD students affected by school closures, and the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles COVID-19 fund, which is supporting healthcare workers and providing equipment needs to first responders. These represent just a few of the organizations SoCalGas is supporting. By providing funding to several other outstanding nonprofit organizations, we're helping deliver critical services to help our neighbors who need it most. Another way that we are providing financial support to our customers in need during this time is through the CARE program. The CARE program offers a 20 percent discount to customers who qualify based on their household income or participation in a public assistance program. Customers who have recently become unemployed or who are currently facing financial hardship are encouraged to apply for the program or one of our other assistance programs. Customers can simply apply online at socalcas.com/CARE or call 1-800-427-2200. It only takes a few minutes to apply and customers will find out if they qualify immediately. 
Media Mentions
Spectrum News (PW: insidetheissues) | December 16
2021 Government Handbook
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.
ABOUT VICA
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.
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