March 27, 2020

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
" As a non-profit founder... I know non-profits are helpful because they are the ears on the ground, trusted members of our communities. We should encourage non-profits to contact their legislators and make some time to advocate for their communities."

Assemblymember Luz Rivas on the importance and role of Not-for-Profit Organizations.

Media Mentions

L.A. Council to Consider Making it More Difficult to Fire Employees Amid Coronavirus Crisis
Los Angeles Daily News
March 22

VICA President Stuart Waldman Speaks on Effects of Coronavirus on Local Businesses
March 23

Community Groups Alarmed After L.A. City Council Cancel Meetings for the Rest of March
March 23

L.A. Council Draws Heat for Canceling Meetings
March 23

VICA Voices Opposition to L.A. City Council Business Measures
March 23

L.A. City Council Wants to Run Businesses During Economic Crisis
March 23

VICA President Stuart Waldman Discusses How Employers are Coping with Economic Downturn
March 25

Coronavirus isn't an excuse to rush through far-reaching laws that hurt L.A.'s businesses
March 27

L.A. Council: Protect Businesses in Crisis
March 27


VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members 


The Week Ahead

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

Save the Date

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 

The U.S. Department of Labor said that more than 3 million have filed first-time unemployment claims last week. In California, about a million have applied for unemployment benefits for the month of March.

Public Health
The  Anheuser-Busch plant in Van Nuys, in partnership with the American Red Cross, will produce and distribute  hand sanitizes in response to shortages caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Public Health
On Wednesday, Los Angeles County started providing drive-through coronavirus tests to eligible residents who have registered online. The limited numbers of tests and testing sites have led to delays and long lines, however the County plans to make more testing sites available.

Metrolink has cut back services by 30 percent as ridership decline as a result of the pandemic, as well as state and local 'stay at home' orders. The new schedule will still maintain peak-time routes and make as many connections as possible available for riders.

Independent Contractors
The fallout caused by COVID-19 has sparked fresh debate over the merits of AB 5, which reclassified many independent contractors in California as employees, and whether or not such legislation is appropriate amidst an economic crisis.

Emergency Management
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will vote on March 31 to put County CEO Sachi Hamai in charge of the County's Emergency Management over County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

Historic $2 Trillion Stimulus Package Passed; New State and Local Measures
Federal Level
On March 25, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill aimed at providing financial relief to businesses and families heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The stimulus package includes a $377 billion small business loan program, a $500 billion liquidity fund for impacted corporations, $100 billion reserved for hospitals and $150 billion  provided to state and local governments. Additionally, the bill provides one-time payments of $1,200 to Americans with an annual income of up to $75,000, and increases the maximum unemployment benefits to $600 a week for four months. On March 27, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the stimulus bill, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump.

For more information on the economic stimulus bill, click here and here for summaries from the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations.

State Level 
On March 22, Governor Gavin Newsom successfully secured a Presidential Declaration of Major Disaster, guaranteeing much-needed federal resources to help California during this crisis. Throughout the week, the Newsom administration adopted emergency measures to mount a quick and effective response to the COVID-19 outbreak in California. These actions included the following:
Local Level
The City and County of Los Angeles expanded the original "Safer at Home" order. Over the weekend,  Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks closed park facilities and parking lots at beaches to prevent crowding in these locations. On March 26, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the closure of all outdoor sports facilities such as skate parks, tennis courts, baseball fields, basketball courts, etc. 

VICA Urges City Council Not to Tie the Hands of Businesses During Economic Crisis
Today, the Los Angeles City Council is holding a special Council meeting to vote on several urgency clauses, which means they will go into effect immediately. Included in the urgency clauses is a Right to Recall Ordinance. The proposed Right to Recall ordinance would present a number of additional challenges for businesses during this economic crisis, eliminating flexibility that businesses need to survive and ultimately preserve jobs and remain in their communities over the long term.

VICA has been on the frontline in the fight to protect businesses.
 Thank you to our businesses group partners for their partnership and for ensuring the business community's voice has heard loud and clear. 

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.


Support CEQA Exemptions for Emergency Shelters and Supportive Housing
house-icon-blue.gif VICA supports Assembly Bill 1907 (Santiago), which would grant CEQA exemptions for the construction of emergency shelters, supportive housing and affordable housing statewide until January 1, 2029. CEQA lawsuits are often burdensome and can take years to resolve, effectively stalling or blocking housing projects. A similar bill, AB 1197 (Santiago, 2019), exempted emergency shelters and supportive housing in Los Angeles from CEQA. Within two months of AB 1197's enactment, the City of Los Angeles quickly approved a 154-bed shelter in Venice, nine permanent supportive housing projects, and three other homeless shelters. The CEQA exemptions provided under AB 1197 were necessary to expedite the construction of desperately needed emergency shelters and supportive housing in Los Angeles. Today, the state faces a shortage of 1.4 million affordable homes, with approximately 150,000 Californians experiencing homelessness. It is critically important to continue building housing and prevent the abuse of CEQA to block supportive and affordable housing.
Ensure California Schools Are Given State Lottery Dollars That Are Owed to Them
VICA supports Senate Bill 891 (Chang), which  would require the  California  State Lottery to increase public education funding in proportion to its increase in net revenue The purpose of the California State Lottery was specifically to provide supplemental funding for public education. In a February 2020 report, the State Auditor found that the California State Lottery violated the requirement to increase its funding for public education in proportion to its net revenue and shortchanged public schools by $36 million. SB 891 would  explicitly enforce the proportionality requirement and  compel  the California State Lottery to pay the $36 million it owes to California's public schools.  Many public schools throughout California are struggling financially especially many schools within  the  Los Angeles Unified School District  (LAUSD) . Ensuring that the Lottery provides steady and reliable supplemental funding for public  education  would greatly help  California schools, especially  our local  schools in LAUSD  
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