June 26, 2020

VICA continues to fight for the  business community and Valley residents as we face uncertain times.
In This Issue

" Building this stadium in a traditionally underserved community is the right way to go. This project is going to reinvigorate its surrounding environments."

- Los Angeles Rams COO Kevin Demoff on the SoFi Stadium.

Media Mentions

L.A. County's Nail Salon Owners Scrambling to Reopen
Los Angeles Daily News
June 19

Paving the Road to Recovery
Business Life
June 22

L.A. City Council Delays Vacancy Tax Measure Till 2022 Ballot
June 24

L.A. Punts on Apartment Vacancy Tax Ballot Measure
June 25

San Fernando Sun

VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members 


Aeroplex-Aerolease Group

Build Rehabilitation Industries

Eisner Health

Homes 4 Families

Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Mitchell, LLP

San Fernando Community Health Center

Welcome Our New Members

Dignity Health - Northridge Hospital Medical Center

University of West Los Angeles

The Week Ahead

Sherman Oaks Chamber Shift Virtual Conference
Tuesday, June 30
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

VICA After Dark with Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell
Rescheduling for August
Save the Date

Newsmaker Connection with Councilmember-elect Kevin de Leon
Sponsored by State Farm
Tuesday, July 7
2 to 3:15 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Not-For-Profit Committee
Sponsored by Pacific Federal
Thursday, July 9
9 to 10:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

VICA University: The Business of Branding with Cowe Consulting
Thursday, July 9
2 to 3:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Transportation Committee
Sponsored by The Garland
Tuesday, July 14
9 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Government Affairs Committee
Sponsored by Dolphin Group and Rodriguez Strategies
Wednesday, July 15
9 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

VICA After Dark
Speaker TBA
Thursday, July 16
4 to 5:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

First Sip with VICA
Virtual Networking
Friday, July 17
9 to 10 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Sacramento Virtual Advocacy Day
Only 12 spots available!
Wednesday, July 21
All Day
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

2020 San Fernando Valley Hall of Fame - Home Edition
Thursday, July 23
5:30 to 9 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Hot Issues 

Public Health
California is among the states currently experiencing spikes in COVID-19 cases. Experts believe this can partly be explained by the increased availability of and access to testing. However, concerns have been raised over the increase in hospitalizations across the state.

State Budget
The State Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom have reached a deal, rolling back planned spending cuts in the state budget. Publicly-known aspects of the deal include keeping education funding intact and setting aside dollars for a potential aid program for small businesses.

According to L.A. Community College District (LACCD) data, more than 32,000 students  withdrew from classes in spring 2020 due to the transition to online classes. In addition, an LACCD survey showed that only three-quarters of students had regular access to a computer.

The University of California released guidelines which would have most classes conducted online for the upcoming fall term. Some colleges like UCLA plan to adopt a hybrid of online and in-person classes, with universities like UC Berkeley planning not to have in-person classes after Thanksgiving break until the end of the fall term.

California Economy
According to UCLA Anderson School's economic forecast for 2020, economists predict both the national and state economy will recover slowly within three years with a trajectory resembling a 'Nike swoosh'. Chapman University's outlook predicts that the average unemployment rate for 2020 will be 11.3 percent.

Independent Contractors
The California Attorney General's office is seeking a preliminary injunction to make transportation network companies (TNC) comply with last year's AB 5, which reclassified the status of many independent contractors in California.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will launch a pilot program called Homeless Outreach and Mobile Engagement (HOME), which would provide voluntary crisis intervention services and access to shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness and are also suffering from mental illness.

Disney will delay the reopening of its California theme parks until it receives state guidelines. The Downtown Disney district will open as planned on July 9. All other scheduled reopenings have been postponed.

Kevin Demoff Discusses New 'Rams' House' During VICA Newsmaker Connection

On Tuesday, Los Angeles Rams COO Kevin Demoff joined us for a VICA Newsmaker Connection to talk about the upcoming grand opening of the SoFi Stadium, as well as how the Rams have given back to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Demoff expressed high hopes that the new SoFi stadium will greatly revitalize the Los Angeles economy by bringing in major sporting events and establishing a new, high-tech entertainment venue. "The 2022 Super Bowl will be the largest tourism event in Southern California since the 1984 Olympics," Demoff said. 

Demoff also spoke about the Los Angeles Rams' partnership with organizations such as United Way, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and many local schools, to tackle major city issues. The team has played an important role in helping the L.A. community respond to COVID-19. "We are the most diverse organization in the NFL, top to bottom," Demoff said, adding that this "is just reflective of Los Angeles." "If you're going to come and build a new franchise in Los Angeles," Demoff said, "you have to reflect the community at large."

Thank you to the Los Angeles Rams for keeping us up to date with exciting changes coming to the city with the new SoFi Stadium. Thank you State Farm for sponsoring our Newsmaker Connection event.

2 to 3:15 PM
via Online Video Conference

Kevin de Leon
Los Angeles City Councilmember-elect - CD 14

VICA's Newsmaker Connection lets our members connect with important government and business leaders.

Register now to receive more details.

City Council Delays Vacancy Tax to 2022
After a special meeting held on Wednesday, VICA was pleased with the Los Angeles City Council's decision to delay consideration of a proposed vacancy tax ballot measure until 2022. VICA was quick to mobilize after consideration to place a vacancy tax on the 2020 ballot was proposed two weeks ago. This gave the public and stakeholders virtually no time to comment on the proposal's details.  VICA raised concerns that an additional tax on vacant units and lots would raise housing prices and hurt property owners as we continue to face a major economic recession. Additionally, the $12 million needed to place the vacancy tax on the ballot would have been an inappropriate amount to spend during an economic crisis. We look forward to working with City staff and officials to ensure that the business community's concerns are heard when considering the vacancy tax in the future.

2 to 3:30 PM
via Online Video Conference

The Business of Branding

Join us for another VICA University Webinar where we will discuss the importance of branding with Cowe Consulting.

Register now to receive meeting details.

Oppose Job-Killing Head Tax on Businesses
VICA opposes Assembly Bill 398 (Chu), which would impose an exorbitant, five-year head tax for businesses at a rate of $275 per employee. The bill intends to temporarily raise revenue for a COVID-19 relief fund for local governments and schools. However, the bill ignores the severe impact a head tax would have on businesses and the California economy, especially during these challenging times. The tax would not only hurt businesses already struggling to stay open during the current public health and economic crisis, it would also push employers to hire less workers or move employee functions out of state. A head tax would increase labor costs, which would depress wages. The state's efforts towards economic recovery would benefit more from helping businesses rather than hurting them.

Support Housing Construction in Lots Zoned for "Big Box" Retail Spaces
VICA supports Senate Bill 1385 (Caballero), which would allow residential development on existing lots currently zoned for commercial office and retail spaces such as strip malls or large "big box" retail spaces. California continues to grapple with a severe housing crisis due to a shortage in housing stock and slow development. It is critical now, more than ever, to approve legislation that will help get housing built because our housing crisis will still be a major issue for California even after the impacts of COVID-19 subside. SB 1385 will allow local governments to approve housing development on commercial and retail spaces. Allowing this development on existing shopping centers or strip malls will help the state meet its housing goals and drive economic activity in regions in most need of revitalization. 

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