VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
Friday, February 4
In This Issue
  • Quote of the Week
  • VICA Newsmaker: Mel Wilson
  • Opposing a Port ISR
  • VICA Job Opening
  • Minimum Wage Increase
  • VICA Victories: Dead Bills
  • Members
  • Transportation Board Decisions
  • Looking for Interns
  • VICA's Policy Committees
  • Upcoming Events
  • Hot News
  • Committee Recap
  • Member Messages
“Love this team. We've got one more."
Rams Coach Sean McVay
Newsmaker Connection with Mayoral Candidate Mel Wilson
Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate Mel Wilson at VICA Virtual Newsmaker Connection
This past Tuesday, VICA held a Newsmaker Connection with Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate Mel Wilson.

Mel Wilson spent the first part of the meeting telling attendees what his major plans are if he is elected mayor, stating that workforce, housing, homelessness, crime rates, and transportation issues are the most critical issues in our region. He ended his speech with a positive note, saying that despite our numerous problems, "We can come back . . . There is still hope alive in LA." VICA members were then able to ask questions on a variety of topics, from public safety to utilities. In response to a question about rebuilding the economy after COVID-19, Mel Wilson said that the City needed to remove its gross receipts tax, which will in turn stimulate the regional economy and increase revenue from other tax streams, like sales tax. Finally, Mel Wilson reiterated that the Valley has been left out too many times, and that we need to centralize our efforts to help the businesses and residents that call the Valley home. Mel said, "I'm the Valley guy. I am your guy."

VICA thanks State Farm and Southland Regional Association of Realtors for sponsoring this timely and exciting event, and we thank our members for participating. Don't miss out on other events like this one - check out VICA's event calendar today!
Speaking Out Against Costly Indirect Source Rules For Ports
Today, VICA's legislative team spoke at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Board meeting in opposition to an Indirect Source Rule (ISR) for ports that is being considered. Our local ports are essential gateways for commerce and goods movement vital to the regional, state, and national economy. Proceeding with an ISR will only introduce further disruptions to the supply chain that has already faced significant challenges. The past two years have been unpredictable and unprecedented, and VICA does not think that an ISR is needed due to alleged slow progress by the port industry in reducing emissions. Our goods movement sector is experiencing severely disruptive effects of COVID-19, yet port operators have continued to implement zero-emission technologies and proceeded with the Clean Truck Fund Rate.

Instead of this damaging ISR, VICA urged the AQMD Board to accept and finalize the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) proposed by the Port of Long Beach that will result in immediate emission reduction benefits. VICA will continue to monitor this critical issue.
City of Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage to $16.04
Effective July 1, 2022, the minimum wage in the City of Los Angeles will increase to $16.04 per hour. The increase was announced February 1 and is in accordance with the Los Angeles Municipal Code, which states that in 2022 and annually thereafter, the minimum wage in the City will increase based on a Consumer Price Index published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The annual pay adjustment is meant to ensure that wages keep pace with inflation. For more information about this increase, you can call 1-844-WAGESLA or email
VICA Victories: Harmful Bills Have Died in the Legislature
SENATE BILL 342: The business community and our region, as a whole, received a hard-fought win Monday after SB 342 (Gonzalez) didn't receive the votes to pass out of the Senate. Sacramento politicians already appoint 3 out of the 13 members on the Board, with the other 10 being local elected officials, but SB 342 would have added two more, taking one third of AQMD's power out of the hands of residents. The Board is currently made up of officials that represent a diversity of constituents, from businesses and consumers to environmental leaders and equity advocates. Adding two spots for environmental justice appointees through SB 342 would have stacked the Board with hand-picked political appointees that do not answer to the public, with no checks to prevent selection based on favoritism rather than expertise.

Last week, VICA sent out an Action Alert urging our members to send letters in opposition to SB 342 to their Legislators, and it worked! Make sure that you take action when you see VICA Action Alerts in your inbox!
ASSEMBLY BILL 1400: Another day, another VICA win! AB 1400 (Kalra), an exceedingly costly state healthcare proposal, died in the Assembly. This bill would have negatively impacted workforce and job growth in the state due to the creation of a governing board that would set reimbursement rates for providers. As a result, AB 1400 would have led to an exodus of California's physicians, further displacing workers, eliminating jobs, and draining the best and brightest healthcare workers from our system. This legislative success will ensure that taxpayers are not paying for overly expensive healthcare, and will save the state an estimated $460 billion per year in costs for implementation and upkeep of the system. In turn, the defeat of this bill will save residents and businesses from the largest tax increase in history.

VICA had brought AB 1400 to our January Advocacy Day, and our hard work has paid off. Check out our events calendar so you don't miss out on future VICA advocacy trips!
VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members
VICA Supports Critical Transportation Infrastructure
Last week, the VICA Board of Directors took action on multiple recommendations from the VICA policy committees. Here are snapshots of a couple transportation and aviation positions that the Board took:
Sepulveda Transit Corridor Alignment - SUPPORT Options 3, 5, & 6
The VICA Board officially supported Options 3, 5, and 6 of the Metro Sepulveda Transit Corridor. We are strong advocates for transportation projects that improve the Valley's connectivity with the rest of the Los Angeles region, and we have long supported the Sepulveda Transit Corridor. The project will provide high-quality transit service that effectively serves the large and growing travel demand between the housing and major employment centers of the San Fernando Valley and the Westside.

VICA's Transportation Committee and Board has chosen to support alignments 3, 5, and 6 as effective plans for the Corridor because of their feasibility and connectivity. One critical reason for our support of these options is due to the inclusion of on-campus stations at UCLA. Direct access to the UCLA campus is critical to the university community, the 2028 Olympics, and the financial viability of future Sepulveda Transit Corridor operations. Overall, for a transit system to be a competitive travel option that attracts new riders, there is a need to increase speed, frequency, capacity, and reliability, all while providing convenient connections to existing and planned transit lines. VICA believes that options 3, 5, and 6 do just that, and we will continue to advocate for these alignments in the final plans for the Sepulveda Transit Corridor.
State and Federal Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Legislation - SUPPORT
VICA's Board also supported H.R. 8769 (Brownley): The Sustainable Aviation Fuel Act, as well as Assembly Bill 1322 (Rivas): California Global Warming Solutions Act, which both advance sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production and use.

More specifically, H.R. 8769 would establish a national goal of a 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for the U.S. aviation sector by 2035, and net-zero domestic and international aviation emissions by 2050. To help achieve these ambitious goal, the bill will promote the development, distribution, and use of SAF by establishing a blender's tax credit of $1.50 per gallon. Similarly, AB 1322 would require the California Air Resources Board to identify strategies to reduce GHG emissions and facilitate the development of GHG reduction programs.

Flights from California's airports are a larger contributor to global warming than all the heavy duty vehicles operating in the state combined. While technology and policy are driving emissions reductions in other sectors, emissions will continue to grow without similar technological and policy initiatives in the difficult-to-decarbonize aviation sector. VICA believes that expanding leadership through the goals and incentives included in these bills will meaningfully improve air quality in our communities and enable the state's environmental goals.
All internships will be remote until further notice. For more information or to apply, please visit:

We are pleased to announce our upcoming Newsmaker Connection with LA Mayoral Candidate Jessica Lall.

Wednesday, February 9
10:00 - 11:00 AM
Virtual Event
Jessica Lall
Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate
The Week Ahead
Land Use Committee
Tuesday, February 8
8:30 - 10:30 AM
Virtual Meeting
EEM&U Committee
Wednesday, February 9
12:00 - 1:30 PM.
Virtual Meeting
Newsmaker Connection
Jessica Lall
Wednesday, February 9
10:00 - 11:00 AM
Virtual Meeting
Save the Date
Government Affairs Committee
Wednesday, February 16
12:00 - 2:00 PM
Virtual Meeting
Sacramento Advocacy Day
Wednesday, February 23
All Day
Virtual Meeting
Media Mentions
Hot News
Standardized Testing
The controversial SAT exam, removed from admission standards for many universities, will move to an all-digital, more concise format expected to prevent cheating and widen access to the exam that is under scrutiny as a gatekeeper in the college admission process.

Unpaid Wages
Thousands of California workers whose employers collectively owe them millions in unpaid wages are at risk of never seeing the money they earned, as the state watchdog agency investigating wage-theft cases is failing to resolve them, taking years to schedule hearings.

University of California
As the UC system returns to in-person instruction on Monday, students at multiple campuses are planning one-day walkouts to amplify their demands for more flexibility, allowing students to choose between in-person and remote options.
Death Row
California Governor Newsom, who three years ago placed a moratorium on executions, is now moving to dismantle the United States' largest death row by moving all condemned inmates to other prisons within two years.

Community Schools
In coming weeks, California will embark on a massive undertaking to convert several thousand schools in low-income neighborhoods into community centers that provide services for families and students. California's $3 billion effort to fund these "community schools" will be the nation's most ambitious roll out.

Surgeon General
California's top physician is stepping down. Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, who became the state's first surgeon general in 2019, announced her resignation Tuesday. Dr. Devika Bhushan, chief health officer, will serve as acting surgeon general.
Committee Recap
Labor & Employment Committee (2/2)
Sponsored by Sun Hill Properties, Hilton Universal City

  • Megan Gamble, Vice President of Wilson Public Affairs presented on the California Employee Civil Action Law Initiative, and the committee recommended that VICA support the Initiative.
  • Jonathan Hererra from the California State Treasurer's Office presented on CalSavers 2022 Business Requirements.
  • Marjeri Manguiat from the Office of Wage Standards gave an overview of the City of LA Minimum Wage Ordinance and Fair Chance Initiative.
  • Bianca Saad, Vice President of Labor & Employment at the California Chamber of Commerce, gave a 2022 Employment Law update.
Education Committee (2/3)

  • Special Guest Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, presented on his plans for 2022.
  • Special Guest Austin Beutner, Former Superintendent of LAUSD, spoke on his tenure as superintendent and his plans moving forward.
Member Spotlight
Coby King
High Point Strategies
President & Chief Executive Officer

Coby King is the president and chief executive officer of High Point Strategies, LLC, one of Southern California’s leading public affairs firms. King specializes in strategic and crisis communications and governmental advocacy. Besides refereeing AYSO soccer games and collecting wine, his main hobby is peakbagging, which involves summiting specific peaks. This can include everything from easy hills to full mountaineering adventures, including crampons, ice axes and ropes. He has climbed peaks in every one of California’s 58 counties, and over 1,000 in total.

When asked some additional questions, the below was shared:

What has been your largest accomplishment or efforts made over the past year? 
High Point Strategies was integral to the success of many of our clients in 2021. Navigating California’s complex political system is difficult and HPS advises its clients on how to take the steps and build the relationships necessary for success.

How has VICA supported your business strategy or expanded your footprint with the business community?  
Since I joined VICA in 2007, my membership has allowed me to work for a better San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, and California, and to better understand how our economic and political systems work. As a former chair, long-time committee leader and current Treasurer, I see first-hand the good VICA does every day.
Are you interested in a Membership Spotlight?
Answer the below questions, send responses and a professional photo,
and we'll ensure your in the line up for 2022!

Please keep each question response to 2-4 sentences maximum.

  1. Please share a bit about your background and a fun fact that people would love to learn, ie: scrapbooking is your favorite hobby, you were in a band, you have traveled around the world…  
  2. What has been your organization’s largest accomplishment or efforts made over the past year? 
  3. Please share how VICA has supported your business strategy or expanded your footprint with the business community?  

Send responses and headshot to Shauna Carter
Member Messages
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.