VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
July 29, 2022
In This Issue
  • VICA Hosts LA Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson
  • Nominations are Open: Harmon Ballin Award
  • You're Invited: Developer Roundtable & Discussion
  • Become a VICA 2023 Board of Director
  • Meet our VICA Interns
  • Media Highlights
“We do have a new star in town. It’s something all Angelenos deserve. This would be a symbolic icon for not just the region … but for the entire world.”
LA Councilmember Kevin De Leon
Statement during Public Works Committee meeting on the new 6th Street bridge.
VICA Hosts LA City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson
VICA was pleased to host a Newsmaker Connection with LA City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson this past Tuesday.

The Councilmember joined VICA members to discuss pertinent issues relating to the San Fernando Valley, including housing, the eviction moratorium, mental health and law and order. After mentioning the unprecedented spike in homelessness being experienced in Japan, he joked saying, "But no matter where you are, it almost never seems as difficult to build housing as in Southern California." The Councilmember continued on to discuss that major housing and development reform must occur at the State level. He shared that it is ineffective when a city or county are conducting these oversights because they are not able to grapple with the spillover effects that occur from housing policy onto neighboring communities and counties.

As he transitioned into the eviction moratorium, the Councilmember shared that tenants or renters have started voting more often post-Measure S, and their relationship with the city has changed. "The eviction moratorium is perhaps the most frightening thing that any of us face, whether we want to admit it or not. It could potentially undue all the progress we've done on homelessness."
Lastly, Councilmember Harris-Dawson balked at the supposedly 12-year process for building more mental health facilities in LA. He said that "it can be difficult to care for the mentally-ill because of ridiculous rules like requiring that they say “I need help” even if their illness prevents them from doing so." He noted that many police officers don’t have the training to properly funnel the mentally-ill into hospitals and treatment centers, but “The reason people say we need cops to do it is because we don’t have anyone else.” When it comes to the inefficiency of providing mental health resources, Councilmember Harris-Dawson states that “California is the most productive region on the entire earth economically, so the idea that we cannot provide for our people is unbelievable.”

The Councilmember closed with his input on the upcoming election. "It is important to have people enter politics with a fresh set of eyes, rather than having individuals being concerned about the politics and appearance, which is where all efforts seize."

VICA thanks our Presenting Sponsors, Amazon, Cedars-Sinai, HNTB, and State Farm.
Gina Escalante (HNTB), Samona Caldwell (State Farm) LA City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Deborah Kalick (Cedars-Sinai), and Cameron Onumah (Amazon).
Nominations Are Open:
Harmon Ballin Community Service Award
VICA's Harmon Ballin Community Service Award annually honors an active VICA member who has made an outstanding contribution to our community through their long-term community service activities. A nominee is someone who:

  1. Has been an active member of VICA and is actively engaged in the organization.
  2. Has significant and long-term involvement in philanthropic, community, or public service organizations or a significant record in this area.
  3. Is a role model and community leader.

All nominee forms must be submitted via email to by Friday, September 2, 2022.

About Harmon Ballin
Harmon Ballin was a great leader and a long-standing member of VICA. He is remembered for his calm manner, leadership style and the respect he carried throughout the Valley. Ballin was involved in many nonprofits and programs, and his energy was an inspiration to everyone who knew him. When he suddenly passed away during the pinnacle of his career and civic leadership, it was a sad time for the Valley for we had lost one of the true leaders of our community. Instead of mourning Harmon Ballin, VICA celebrates and honors his legacy by bestowing this award on other dedicated civic leaders.
Some past honorees include: Ross Hopkins, Stu Solomon, Sandy Paris, Walt Mosher, Fred Gaines, Jim Garrison, Kevin Tamaki, Greg Lippe, Brad Rosenheim, Francine Oschin, Pegi Matsuda, Ross Pendergraft, Jane Skeeter, Lee Alpert, Darnell Tyler and Mark Davis. 
VICA Land Use Committee to Host Roundtable & Discussion
The Valley Industry & Commerce Association is pleased to invite you to a Developer Roundtable & Discussion hosted by our Land Use Committee.  The details are as follows:
Tuesday, August 9 | 8:30 – 10:30 AM
The Garland
4222 Vineland Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91602
Registration is REQUIRED. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
The format for the discussion is as follows:
Input from local developers on their recent experience entitling and constructing projects in the Valley and other communities where VICA works - the challenges they have faced and the ideas they have to improve the process.
Group Discussion with municipal leaders, who include:
Vince Bertoni – Director of Planning – LA City Planning
Lisa Webber – Deputy Director of Project Planning – LA City Planning
Rossana D’Antonio – Deputy Director – LA County Public Works
John Weight – Executive Officer – LA Department of Building & Safety
Bradley Calvert – Assistant Director of Community Development – City of Glendale
Bertram Moklebust – Principal Civil Engineer – LA City Bureau of Engineering
Emil Abdelshehid – Assistant Director Power New Business and Electrification – LADWP
Hani Malki – Senior Fire Protection Engineer – LA City Fire Department
If you are currently a VICA member, please click here to register.
If you are not a VICA member and are interested in attending, please email to RSVP.
If you would like to submit comments or questions ahead of time, please email and we will read them anonymously during the roundtable.
We look forward to having you join us! 
Nominate a VICA Board of Director for 2023
LA City Attorney Mike Feuer swears in the 2022 VICA Board of Directors.
VICA's 2023 Board of Directors nomination and selection process is underway and we want your nominations!

Board members must be able to attend regular board meetings and be prepared to vote on a wide variety of public policy issues. Board members must also attend regular committee meetings and VICA events. Additional responsibilities may include calling or writing lawmakers, attending press conferences, testifying, authoring editorials, interacting with top opinion leaders, and more.

If you or someone you know is interested in participating on the VICA Board in 2023, please don't hesitate to click on the nomination form below and submit via email at no later than Friday, September 2, 2022.
Say Hello to Our VICA Interns
The VICA team is pleased to have Daniel Sipprelle and Max Uribe join as our newest interns.
Daniel Sipprelle is a new Legislative Intern for VICA who has been studying Political Science at the University of California, Davis. He admires the ongoing work done by his mother and father, who lead a Southern California-based law firm and childcare business, respectfully. Because of them, he has grown to appreciate the dedication needed to succeed in postgraduate education and to build successful businesses from the ground up.

Through his studies at university, Daniel became keenly aware of the interplay between business and politics on a local level as well as the growing phenomenon of political polarization throughout California and the country at large. With civics education on the decline and anti-business sentiment being so prevalent, he views VICA as an excellent outlet for shaping public policy and informing everyday residents about how they benefit from pro-business policies. Additionally, Daniel was intrigued by the opportunity to undertake hands-on legislative work and meet business leaders, particularly as a resident of Southern California whose university is in such close proximity to the state capitol.
Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley of California, Maximiliano Uribe is the new VICA intern. He is 17 years old and committed to his education at Chaminade College preparatory High School. He took on the internship position at VICA to expand his field of expertise and gain some experience in a working environment. While he prepares for college applications during this summer, VICA prepares him for the future and gives him opportunities to develop his connection and communication skills.

Max strives to build a strong character in himself as an associate of VICA. During his internship he learns of the political climate of the San Fernando Valley and the entire state of California, making himself more aware of policies and initiatives. His intrigue in politics and its relationship with businesses is a study that could be in his future at college or as a career. VICA serves as the perfect opportunity to further his student career and be the catalyst for Max’s future.
VICA Thanks Our New & Renewing Members
Local Officeholders Luncheon
Get Your Sponsorship Before it's too Late!
Thursday, August 18 | 11:30 AM
Burbank Airport Marriott

Don't miss our Annual Local Officeholders Luncheon! Come and hear from our local elected officials and enjoy lunch and networking with fellow business leaders.

VICA thanks our Presenting Sponsors, Amazon, Comcast NBCUniversal, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, SoCalGas, and Wells Fargo.

Click here for sponsorship opportunities.

For more information on elected officials joining us Click Here.
VICA After Dark: LAFD Chief Kristen Crowley
Wednesday, August 31 | 5:30 PM
FIVE on the Hill at Hilton Universal City

Chief Crowley leads a diverse department – about 3,400 sworn and more than 350 civilians – in protecting four million people in Los Angeles – the Nation’s second largest City. From the ocean to the mountains, the Valley to the Port of LA, the LAFD responds to over 1,300 emergency calls a day. She is the 19th Fire Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

VICA thanks our Presenting Sponsors, Sunhill Properties/Hilton Universal City, Medtrans, and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.
Save the Date
Land Use Committee Meeting: Developer Roundtable & Discussion Edition
Tuesday, August 9
8:30 - 10:30 AM
Hosted by The Garland
(RSVP is required)
Energy, Environment, Manufacturing & Utilities Committee Meeting
Wednesday, August 10
12:00 - 1:30 PM
VICA Office
Sponsored by Metropolitan Water District
VICA in the News
San Fernando Valley Business Journal | July 18
Los Angeles County Mask Mandate
KNX | July 28
Hot News
Sixth Street Bridge
With much of Southern California thrilled by the beauty and grace of the new Sixth Street Bridge linking the Los Angeles Arts District to Boyle Heights, the city appears to have little ability to stop illegal racing, dangerous and illegal bridge-climbing, and daredevil antics meant for TikTok. In a first attempt to get back some control, on the same day that the bridge was temporarily shut to halt dangerous antics, the Los Angeles City Council’s Public Works Committee recommended on Wednesday, that the council approve $353,000 to remove graffiti.

US Economy
The U.S. economy shrank from April through June for a second straight quarter, contracting at a 0.9% annual pace and raising fears that the nation may be approaching a recession. The decline that the Commerce Department reported Thursday in the gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of the economy — followed a 1.6% annual drop from January through March. Consecutive quarters of falling GDP constitute one informal, though not definitive, indicator of a recession. The Fed is hoping to achieve a notoriously difficult “soft landing”: An economic slowdown that manages to rein in rocketing prices without triggering a recession.

Cedars-Sinai Ranked 2nd
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was named the second-best hospital in the nation in an annual ranking by U.S. News & World Report, while UCLA Medical Center tied for fifth place. Cedars-Sinai was nationally ranked by the publication in 11 specialty areas, including cardiology/heart surgery; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology and GI surgery; geriatrics; neurology/neurosurgery; and orthopedics. The hospital moved up in this year’s ranking. It placed sixth last year. Cedars was ranked this year as the top hospital in California and the Los Angeles area. The only other California hospital in the magazine’s top 20 was Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital, which placed 10th.
In his time at the California State Water Resources Control Board, Max Gomberg has witnessed the state grapple with two devastating droughts and the accelerating effects of climate change. Now, after 10 years of recommending strategies for making California more water resilient, the board’s climate and conservation manager is calling it quits. The reason: He no longer believes Gov. Gavin Newsom and his administration are willing to pursue the sorts of transformational changes necessary in an age of growing aridification.

EV Chargers
More people are eyeing electric vehicles than ever before, as global gas prices have reached record highs and climate change concerns mount. Nearly half of Californians in a survey released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California said they’re seriously considering an EV next time they buy or lease a car, while another 6% said they already have one. Those who aren’t considering going electric anytime soon cite rising costs and wait times, as demand soars while supply chain issues persist. But nearly two-thirds of Americans in a recent Consumer Report poll said charging logistics was the top reason they weren’t ready to buy an electric vehicle.

Homeless Encampments
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday, delayed to next week a final vote on an ordinance that would ban homeless encampments within 500 feet of schools and daycare centers. The council voted 10-1 in favor of the ordinance earlier this month, with Councilman Mike Bonin dissenting. Since the vote was not unanimous, the matter requires a second vote. The issue was on the agenda Wednesday but the vote was reset for next Tuesday. Despite the vote being delayed, several members of the public spoke in opposition to the proposed ordinance, and homeless advocates gathered outside City Hall to protest.
Member Spotlight
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 Peter Warda
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.