VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
Friday, March 4
In This Issue
  • Quote of the Week
  • Leaders Forum with Rep. Karen Bass
  • VICA Advocacy: Al Fresco Dining
  • 2022 Congressional Breakfast Event Report
  • Job Opening: Membership & Development Manager
  • 2022 Government Handbook
  • LA County Lifts Mask Mandate
  • Members
  • Events
  • News
  • Committee Recap
  • Member Spotlight
  • Member Messages
“[The 2022 election cycle] isn’t about Democrats vs. Republicans, left vs. right, Dodgers vs. Yankees. It’s about the liberties we have in common.” 
U.S. Congressman Mike Garcia
Statement in a Q&A session at VICA's Congressional Breakfast.
VICA's Leaders Forum with Rep. Karen Bass
Yesterday, VICA hosted a Leaders Forum with Congresswoman, and Mayoral candidate, Karen Bass at The Garland.

The Congresswoman focused on her campaign and plans as she seeks to become the next Mayor of Los Angeles. The Congresswoman spoke to how working in the Valley has changed her perception and shown how much she has to work with. "What has made me step away from Congress is being so compelled at what was happening in LA, the overwhelming public health and public safety on our streets," stated Rep. Bass.

Rep. Bass focused on the humanitarian emergency of the Los Angeles homeless population. She urged that Los Angeles should develop a comprehensive approach that immediately serves those in need while addressing the root causes. "To me, what has bothered me about our response is I view this as an emergency, and I don't believe our response has been like an emergency... The next Mayor needs to declare a State of Emergency, I would do that on day one, but I don't think that's enough. I think frankly there needs to be a State of Emergency on the Federal level."

The Congresswoman noted that Los Angeles must address the lack of affordable housing, healthcare, access to job opportunities, and residential alcohol and drug treatment in order to permanently heal the homeless crisis.

"It is such an honor to be here with you today. I hope this is not the last time that I am invited. If I am successful, know from me that you'll have somebody that will be open, accessible to you, make sure that the Valley is very clearly represented, and intimately involved in my administration."

VICA thanks the Congresswoman for spending her afternoon with us. We thank our Presenting Sponsor, Home Depot, and our Co-Sponsors, Charter Communications, Metro, University of West Los Angeles, and our Table Sponsor, LG Strategies.
Advocacy in Action: Al Fresco Dining
For the past several months, the VICA Legislative team has been advocating for the LA Al Fresco Dining program. Having called into multiple City Council meetings as well as City Council Committee meetings, the item was finally brought back to the Planning and Land Use (PLUM) committee to hear a report and to transition it into a permanent program.

While the pandemic gutted California's restaurant industry, the city's Al Fresco Dining program allowed restaurants to remain open for business by expanding their dining areas into the street, sidewalks and private lots. The Program rolled back regulatory barriers and increased flexibility for curbside pickup, outdoor dining and food preparation, and to-go alcoholic beverages.

By transition the Al Fresco program to a permanent program, businesses will be allowed to adhere to ever-changing COVID-19 guidance more efficiently while expanding their operations. The Al Fresco program's permanence will help Los Angeles address the outdated parking requirements for restaurants by allowing rideshare, public transportation, and rapid curbside pickup to grow as viable alternatives to local traffic and congestion.

The PLUM committee unanimously voted to recommend transitioning the program to permanence. VICA will continue to monitor the item and make sure it is supported and approved at City Council.
2022 Congressional Breakfast - Post Event Report
Business leaders joined VICA’s Congressional Breakfast on Friday, February 25th. The event consisted of networking with our Valley influentials, breakfast, and a discussion with three of our Congressmembers. Discussions focused on a variety of topics impacting businesses, the state of California, U.S foreign policy, climate change, transportation, crime, expansion, and growing business. 

The event kicked off with a brief networking session, where VICA members were able to have some time to catch up with old networks, meet new VICA members and speak with our elected officials.

VICA thanks Congressmembers Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita), Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles), and Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) for sharing their insight, and to the members who joined us! We also want to thank all of our sponsors, especially our presenting sponsors, Comcast NBCUniversal & the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. This event was truly insightful, and we look forward to hosting it again next year!
VICA Vacancy
Click the image to learn more and apply today!
2022 Government Handbook
We're pleased to announce our 2022 Government Handbook has been finalized! The VICA team has been working to ensure the information provided in the handbook is current and up to date for you.

The VICA Government Handbook is your pocket guide to who's who in government and at VICA. We hope it is of value to you and your efforts to communicate with elected officials.

We will contact you once our Government Handbook is ready for distribution.
LA County Lifts Indoor Mask Rule
Los Angeles County officially lifted its indoor mask rule requirement today after it officially exited the high coronavirus community level as calculated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Businesses can choose to retain their mask requirement for both customers and employees. And residents can still choose to wear a mask in any public place.

The revised order also relaxed some of the local vaccination verification rules. Vaccination verification is no longer required at outdoor mega-events — such as at theme parks, SoFi and Dodger stadiums, the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and the Hollywood Bowl — and no longer required in indoor portions of bars, lounges, nightclubs, distilleries, wineries and breweries.

The county still strongly recommends vaccination verification for outdoor mega-events and indoor bars and similar venues. With the lifting of the mask order, Universal Studios Hollywood is no longer requiring visitors to wear masks or show proof of vaccinations or a negative COVID-19 test.

For those who are still looking for masks, please contact the VICA office. We still have masks available for pick up.
VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members
Extraordinary Women in Leadership
Friday, March 11
In-Person at The Garland

VICA’s Women’s event, brings together women from all walks of life to share their experiences, challenges in the business world, overcoming odds and leading successes. VICA showcases women throughout their professional and personal experiences, to educate others, and empower women in leadership.
The Week Ahead
VICA Transportation Committee Meeting
Tuesday, March 8
8:30 to 10:30 AM
In Person at The Garland

VICA Healthcare Committee Meeting
Thursday, March 10
12:00 to 1:30 PM
In Person at the VICA office
VICA Ambassador Committee Meeting
Wednesday, March 9
9:00 to 10:30 AM
In Person at the VICA office

City Attorney Candidate Forum
Thursday, March 10
4:30 to 6:00 PM
In Person at the Jonathan Club
Save the Date
Sacramento Advocacy Day
Tuesday, March 22
All Day
Sacramento, CA
VICA Newsmaker Connection
with Joe Buscaino
Thursday, March 24
8:30 - 9:30 AM
VICA Office
VICA After Dark with Darren Kettle
Wednesday, April 6
5:30 - 7:30 PM
Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport
VICA State Officeholders Dinner
Friday, April 22
5:30 - 8:30 PM
Stage 29 at Universal Studios Hollywood
Hot News
LA Mayoral Race
A new poll shows a different shape of the Los Angeles mayoral race than previous polling, with no commanding front-runner.
Rep. Karen Bass still has a small lead in the Loyola Marymount University Center for the Study of Los Angeles poll released Wednesday, but City Councilman Kevin de León is a close second.

The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners voted Tuesday, March 1, to update its policy on “pretextual stops” to discipline officers if they fail to say why a traffic stop or minor traffic violation leads to a more serious criminal investigation.

New LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has packed in a lot during his first three weeks on the job — overseeing changes to the district’s mask mandates and debuting an extensive 100-day plan outlining his priorities for the district.
Public Works
The deputy director of planning and land use for Councilman Bob Blumenfield, Vahid Khorsand, was confirmed Tuesday by the City Council to serve on the Los Angeles Board of Public Works after he was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti. Khorsand will fill the seat vacated by Greg Good, the board’s former president.

California last tallied its homeless population in January 2020, and found at least 161,000 people without a roof over their heads on any given night, with the biggest concentration in Los Angeles. Most were single adults.

MLB Delay
Despite a ninth straight day of negotiations between Major League Baseball owners and the players union on Tuesday, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the cancellation of the first week of regular-season games with the sides still unable to agree on a new agreement.
Committee Recap
Sports, Entertainment, Tourism & Hospitality (03/03)
Sponsored by: History for Hire

  • Stuart Waldman, President of VICA and a Board of Director for the LA2028 Games, gave an update on the 2028 Olympic Games.
  • Kristen Lee, Stadium Operations Manager for the Los Angeles Rams, shared an inside look at the SoFi Stadium operations leading up to the Super Bowl as well as day of logistics and executions.
  • The committee recommended an oppose position on the 2022 LA City Ballot Measure: Los Angeles Hotel Worker Initiative Ordinance.
  • The committee also recommended an oppose position on the 2022 LA City Ballot Measure: Los Angeles Responsible Hotel Ordinance.
  • The committee meeting was closed out with a discussion from Gregg Bilson, CEO of Independent Studio Services, who discussed safety regarding firearms onsite for entertainment productions.
Member Spotlight
Jack Bulko
Mensch with the Wrench, Inc.

Jack was born in Israel. He came to the United States at the age of 9, lived in the Bronx for 14 years before migrating to California with a degree in International Trade and Marketing. After arriving in California, he traveled around the world for six months with the highlight of his journey spent climbing Mount Fuji in Japan. Upon returning to the US, he became a real estate broker with Gribin Von Dyle, and then White House Properties. When home interest rates reached the high teens he decided to change careers and started his own automotive business in Van Nuys. Now, his company is 43 years young, The Mensch With The Wrench, Inc DBA AutoAid.

When asked some additional questions, the below was shared:

What has been your largest accomplishment or efforts made over the past year? 
The largest accomplishment made over the past year was keeping all of my employees, my shop doors open and my customers happy.

Mensch with the Wrench, AutoAid is a new member to VICA. Welcome to the Team!
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.