May 15, 2020

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

"We have got to keep people working, we have got to keep investing in infrastructure."

- Senator Henry Stern at virtual VICA Newsmaker Connection discussing the economic recovery after the pandemic subsides.

Media Mentions

Valley Stores Slowly Reopen, Focus on Customer Safety
Los Angeles Daily News  
May 9

  ABC 7

Business Groups Push Back on L.A. County's Pandemic-Spurred Worker-Retention Proposals
Los Angeles Daily News
May 11

Some Hotels in L.A. County Must Offer Jobs to Laid Off Workers When They Reopen
Los Angeles Daily News
May 12


VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members 

President's Circle




Alstom Transportation

The Higher Path

The Week Ahead

Transportation Committee
Sponsored by  The Garland
Monday, May 18
9 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click  here  to RSVP

VICA University with Stratiscope CEO John Bwarie
Tuesday, May 19
1 to 2:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click  here to RSVP

Government Affairs Committee
Sponsored by  Dolphin Group and  Rodriguez Strategies
Wednesday, May 20
9 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click  here to RSVP

Advocacy Day
Thursday, May 21
All Day
2 spots left!
Online Video Conference
Click  here to RSVP

VICA After Dark
Speaker TBA
Thursday, May 21
4 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click  here to RSVP

Save the Date

Ambassador Committee
Tuesday, May 26
2 to 3:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Aviation Committee
Sponsored by Aeroplex/Aerolease
Wednesday, June 3
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Sports, Entertainment, Tourism and Hospitality Committee
Thursday, June 4
8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Land Use Committee
Sponsored by The Garland
Tuesday, June 9
8 to 9:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Healthcare Committee
Sponsored by Mission Community Hospital
Thursday, June 11
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Click here to RSVP

Hot Issues 

Federal Response
The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote today on the HEROES Act , a second economic relief bill responding to the impact of COVID-19. The $3 trillion bill builds upon the CARES Act, including another round of stimulus checks, a focus on hazard pay for frontline workers and providing more aid for state and local governments.

California Budget
Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled an updated $203 billion budget proposal, which includes cuts to state wages and education funding, and removes planned increases to California's public pension plans. The new budget proposal reflects concerns about the state's projected $54 billion budget deficit.

2020 Elections
A special election was held for California's 25th Congressional District to fill a seat vacated last year by Rep. Katie Hill. Republican candidate Mike Garcia won the election and will serve the rest of Rep. Hill's term. The general election for the same seat will take place on November 3.

With Los Angeles County cautiously moving forward with reopening, Metro announced it will be pursuing a 4-phased plan for restoring bus and rail services to meet expected ridership while maintaining social distancing measures.

Public Health
It is now mandatory for Angelenos to wear masks when leaving their homes according to the updated Safer at Home Order. This comes as L.A. officials began easing up restrictions in the Safer at Home Order and slowly allowing some local businesses to reopen.

Reopening California
19 California counties have been certified by the state for having contained the spread of COVID-19 and are now allowed to reopen shopping malls, dine-in restaurants and other businesses. These arr primarily rural counties; urban centers are maintaining stay at home orders. 

As a result of lockdowns and measures designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, retail sales saw a 16 percent drop across the country in April. The drop in consumer spending is seen as the key reason for the major contraction in the U.S. economy.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced a new deferral and repayment option for homeowners with government-backed mortgages and are delaying mortgage payments through forbearance programs.

Senator Henry Stern Provides Insight on Legislature's Plans in VICA Newsmaker Connection 

On Tuesday, Senator Henry Stern engaged with VICA members during a virtual Newsmaker Connection where he answered questions about the ongoing state legislature's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the California economy. "We've been really in case work mode," said Senator Stern about the relief efforts for those impacted by COVID-19. The Senator added, "now we have to shift our efforts a little bit towards the economic recovery plan."

When asked about state finances, Senator Stern described a plan of subtle advocacy to best leverage federal aid to California. "The federal advocacy agenda is very important," Stern said, "but we have to lay low and not 'Californize' the issue." The Senator also discussed a $25 billion plan which includes incentivizing Californians to pay their taxes to generate revenue for the state's recovery efforts.

The Senator also spoke about tough decisions ahead for the State Legislature as they balance necessary cuts with maintaining critical services such as support for individuals with disabilities. Senator Stern also spoke about the need to support non-profits, after school programs and organizations, and the entertainment industry - the engines of California's and the Valley's economy. 

Thank you to our presenting sponsors Mission Community Hospital, State Farm and The Walt Disney Company.

VICA has created and developed a COVID-19 Resource and Information page on our website.  This resource and information page was created to provide you with helpful resources, ongoing updates and information for today and well into the future as we discover this new and changing business environment. Along with other businesses, legislators and community members, VICA stands united as San Fernando Valley Strong,  #SFValleyStrong . Follow us on Twitter @SFValleyStrong and visit our webpage for details. 

We are here to support continued successes and a brighter tomorrow.

1 to 2:30 p.m.
Via Online Video Conference

Maintaining Purpose During Crisis

with John Bwarie
CEO, Stratiscope

Join VICA for a special webinar with  Stratiscope CEO John Bwarie. John will discuss the following topics: 
  • Align your business purpose, mission, and values with your key stakeholders by taking the right community actions during the crisis 
  • Raise your positive visibility and recognition by selecting a cause or effort using proven formulas that make a measurable impact 
  • Inspire your team to build greater engagement within your organization at a time of greater separation 
  • Sustain the effort and sense of purpose over the long, unpredictable cycles of crisis
Register now to receive meeting details.

Board of Supervisors Pushes Countywide Recall Ordinance Forward
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors moved forward with ordinances outlining countywide Right of Recall and Worker Retention policies for janitorial, maintenance, security and hospitality workers. VICA expressed its concerns, as in the L.A. City Council's own Right of Recall ordinance, for its overbearing and costly provisions which limit an employer's ability to make the right decisions to keep their business running. VICA thanks Supervisor Kathryn Barger for her efforts in trying to lessen the impacts of these ordinances on already struggling businesses across L.A. County.


2 Spots Left!

This Advocacy Day will allow direct interaction with state elected officials and create the freedom for discussion on issues that are vital to our members. Join VICA in our monthly Advocacy Day. Don't miss this opportunity to be heard on how legislation affects your company.
Event admission is $50 and is only available to VICA members.

State Bill Gives Local Governments the Tools to Increase Housing Construction
VICA supports provisions in Senate Bill 902 (Wiener) which would give municipalities the ability to zone up to 10 residential units near transit and jobs-rich areas. California continues to face a chronic housing shortage, the consequences of which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to VICA-supported SB 50 last year, SB 902 provides a lighter touch by giving local governments the option to up zone near transit by passing an ordinance. This would make it easier to build more housing while ensuring local control and flexibility.

While supportive of more housing development, VICA has expressed concerns regarding provisions in the bill that could be problematic and have greater impacts than intended. VICA will work with the author to ensure SB 902 results in more housing construction using a balanced approach.

4 to 6 p.m.
Via Online Video Conference
Relax, mix and mingle with other VICA members and other prominent business leaders in the Valley in Virtual VICA After Dark!

Register now to receive meeting information.

VICA Member Spotlight: Lisa Gritzner
Lisa Gritzner is Immediate Past Chair of VICA and serves on the VICA Board of Directors.

Lisa Gritzner is Founder and CEO of LG Strategies, a recognized leader in Southern California public affairs and works in a wide array of issues from energy and land use to government advocacy. Before working in L.A., Lisa created the HUD-funded outreach program for the Community Development Department in the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts. As Chair, she oversaw VICA's first Extraordinary Women in Leadership Luncheon, which proved to be resoundingly successful. Lisa loves to travel and enjoys exploring new areas across the globe. She is also an animal lover and an aspiring interior designer.

Tell us about your experience with VICA, how has VICA been valuable for you?
I have been a VICA member for quite a long time and am currently immediate past chair. VICA is one of my most valuable business affiliations because they are able to tailor advocacy and engagement to meet the needs of me and my clients. I also appreciate the opportunities VICA affords me to engage directly with decision-makers.  Also, my colleagues on the board are always available to help or provide advice and expertise when needed. It's a great group of people. 

If you were to tell a peer or friend about VICA, what would be your sales pitch?
I always tell friends and clients that VICA is the best bang for the buck! I've had so many clients really appreciate the personalized service and VICA's willingness to assist however needed, which is especially helpful when facing a complicated public policy issue. One-size advocacy doesn't always fit all circumstances. VICA understands that and works collaboratively to help solve problems.   

What is your favorite experience or memory with VICA?
My favorite VICA experience has been the Extraordinary Women in Leadership event that we created in 2019. The energy of the panelists and of the crowd was so exciting and it was fun to be a part of this first-ever event! Looking forward to many more. 

Has your company made commitments or taken action to support employees and/or the community during the COVID-19 pandemic? 
As a sole proprietor of my own company, I don't have any employees anymore so I've been grateful that I'm not having to be worried about that in these difficult times. I have provided some financial support for another small business that I'm doing some work with just to help them stay afloat. I also contributed to the Mayor's Fund to help provide all sorts of services to Angelenos in need and support our City.  

Committee Meetings
Energy, Environment, Manufacturing and Utilities (5/14)
Sponsored by The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • Ricardo Vazquez from the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti provided updates on manufacturing operations in Los Angeles given the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Susan Sifuentes Trigueros, Interim Director for Public Affairs for Southern California Gas Company, presented on SoCalGas' community support response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • P. Anthony Thomas (California Natural Gas Producers Association) gave updates on energy and natural gas state legislation.
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.