September 11, 2020

VICA continues to fight for the business community and Valley Residents as we face uncertain times.
In This Issue
"California's small businesses are the lifeblood of this state and our economy. COVID-19 has devastated far too many of them."

California Governor Gavin Newsom

In the News

September 1


VICA Welcomes New Members

Fisher & Phillips LLP


VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members 

Flatiron Construction

Synergy Global Housing

Gannett Fleming

The Week Ahead

Government Affairs Committee
Sponsored by: Dolphin Group & Rodriguez Strategies
Wednesday, September 16
9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Local Officeholders Luncheon
Thursday, September 17
11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

First Sip with VICA
Friday, September 18
9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Save the Date

Ambassador Committee Meeting
Tuesday, September 22
8:30 to 10:00 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

VICA After Dark
Thursday, September 24
4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Leaders Forum with Congressman Adam Schiff
Tuesday, September 29
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Hot Issues 

California Wildfires
Even before the peak of wildfire season, a record breaking 3 million acres have burned in California.  The August Complex wildfire, now the largest in California history, is only one of 6 record breaking fires burning currently.

The Cal State system, the nation's largest public university system, has announced that it will remain primarily online for the remainder of the academic year.

As 44% of small businesses are facing closure, Governor Newsom signed three bills that bolster small businesses through loans and tax credits. These bills passed with bipartisan support and little oversight or scrutiny.

Public Health
UCLA researchers have announced that after looking at hospital and clinic records, it is possible that coronavirus was loose in Los Angeles before the World Health Organization was aware of the cluster of cases in Wuhan, China.

The AstraZeneca vaccine trials have been halted to investigate whether an unexplained and serious illness in a participant was caused by the vaccine.  AstraZeneca is one of only three companies in late stage human trials for a COVID-19 vaccine.

The national debt has ballooned to $26.7 trillion, with the national deficit for just the 2020 fiscal year at $3.3 trillion.  The national debt is expected to become greater than the US economy by 2021, the first time this has happened since World War II.

K-12 schools in L.A. County will not be able to reopen until at least November, although students with special needs are able to attend small, in person classes. Both LA Unified School District and the Teachers Unions are opposed to opening at this time. 

Real Estate
Southern California home sales and prices have increased in July, despite the economic downturn and high unemployment rates caused by COVID-19.  Experts believe this jump is due to low mortgage rates and companies moving to fully online work.

VICA Celebrates a 71.4% Success Rate as Legislation Lands on the Governor's Desk

As the California State Legislature concluded their tumultuous legislative session, VICA celebrates our 71.4 percent success rate. However, the work is not done yet. We need your support in urging Governor Gavin Newsom to sign and veto bills that will impact the business community.

We urge you to send letters to Governor Newsom requesting that he sign the bills listed below by clicking the following links:
  • AB 323 (Rubio), which will extend AB 5 exemptions for newspapers and news websites to ensure local journalism can continue to be a source of critical information to Valley businesses and residents.
  • AB 1845 (Rivas), which will centralize state efforts to address the housing and homelessness crisis by establishing an Office to End Homelessness, headed by a Governor-appointed Secretary of Homelessness.
  • AB 2560 (Quirk), which will require the State Water Resources Board to publicly distribute information when it is creating or revising notification or response levels, making Board decisions more transparent.
  • AB 3163 (Salas), which will expand the definition of biomethane to include renewable natural gas that is produced through non-combustion thermal conversion, making California's energy cleaner and more secure.  
We are requesting that the Governor veto the bills listed below which will negatively impact employers and the business community. Click the following links to send letters to Governor Newsom requesting his veto on these bills:
  • AB 2537 (Rodriguez), which would place the burdens of the pandemic exclusively on hospitals by requiring that they provide a stockpile of new and unused Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for three months of normal consumption.
  • AB 3216 (Kalra/Gonzalez), which would burden struggling businesses in California with a statewide "Right of Recall," specifically targeting industries that have already faced the brunt of the economic impact of COVID-19. 
  • SB 1159 (Hill), which would create a rebuttable presumption until 2023 that businesses are solely responsible for employees who have contracted COVID-19 and that the employee contracted COVID-19 at the workplace.
  • SB 1383 (Jackson), which would add regulatory burdens on small businesses ill-equipped to handle staffing shortfalls by requiring that employers with over 5 employees provide 12 weeks of mandatory family leave. 
Senator Bob Hertzberg inducts the 2020 Board of Directors

VICA's 2021 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. 

For more information on the 2021 Board of Directors guidelines, click here.

If you or someone you know is interested in participating on the board in 2021, please click on the nomination form below and submit to If you don't want to serve on the board, but are interested in serving as a committee chair, please let us know that on the nomination form. Applications are due by Friday, September 18.

VICA supports Proposition 17, which would give voting rights to convicted individuals who are on parole following their term in prison.

In California, there are nearly 50,000 people who are raising families, holding jobs, paying taxes, and contributing to society that are unable to vote. This is because California is one of the few states that prohibits a person on parole from exercising their right to contribute to their communities by voting. These populations tend to be disproportionately representative of minority groups, due to historical injustice and bias in the justice system.

Proposition 17 would allow convicted individuals on parole to vote and give them an opportunity to shape policies that impact them, their families and their communities.

VICA supports Proposition 14, which would issue $5.5 billion in general obligation bonds for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to fund stem cell research.

CIRM has catapulted California into a worldwide leadership position in the cutting edge field of stem cell research. They have conducted more than 1,000 research projects at 120 institutions and businesses across the state, leading to over 3,000 peer-reviewed medical research discoveries and 90 human clinical trials. With the average medical treatment development timeline being 12-15 years from concept to deployment, and the average CIRM grant being less than 7 years old, these are remarkable results. Proposition 14 bonds would be used to allow CIRM to continue funding cures to diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDs, heart disease, paralysis, blindness, kidney disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, stoke, dementia, depression, and more.  

Proposition 14 would promote accessibility and affordability of treatments and cures, and the investment made would be well worth the lives saved in the long term.

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 VICA member and is actively engaged in the organization currently.

2. Has significant and long-term involvement in philanthropic and community/public serve organizations or a significant record in that area.

3. Is a role model as a community leader.

All Nominee forms must be submitted via email to by Friday, September 18, 2020.

Maria Camacho is Director of Government Affairs for the Los Angeles Rams. Maria was born and raised in Encino, where her parents still reside - she is still a Valley Girl at heart! She loves her childhood memories, from her dance classes at the Corbin Bowl shopping Center, her AYSO days at Balboa Park to her Club Track experience with the Valley Raiders at Birmingham High School. In her role with the Los Angeles Rams she establishes working relationships with public officials and public agencies throughout the Los Angeles region to identify opportunities for partnership and to solicit insight and feedback on current policy and civic topics.  

When asked a few questions about VICA and her experiences she shared these thoughts with us:

  1. Tell us about your experience with VICA and how VICA has been valuable for you?
    • I have been engaged with the VICA organization since my initial career within the public affairs consulting arena close to twenty years ago. As a member of the VICA organization, I have always appreciated the consistency of its focus on advocating for a better business climate and quality of life within the San Fernando Valley region. The fact that the San Fernando Valley business community and its neighborhoods have a voice through VICA is important given the need for diversified voices within regional policy dialogues. 
  2. If you were to tell a peer or friend about VICA, what would be your sales pitch? 
    • VICA is the organization to turn to when it relates to anything and everything happening in the San Fernando Valley. Through authentic conversations orchestrated by VICA, interactions with policy makers producing meaningful insights, influence outcomes, and motivation for actions needed by such policy-makers or members of the community that focus on solidifying the economic vitality of the region.
  3. What is your favorite experience or memory with VICA? 
    • There are too many events and memories with VICA to call one out. My favorite events are the following: (1) After Dark events where speakers and guests are a bit more casual in dialogue and take the time to engage with one another candidly. (2) the Local Officeholders event where elected officials from the local region are all in the room and answer the tough questions asked while "breaking bread" over lunch. (3) the State Officeholders event where elected's from the state level of government join in an evening of games and attendees pose questions addressing California's top legislative issues. Responses provided by the elected's are priceless! 
  4. How has your company made commitments or adjustments to support employees and/or the community during the COVID-19 pandemic? 
    • The Los Angeles Rams organization remains committed to addressing the realities in which our communities throughout the region face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic by offering a helping hand to those families in need with food insecurities at this time. Whether it's a result of a lost job or school closures where youth are provided consistent meals. For example, just this week (on Wednesday, September 9th) the Rams are teaming up with the LA Regional Food Bank to host a mobile food distribution at the team's new home in Inglewood at SoFi Stadium. The distribution is expected to serve approximately 4,000 families in need. Each meal kit will include 70 pounds of food, which is enough to provide a week of meals for a family of four.
Healthcare Committee (09/10)
Sponsored by Mission Community Hospital
  • Joe Panetta, CEO of Biocom, presented on the economic contributions of the life science industry to the Valley community, and the future of the industry after the pandemic.
  • Kathryn Scott, State Relations and Advocacy Senior Vice President, California Hospital Association and Jaime Garcia, Regional Vice President - Los Angeles, from HASC, discussed the importance of the flu vaccine this season as well as legislative updates.
  • The committee voted to support S. 4421 (Murphy): Temporary Reciprocity to Ensure Access to Treatment (TREAT) Act.

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