VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
April 8, 2022
In This Issue
  • VICA After Dark with Darren Kettle
  • VICA Commits to Protecting Hospitality Industry
  • VICA Advocacy Day
  • Purchase a VICA Government Handbook
  • VICA Receives Captain of Industry Award
  • 2021 Annual Report
  • Job Opening: Membership & Development Manager
  • Thank You to Our Members
  • Events
  • News
  • Member Messages
"How do we get more butts back into seats?"
Darren Kettle
CEO, Metrolink
Statement during VICA's After Dark event on Wednesday when addressing post-pandemic ridership.
VICA After Dark with Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle
VICA Vice Chair Lisa Gritzner (LG Strategies), Transportation Committee Chair Francine Oschin (Oschin Partners), Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle, VICA Vice Chair Coby King (High Point Strategies), and Presenting Sponsor Alan Tate (Burbank Airport Marriott).
On Wednesday, VICA hosted an After Dark with Metrolink Chief Executive Officer, Darren Kettle at the Burbank Airport Marriott.
Darren discussed Metrolink's new expanded train schedules, developing new promotional fares and incentives to attract ridership, how they're leading the industry in converting to renewable fuel and preparing the region to meet the mobility needs associated with the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

During his remarks, Darren touched on the federal funding Metrolink was going to receive for rail projects and how they plan on allocating the funding. He mentioned that, "there is a significant increase in the amount of funding for rail-related projects coming from the Federal Railroad Initiative."

Darren closed the evening out with discussing different options Metrolink is looking to bring ridership numbers back up in comparison to pre-pandemic levels. He mentioned looking at different incentives to offer riders, as well as expanding accessibility options for riders.

Darren became the Metrolink CEO in September 2021. He has more than 30 years of experience with local and regional government agencies. Before joining Metrolink, Darren was the Executive Director of the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) for 14 years.
VICA Commits to Protecting California's Hospitality Industry
2022 LA City Ordinance: Hotel Workers Initiative - OPPOSE

VICA strongly opposes the Hotel Workers Initiative ordinance, which will set forth provisions on daily housekeeping, square footage limits on daily cleaning, and many of the other provisions. 

The reality here is that the ordinance cripples hotels who have fought to remain open or who reopened during the pandemic. Spikes in labor costs could cause other hotels to follow suit in either foreclosure or permanent closure.
The ordinance places onerous requirements on hotels. Not only do they have to provide employees with personal security devices, but they also must provide training to use those devices. This would place a financial burden on hotels right when the hotel and tourism industry is starting to fully recover from the pandemic. Hotels need to be aided in this time of recovery rather than hindered with financial burdens.
As we know, California is already suffering a major water drought. The Ordinance requires for daily housekeeping during a guests stay, which will negatively impact the environment. Currently, hotel guests may opt out of housekeeping throughout the duration of their stay and are rewarded with bonus points in their program or a financial incentive. This Ordinance removes the provision and requires staff to enter each room each day for housekeeping.
Lastly, though the Ordinance requires daily housekeeping in all rooms, it effectively prevents hotels from paying an employee overtime. This will force a limitation on income, require hotels to hire more staff, which will result in hours lost for current employees.
VICA Advocacy Day
VICA President Stuart Waldman, Ross Pendergraft (Leavitt Group), Senator Bob Hertzberg, VICA Legislative Affairs Manager Kayla Koerting, Sarah Sheehy (KB Home), and James Theiring (Mission Community Hospital).
On Tuesday, the VICA Advocacy Day Delegation met with legislators in Sacramento to advocate on behalf of our members. VICA leadership met with Assemblymembers Adrin Nazarian and Vince Fong, and Senators Robert Hertzberg, Anthony Portantino, and Scott Weiner. The Delegation also met with representatives from the offices of Assembymember Laura Friedman and Senator Henry Stern.

The Delegation discussed the following policy matters:

Assembly Bill 257 (Holden): Food Facilities and Employment – OPPOSE
AB 357 would fundamentally change the contractual terms between independent franchises and the national brand by stripping franchisees of their independence. In doing so, AB 257 would place independent owners at an unfair disadvantage compared to other restaurants, simply because of their affiliation with national brands.

Assembly Bill 1001 (C. Garcia): Environment: Mitigation Measures for Air and Water Quality Impacts: Environmental Justice – OPPOSE
AB 1001 will be a housing and private development mitigation tool by putting limitations on local zoning. It puts up new legal barriers for local agencies to contend with by creating new guidelines that will further slow the development of new housing. While we support the continuance of environmental justice throughout California, AB 1001 is not a proper path to take when considering the gravity of California’s housing crisis.

Assembly Bill 1761 (Voepel): Flexible Scheduling: COVID-19 Recovery and Getting Californians Back to Work - SUPPORT
AB 1761 would permit an individual nonexempt employee to request an employee-selected flexible work schedule providing for workdays up to 10 hours per day within a 40-hour workweek. Many US workers are now considering a work/life balance and flexibility to be the most critical factor in considering job offers. 80% of employees said they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options.

Concerns Regarding Independent Contractors
VICA continues to express our concerns about AB 5 to our legislators, asking them to negotiate and introduce bills that will allow independent contractors to thrive in California.
VICA President Stuart Waldman, VICA Legislative Affairs Manager Kayla Koerting, Ross Pendergraft (Leavitt Group), Sarah Sheehy (KB Home), James Theiring (Mission Community Hospital), and Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian.
Senate Bill 1075 (Skinner): Hydrogen: Green Hydrogen: Emissions of Greenhouse Gases – SUPPORT
SB 1075 allows California to be able to reach decarbonization targets by establishing green hydrogen in our grid and many hard-to abate sectors, such as maritime transportation, aviation, and heavy-duty transport. In addition to diversifying California’s energy portfolio, SB 1075 will ensure a dependable and cost-effective energy supply while combatting climate change.

Assembly Bill 1872 (Low): Election Day Holiday – OPPOSE
The creation of a new state holiday for Election Day will likely result in private employers observing this state holiday. This is particularly troublesome following the passage of laws mandating more employee leave. Further, the creation of Election Day holidays in AB 1872 would disrupt school instructional calendars. This may even result in a drop in the general population's voting rates as parents will need to provide or find childcare on Election Day.

Senate Bill 213 (Cortese): Workers’ Compensation: Hospital Employees - OPPOSE
SB 213 would expand presumptions into the private sector for the first time for a specific group of employees without any evidence that employees lack access to workers’ compensation benefits. In fact, reports show that health care employers are a leading industry when it comes to approving the vast majority of workers’ compensation claims. The financial impact of SB 213 would significantly burden our hospitals and health systems with increased costs which would be astronomical.

Senate Bill 301 (Skinner): Combating the Online Sale of Stolen Goods – SUPPORT
SB 301 is a critical part of that effort, as one of the key factors driving the increase in organized retail crime is the availability and use of online marketplaces by organized retail crimes networks as a “fence” for stolen goods. Using third-party accounts, online marketplaces can provide a seller access to a global market of consumers plus a shield of anonymity from law enforcement. Organized retail crime rings have been known to use numerous online accounts on multiple marketplaces to sell stolen goods at-scale. Consumers hunting for online bargains are largely unaware that they may become unwitting accomplices to these crimes.

Assembly Bill 2926 (Kalra): Employee Obligations: Exclusivity Options – OPPOSE
AB 2926 would upend longstanding business practices that have made California home to a vibrant film, TV, and streaming business, undermine collective bargaining, and harm the industry that has created a robust middle class of entertainment industry workers. An exclusivity clause provides an artist with generous compensation for their exclusive commitment to a production, often from creation through exhibition. With artist participation assured, the producer-employer is afforded the stability necessary to finance, insure, and arrange all of the other elements for the production to move forward.

Assembly Bill 2341 (Medina): California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009: Complaint Processing Contracts - SUPPORT
AB 2341 will allow the Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education to enter into a contract, for the purposes of state authorization with a public institution of higher education established by another state that provides in-person instruction at a physical location. It will support affordability for California students who want to complete their education at a public higher education institution in California by allowing them to receive critical federal support.
VICA's Government Handbook - Order Your Copies Today
We're pleased to announce our
2022 Government Handbook has been finalized!
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.

If you are registered for any upcoming events and/or committee meetings, we will have your copies ready for pick up. Don't worry if you aren't attending a meeting, we will also be mailing out government handbooks in the next couple of weeks.

If you are interested in purchasing extra copies, please click here to email Cathy Mendoza and we will make sure your order is set.
VICA Honored as Captain of Industry From Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber
VICA is proud to be honored as a Captain of Industry from the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce at their 111th Anniversary Celebration. The award pays tribute to Chamber businesses who have been members for over 10 years and for their contributions to the economic vitality of the Valley. We are grateful for our long-standing partnership with the Chamber.

We thank VICA Chair Victor Berrellez (US Bank), who accepted the award on VICA's behalf.

Congratulations to the rest of the Captain of Industry honorees and Happy 111th Birthday to the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce!
VICA Fights Against the Largest Tax Increase in History
Assembly Constitutional Amendment 11 (Kalra): Universal Healthcare - OPPOSE

VICA sees ACA 11 as permanently damaging to California’s economy and way of life. As we continue to face the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to oppose ACA 11, which will shrink California’s business environment and price out its residents.

If ACA 11 passes, it would increase taxes by $12,250.00 per household which would nearly double California’s current tax collection rate. The tax increases are detrimental to employers and individuals alike that will lead to mass exodus of doctors, health practitioners, Californians, and businesses to states with less taxes and/or traditional health systems.  

ACA 11’s shortcomings are only further shown by the fact that California is already seeing record levels of tax revenue. This has created a state budget surplus during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than increasing taxes to create a statewide single-payer healthcare system, California’s new budget surplus should be used to bolster current healthcare funding. 

VICA's Annual Report
VICA is proud to release our 2021 Annual Report. To learn more about VICA's legislative successes, accomplishments, and events of 2021,
read our Annual Report here.
VICA Vacancy
Click the image to learn more and apply today!
VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members
Last Chance to Register:
State Officeholders Dinner
Friday, April 22
Stage 29 at Universal Studios Hollywood

VICA’s State Officeholders Dinner provides a rare opportunity for Valley business leaders to connect with state lawmakers and participate in an informal event, allowing for fun, candid, and interactive conversation.
The Week Ahead
Land Use Committee - At Capacity
Tuesday, April 12
8:30 - 10:30 AM
Hosted at The Garland
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
Sponsored by Los Angeles Association of Health Underwriters & Saybrook University
Thursday, April 14
12:00 - 1:30 PM
VICA Office
Save the Date
Aviation Committee
Tuesday, April 19
12:00 - 1:30 PM
Hosted at Aerolease Group
Government Affairs Committee
Wednesday, April 20
12:00 - 2:00 PM
VICA Office
VICA New Member Orientation
Tuesday, April 26
8:30 - 10:00 AM
VICA Office
Hot News
The most recent homelessness settlement ends the city’s part of the lawsuit filed in March 2020 against both the city and county of Los Angeles by the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights. The city has agreed to provide enough beds over the next five years in each city council district for 60% of the homeless population, as defined.

Parking Enforcements
Following a vote Wednesday by LA City Council, parking enforcement of vehicle dwellings in violation of posted signage will resume on May 15 for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, and parking enforcement for recreational vehicles deemed hazardous will begin immediately. Enforcement and towing of vehicle dwellings was suspended in March 2020, when the city declared a local emergency, relaxing enforcement for all parking violations.

City National Bank on Wednesday announced another three-year, $1 million donation to the Los Angeles Unified School District to support financial-literacy programs for high school students. Kelly Coffey, CEO of City National Bank, is expected to make the donation official during an early afternoon news conference at Crenshaw High School with LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
The bank announced its original donation in 2019 in support of the “Dollars+Sense” educational program, and bank officials said more than 26,000 students have taken part, receiving a total of nearly 74,000 hours of financial-literacy education.
Student Loan
The Biden administration plans to freeze federal student loan payments through Aug. 31, extending a moratorium that has allowed millions of Americans to postpone payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an administration official familiar with the White House’s decision-making.

Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez joined leading businesswomen in Los Angeles on Wednesday, April 7, to bring attention to a website and toolkit that advises local businesses on how to create a more “mom-friendly” workplace and to announce companies that pledged to incorporate the efforts. was created with help from a report by the city’s chief legislative analyst on the impact the pandemic had on working women.

Gas Prices
As consumers fume over skyrocketing gasoline prices and other commodities, congressional Democrats on Wednesday called executives from big oil companies on the carpet to explain why they appear to be making unseemly fat profits in the face of an international crisis. The House hearing was in part a response to Republicans’ campaign to blame Democrats for inflation, now running at a 40-year high and rising. Oil executives Wednesday insisted that market forces set fuel prices, while Republican lawmakers attacked President Biden and what they called his anti-fossil fuel policies for creating supply shortfalls leading to higher prices at the pumps.
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.