VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
Friday, January 29
In This Issue
  • Quote of the Week
  • Recap: January Advocacy Day
  • Members
  • Upcoming Events
  • VICA Advocacy
  • Hot News
  • Metro Traffic Pilot Study
  • Member Spotlight
  • 2021 Government Handbook
  • Member Messages
"California is slowly starting to emerge from the most dangerous surge of this pandemic yet, which is the light at the end of the tunnel we've been hoping for."
Dr. Mark Ghaly
California Health and Human Services Secretary
Virtually Visiting Sacramento in our First Advocacy Day of 2021
VICA members meet with California State Treasurer Fiona Ma at our January Advocacy Day.
A delegation of VICA members and staff virtually "traveled" to Sacramento on Wednesday to speak with lawmakers and representatives. The delegation advocated for the San Fernando Valley business interests and had productive conversations with elected representatives on bills currently moving through the legislative process. In total, VICA brought 10 bills to the attention of our lawmakers that will have various affects on the Valley.
Asm. Vince Fong speaks to the VICA delegation.
VICA met with Senator Bob Hertzberg, Treasurer Fiona Ma, Board of Equalization Chair Antonio Vazquez, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, Assemblymember Vince Fong, the Office of Assemblymember Mark Levine, the Office of Assemblymember Blanca Rubio, and the Office of Senator Ben Allen. Thank you to all of the elected officials for meeting with us, and for all of the members that virtually traveled with us for our January Advocacy Day!

If you weren't able to join us for the January Advocacy Day, click the links below to send letters to legislators and fight for the San Fernando Valley Business Community.

The following bills were discussed with Assemblymembers:

  • Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1 - OPPOSE: Allows local governments to increase taxes with a 55% vote rather than two-thirds as required by the Constitution, making it easier to raise taxes, running counter to the goal of making the state more affordable.
  • Assembly Bill 53 - OPPOSE: Establishes an unnecessary statewide Election Day holiday, requiring public schools to be closed and state employees a paid day off, which could make it harder for Californians to vote.
  • Assembly Bill 95 - SUPPORT IF AMENDED: Requires employees to protect the basic human dignity to grieve by allowing bereavement leave, but includes a private right of action, which burdens already struggling businesses.
  • Assembly Bill 230 - SUPPORT: Allows non-exempt employees to request a flexible work schedule of up to 10 hours per day within a 40-hour work week. This flexible scheduling will be imperative to reopening our economy with a new normal of physical distancing, transit distancing, and hybrid school schedules.

The following bills were discussed with Senators:

  • Senate Bill 6 - SUPPORT and WORK WITH AUTHOR: Allows residential development on existing lots currently zoned for commercial office and retail spaces, improving housing shortfalls, but contains costly prevailing wage provisions.
  • Senate Bill 7 - SUPPORT: Extends and expands the Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Economic Leadership Act until 2025, a crucial step to reach our housing goals and rebuild our economy.
  • Senate Bill 9 - SUPPORT IF AMENDED: Streamlines the process of approving duplex construction or urban split lots and addresses the housing and homelessness crisis, but includes confusing language and provisions which needs to be revised.
  • Senate Bill 10 - SUPPORT: Promotes housing development and gives local governments more autonomy to increase baseline zoning for residential properties by allowing cities to zone for up to 10 units per parcel in transit- or jobs-rich areas.
  • Senate Bill 15 - SUPPORT IF AMENDED: Provides incentives to local governments to build housing on idle sites that contain commercial shopping centers or big box retailers, but contains damaging prevailing wage provisions.

VICA also expressed Concerns Regarding Independent Contractors to all elected representatives, asking them to continue negotiating and introducing bills to allow independent contractors to thrive in California.
VICA Welcomes Our New Members
Silver Member:
VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members
Silver Member:
Upcoming Events
First 5 Members to bring a Guest with them (registered), will receive a $10 gift card to Starbucks.

Friday, February 5, 2021 at 9 a.m.

Early Bird Ticket Price: $50
(Purchase before February 19)
Regular Ticket Price: $100
Includes Breakfast

Circle of Influence & Business Leader members receive a free ticket to this event - please contact Cathy to reserve your free seat. 
Contact Shauna Carter for additional details. | 805.558.0731
The Week Ahead
Labor & Employment Committee Meeting
Wednesday, February 3
9 to 10:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference

First Sip with VICA
Friday, February 5
9 to 10 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Education Committee Meeting
Thursday, February 4
9 to 10:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Save the Date
Land Use Committee Meeting
Tuesday, February 9
8 to 10 a.m.
Online Video Conference
EEMU Committee Meeting
Wednesday, February 10
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Government Affairs Committee Meeting
Wednesday, February 17
9 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Ambassador Committee Meeting
Tuesday, February 23
10 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
VICA Advocacy
Voicing Hazard Pay Concerns to the LA City Council
This week, VICA urged the Los Angeles City Council Economic Development and Jobs Committee to complete a thorough economic and policy analysis before voting on a Grocery Hazard Pay ordinance.

The proposed $5 per hour increase is equivalent to a 30 percent wage increase, a cost which would be passed onto consumers in the form of higher grocery costs. This could negatively impact many in our region who are struggling to afford living expenses during the pandemic.

VICA is thankful for the grocery workers who have truly been on the front lines, ensuring we have reliable access to food and necessities throughout the crisis. As an acknowledgement of this sacrifice, grocers have undertaken massive efforts and spent millions of dollars to implement safety policies and provide bonuses, paid time off, and other benefits.

Finally, VICA expressed that the City cannot impose these suffocating provisions on businesses when they are not providing Hazard Pay to the countless City employees who are keeping Los Angeles running. The committee pushed this ill-conceived ordinance forward with a unanimous vote, but VICA will continue to advocate against it.
Hot News
The US economy shrank by 3.5% in 2020, but grew by 4% in the last quarter. The US GDP also dropped 33.4% in the April-June 2020 quarter.

LA County Public Health Department Director says that elementary schools in the county may be able to open in two to three weeks if cases continue to drop.

Governor Newsom announced a new vaccine rollout plan on Monday that prioritizes age-based tiers rather than sector-based tiers
California public K-12 schools face a record breaking 155,000 student drop in enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year, but the causes of the drop are unclear.

California officials have confirmed that over $11 billion in unemployment benefits, about 10% of the total paid during the pandemic, involve fraud.

COVID-19 Restrictions
LA County is suing two restaurants that allegedly constituted a public nuisance by disobeying health orders. The suit seeks to allow inspectors to ensure compliance.
Traffic Pilot for Employers in Los Angeles County
VICA member Metro is developing a $1.3 million Travel Reward Research Pilot Program to ease traffic by identifying the most effective incentives to persuade travelers to use transit, carpooling, bicycling and telecommuting.

Metro is looking for large employers and organizations that can solicit a minimum of 1,000 employees/community members to participate in this Travel Reward Research Pilot. Participating employees/community members will receive rewards and incentives, funded by Metro to support their trial of new transportation options.

Participating employers and community partners will contribute to working with Metro for 6-12 months on an incentive program tailored to the partners needs. The goal of the research is to look at incentives to change employee behavior and improve the physical and mental health - and productivity - of the working population in Los Angeles.

If you are interested, please contact the Travel Reward Research Pilot project managers via email at and
Member Spotlight
Carmen Bowen - Saybrook University
For over 20 years, Carmen has worked in higher education in Texas and California; serving in a variety of leadership roles such as Campus President, Academic Dean, Regional Director of Academics, Program Chair and of course faculty. Currently, she proudly serves as the Director of University Relations at Saybrook University; and serves as the Public Relations Liaison for the Colleges of Law Santa Barbara & Ventura.

Carmen earned her MBA in Entrepreneurship from the University of Dallas, and BBA in Business Management from Northwood University. In addition to her professional duties, she actively serves on several community boards and committees: Valley Industry and Commerce Association – Board of Directors Member, Universal City North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce – Present Board Member & Past President, The Valley Economic Alliance – former Board Member, Committees/Affiliations: Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, NAACP, GLAAACC and United Chambers of Commerce.
In 2018, Carmen was honored to be named in the San Fernando Business Journal as one of the “Valley 200”, Most Influential leaders in the San Fernando Valley. Contributing and giving back to the community is one of her fundamental objectives, and her employers provide a safe environment for her to pursue change and social justice.  
Fun Fact: Carmen has gone to Seoul South Korea 18 times to shop and speaks fluent “calculator” and “gestures”, and she is a shrewd purse bargainer. 

When VICA asked a few additional questions, these responses were shared:

Tell us about your belief in VICA, how has VICA been most valuable for you?  
For the last 7 years, I have been a member of VICA and have forged valuable relationships from the events hosted by VICA. The VICA team has been instrumental in helping me with business connections. The Sacramento advocacy trips (in-person and online) provide an up-close and personal opportunity to meet and have candid discussions with the legislators.  

If you were to share an experience about VICA, what would that be? 
Fun experience: Stuart Waldman, 5 years ago showed me how to “Uber” on my first advocacy trip. Prior to COVID, I was an “Uber” expert. Being an active member of VICA has certainly provided me, and my respective companies, varied returns on investment. Just joining is not enough, you have to attend networking events (First Sips, VICA After Dark, etc.), legislative events, VICA University events and join appropriate committees at minimum to best reap VICA’s benefits.   

What do you believe to be the greatest accomplishment VICA has achieved? 
Over the years I have watched VICA help businesses and industries with major issues that could negatively impact their survival. The VICA team works to get the VICA community to send letters, calls and visits to help advocate for the best outcome. 

What was your organizations and/or your greatest accomplishment in 2020? 
Our company’s commitment to taking a serious look at our diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and their openness to allow us to have crucial conversations. They consistently conducted wellness checks to ensure we were managing and staying healthy; mentally and physically. 

Can you share what VICA has meant for you and your business during COVID? 
VICA shifted gears so quickly at the onset of COVID and the tools they used helped us adapt as well. Their creativity was contagious, and they kept us connected during this trying time.  

> Please share a brief biography and a fun fact about yourself that people would love to learn, ie: you love skydiving, you have run a marathon, you started your own business at a young age, etc. (2-3 sentences) 

> Tell us about your belief in VICA, how has VICA been most valuable for you? 

> If you were to share an experience with someone about VICA, what would that be? 
> Share with us what you believe to be the greatest accomplishment VICA has achieved?

> What was your organizations and/or your greatest accomplishment in 2020?

> Can you share what VICA has meant for you and your business during COVID?

Send responses and headshot to Shauna Carter
Media Mentions
2021 Government Handbook
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.