VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
May 20, 2022
In This Issue
  • May Advocacy Day
  • VICA Supports Adaptive Reuse Projects
  • VICA Voter Guide
  • Action Alert: Oppose LA City Un-Fair Work Week Ordinance
“No other state in American history has ever experienced a surplus as large as this.”
Governor Gavin Newsom
Statement during a news conference in Sacramento last week
VICA May Advocacy Day - Take Action Below on Issues that Matter to You
VICA Vice Chair Ross Pendergraft (Leavitt Group), VICA President Stuart Waldman, VICA Board Member Rafael De La Rosa (CSUN), Assemblymember Mike Gipson, Victoria Dochoghlian (CSUN), and David Gonzalez (Association of Independent Commercial Producers)
This past Tuesday, VICA President Stuart Waldman and a delegation of VICA members traveled to Sacramento to advocate the causes that matter most to you. They met with Senators Connie Levy and Josh Newman and the office of Senator Bob Hertzberg. They also met with Assemblymembers Tim Grayson, Mike Gipson, and Jacqui Irwin. Below are the issues they discussed. You can still join the fight and take action on the items discussed below!

Assembly Bill 257 (Holden): Food Facilities and Employment - OPPOSE
AB 257 would enact the Fast-Food Accountability and Standards (FAST) Recovery Act, eliminating franchisees’ authority as small business owners and destroying the franchise model. Fast food restaurant franchises are a proven pathway to business ownership for thousands of Californians and preserving the small business franchise model would promote continuing economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. AB 257 would fundamentally change the contractual terms between independent franchises and the national brand by stripping franchisees of their independence.

Assembly Bill 437 (Kalra): Employee Obligations: Exclusivity Options: Actors - OPPOSE
AB 437 would prohibit exclusivity provisions in contracts between producers of movies, television and streaming programs and their employees. This bill would also destabilize California’s entertainment business, cut opportunities for working actors, and weaken the state’s economic recovery. The bill 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.

Assembly Bill 983 (Kalra): Employee Obligations: Exclusivity Options - OPPOSE AB 983 would prohibit exclusivity provisions in musicians’ contracts, radically upending nearly a century of business practices and legal principles that have benefited employers and employees alike. This bill would destroy this balance and usher in harmful changes that would impact California business, by not only eliminating any recourse a record company has if an artist fails to deliver the agreed-upon recordings, but also forcing record companies to exercise options within twelve months, constraining the seven-year rule to just one.

Assembly Bill 1872 (Low): Election Day Holiday - OPPOSE
AB 1872 would make the day of statewide general elections in even-numbered years a state holiday, eliminating Washington’s Birthday as a holiday in those years. VICA believes it is important for Californians to exercise their civic duties by voting for state, local, and federal elected officials, but creating an Election Day holiday is not the way to promote increased voter turnout. According to the Census Bureau, fewer than 2 percent of registered voters indicated that they were too busy to vote in the 2016 election. Further, registered voters can vote by mail during our state's election season instead of attending the polls on Election Day. In fact, the vast majority of California voters already vote by mail. Therefore, this bill is not necessary to encourage higher voter turnout.

VICA Delegation with Senator Maria Elena Durazo in Sacramento
Assembly Bill 2341 (Medina): California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009: Complaint Processing Contracts - SUPPORT
AB 2341 would 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. The execution of a contract with the Bureau is necessary for an institution to demonstrate state authorization to the United States Department of Education. Currently, California has a clear path for many higher education institutions, including private for-profit and independent institutions, to meet these federal requirements, and thereby offer federal aid to their students. However, public universities are not within the current jurisdiction of the Bureau, so students who enroll for in-person instruction at another state’s public institution within California are not eligible for federal financial aid.

Concerns Regarding Independent Contractors
VICA remains concerned about the legal definition of independent contractors, which is currently severely limited due to the three-part ‘ABC’ test introduced by the California Supreme Court’s “Dynamex” ruling. The Current ABC test states that many professionals who were traditionally independent contractors must now be considered employees. This test goes too far and restricts an individual’s freedom to choose to ‘work for themselves’ as independent contractors.

Flexible Scheduling: COVID-19 Recovery and Getting Californians Back to Work - SUPPORT
VICA supports efforts to create flexible schedules for employees as they begin to return to work and transition into a new normal of physical distancing, transit distancing and hybrid school schedules. Over the years, VICA has supported legislation to add employee flexibility to offer new ways to complete a 40-hour workweek, from 5 days/8 hours per day to alternatives such as 4 days/10 hours per day while paying overtime for hours worked beyond 40 hours per week. As workers begin to return to the workplace, COVID-19 will require us to adopt new safety measures, including physical distancing. For those who commute to work via public transit, it will be important to have a flexible schedule in place in order to prevent overcrowding buses and trains.

Senate Bill 213 (Cortese): Workers’ Compensation: Hospital Employees - OPPOSE SB 213 would establish a presumption in the workers’ compensation program for a broad range of illnesses and injuries and relieve hospital employees from having to demonstrate that certain infectious diseases, musculoskeletal injuries, and respiratory diseases arose out of their work environment. Employee safety is a top priority for our hospitals and health systems where proper precautions are taken. Yet, work-related injuries can still occur. In those cases, every employee has access to California’s no-fault workers’ compensation system, which is designed to support employees. However, when a disagreement arises, there is great value in the current resolution process, a fair and robust procedure administered by the Division of Workers’ Compensation which protects employees as well as employers, ensuring fair compensation.

Senate Bill 301 (Skinner): Combating the Online Sale of Stolen Goods - SUPPORT VICA proudly supports SB 301 to combat the online sale of stolen goods. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, retail theft has skyrocketed in California’s major metropolitan areas, with some cities and counties seeing a 700% increase compared to pre-pandemic levels. Organized retail crime (ORC) is a complex, multi-faceted problem and combatting it requires a comprehensive approach. SB 301 is a critical part of that effort, as one of the key factors driving the increase in ORC 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.

Senate Bill 922 (Weiner): California Environmental Quality Act: Exemptions: Transportation-Related Projects - SUPPORT
SB 922 would exempt transportation-related projects from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). SB 922 builds on earlier legislation acknowledging the environmental benefits of sustainable transportation, including biking, walking, and public transit. With this bill, environmentally friendly projects which support sustainable transportation would be exempt from CEQA protocol which requires a lengthy report on the project’s environmental impact. Such exempt projects may include bicycle transportation plans, bicycle parking and storage, signal timing improvements, and related signage for sustainable transportation.

VICA Supports Adaptive Reuse Projects
The VICA Board officially supports legislation that would permit the adaptive reuse of any commercial, office, public, or industrial buildings with an occupancy of 25% or less for conversion to housing units.

In 1999, the city of Los Angeles adopted an ordinance to permit the adaptive reuse of office and commercial buildings in the downtown area. A study by the Central City Association of Los Angeles stated that, in the first 20 years of the ordinance, more than 12,000 housing units were created through adaptive reuse in downtown Los Angeles. Additionally, the study noted that, if 10% of the 155,000,000 square feet of office space in downtown Los Angeles were used for adaptive housing, an additional 16,000 housing units would be available. Los Angeles leadership is considering expanding the current adaptive reuse ordinance to other parts of the city.

The housing crisis has exacerbated California’s long-fought struggle to maintain a steady flow of new and affordable housing. In estimate, the state is short by more than 3 million housing units. The current surplus of empty office and retail spaces—a persistent surplus due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic—presents an opportunity: reorient jobs to fully remote status and adapts the unused office and retail spaces to housing. This is the most effective, immediate, and rational approach to reducing California’s housing deficit, while also helping bring income to owners of empty commercial properties.
VICA Voter Guide:
Primary Elections
California's Primary Election is approaching on Tuesday, June 7. Some of you may have already received your ballots in the mail, while others will be heading to the polls once they open.

The VICA PAC has been interviewing candidates from different races, and has voted to endorse the following candidates.

Our Policy Committees have also been reviewing ballot measures that you may see on your ballot, based on where you're registered to vote.

The VICA team has put together a Voter Guide for the Primary Election. We urge you to follow our guide to ensure we advance the economic interests for the San Fernando Valley. Take a look below at our current positions:
City of Los Angeles
Measure BB - SUPPORT
Prioritize local businesses in the City of Los Angeles before outside entities for public contracts.

Los Angeles County Assessor
Los Angeles County Assessor Jeff Prang

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor - District 3
Bob Hertzberg

Los Angeles City Mayor
Rick Caruso
Los Angeles City Attorney
Kevin James

Los Angeles City Council - District 3
Councilmember Bob Blumenfield

Los Angeles City Council - District 7
Councilmember Monica Rodriguez

Los Angeles City Council - District 13
Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell

Los Angeles City Council - District 15
Tim McOsker
Sacramento Two-Day
Advocacy Trip
VICA, in partnership with the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce, invite you to an exclusive two-day Sacramento advocacy trip.

Details as follows:
June 1 - June 2

Trip Agenda
Wednesday, June 1
  • CalChamber Capitol Summit (10:00 AM - 1:15 PM)
  • Delegation Meetings
  • Sacramento Host Reception (5:30 - 7:00 PM)
  • The Host Reception is a networking opportunity for California business leaders from all industries to discuss key issues facing our great state with their elected officials.
  • Delegation Dinner (Optional)

Thursday, June 2
  • 96th Annual Host Breakfast with Governor Gavin Newsom (7:30 - 9:00 AM)
  • Delegation Meetings

The cost of the trip is $215, which includes CalChamber Capitol Summit registration, reception, breakfast, lunch, delegation meetings, group dinner, and group transportation between airport and Capitol (if at similar times). Cost of flight and hotel are not included.

For more information or to register, please email or call 818.817.0545.
No Refunds after May 20, 2022.
ACTION ALERT: Unfair Work Week Ordinance Will Return to the City Council
The Los Angeles City Council is threatening to bring the so-called "Fair Work Week" Ordinance back to the Economic Development and Jobs Committee, which will restrict employee schedules and increase business payroll expenses. Though we do not have an exact date for when this will be revived, we are urging our members to call committee members and express opposition, as they gave less than 48 hours notice when the ordinance was brought forward in February.

The Ordinance would require Los Angeles employers to provide employees with more stable and foreseeable hours. However, this ordinance is actually restrictive scheduling, imposing a one-size-fits-all system that threatens the flexibility of employees and employers.

Although the proposal currently lacks detail, we understand that the proposed ordinance would require retail employers to provide two weeks' advanced notice of employees' schedules, and be penalized for any changes made after the schedule is posted. The proposal is applicable to retail businesses with over 300 employees worldwide.

Many employers already provide schedules in advance, but we remain concerned at the possibility of harsh penalties when unforeseen circumstances come up, such as employees calling out sick or a sudden business need for additional employees. Harsh penalties hurt employees, too: studies have found that most employees value the flexibility that employers are currently able to provide so they can pursue their studies or creative opportunities.

To express your opposition, call/email your City Council Member:
District 6

District 1

District 2

District 3

District 4

District 5

District 7

District 8
District 9

District 10

District 11

District 12

District 13

District 14

District 15
Click the images to learn more and apply today!
VICA Thanks Our New and Renewing Members
VICA SFV Business Hall of Fame
Friday, June 10 | 5:30 PM
Sheraton Universal Hotel

VICA invites you to the San Fernando Valley Hall of Fame Dinner.
Join VICA members, business leaders and officeholders, as we celebrate recognized businesses during a reception, program, dinner and dessert.
VICA After Dark: LAFD Chief Kristen Crowley
Thursday, June 23 | 5:30 PM
FIVE on the Hill

VICA After Dark is a regular evening reception designed to give VICA members and guests the opportunity to hear updates about policies impacting the business community from a featured opinion leader and network with other prominent business leaders from the community.
Save the Date
VICA Ambassador Committee Meeting
Wednesday, June 1
9:00 - 10:30 AM
VICA Office
Sponsored by the Verdugo Hills Council Boy Scouts of America
Healthcare Committee Meeting
Thursday, June 9
12:00 - 1:30 PM
VICA Office
Sponsored by Hospital Association of Southern California & Heritage Sierra Medical Group
SETH Committee Meeting
Thursday, June 9
8:30 - 10:00 AM
Hosted by The Garland
Land Use Committee Meeting
Tuesday, June 14
8:30 - 10:30 AM
Hosted at The Garland
Hot News
California College Funding
California’s three systems of public higher education are set to get a big funding boost — but in exchange will need to meet comprehensive targets to improve access, affordability and equity under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised budget proposal unveiled Friday. The proposal for the University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges sets out the most detailed numerical goals ever included as conditions of state funding under agreements reached by Newsom and the three systems.

Energy Reliability
Two years after California endured a wave of rolling blackouts, Gov. Gavin Newsom called on lawmakers Friday to spend more than $5 billion to fortify the state’s troubled electricity grid. In his budget proposal to the Legislature, the Democratic governor proposed creating a “strategic electricity reliability reserve” to support development of new power plants and industrial-scale battery storage. Speaking to reporters in Sacramento, he called energy reliability “an endless struggle” in California.

Gas Prices
The average price of a gallon of gas has officially surpassed $6 for the first time in California — and U.S. — history.
The Golden State set a new record Wednesday with an average per-gallon cost of $6.05, though the price climbed as high as $7 in remote Mono County, according to AAA. The national average, meanwhile, was nearly $1.50 cheaper at $4.56 per gallon.
Vehicle Emissions
The attorneys general of 17 states have asked a federal appeals court to reconsider an Environmental Protection Agency decision allowing California to set its own vehicle emission standards. The policy was struck under President Trump and reinstated by the Biden administration earlier this year. California’s vehicle emission standards are some of the toughest in the nation, and the 17 attorneys general argue the EPA’s decision to let the Golden State set its own rules forces the rest of the country to follow suit.

Budget Surplus
"Simply without precedent. "Speaking for more than two hours in a press conference in Sacramento, Newsom unveiled his latest record spending proposal for the coming fiscal year. Riding a superheating economy and drawing disproportionately from the state’s highest earners, the state is now projected to have a surplus bigger than California — or any state — has ever had, and significantly more than the $76 billion that the governor predicted in January.

Southern California’s housing market remains overheated, with home prices hitting all-time highs despite soaring inflation and rising mortgage rates. With price and mortgage hikes pushing many would-be buyers to the sidelines, sales are sagging. Yet, buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale. The median price of a Southern California home hit a record-high $760,000 in April.
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.