September 18, 2020

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

"We have to deal with poverty. How do we create an equal society? How do we ensure people have health care? Our local officials need to understand that there are bigger goals here, and after this pandemic, I think we are more ready to have this conversation."

Calabasas City Councilmember Fred Gaines

VICA's Local Officeholders Luncheon - Home Edition


VICA Welcomes New Members

Anthem Blue Cross


VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members 







V&A, Inc.

El Camino Real Charter High School

Adler Realty Investments

The Week Ahead

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

Save the Date

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

Not For Profit Committee
Sponsored by Pacific Federal
Thursday, October 8th
8:30 to 10 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Land Use Committee
Tuesday, October 13th
8 to 10 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Leaders Forum with Congressman Mike Garcia
Tuesday, October 13th
11 to 12:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Hot Issues 

California Wildfires
CalFire is currently fighting 26 major wildfires across California, including 6 of the top 20 largest fires in California's history.  The total acreage burned has now passed 3.3 million acres, more than any other season on record.

California is cracking down on fraud in the unemployment benefits system. In Beverly Hills, 44 people have been arrested, and 129 fraudulently obtained debit cards containing over $2.5 million in unemployment benefits have been confiscated.

California is seeing success in its COVID-19 fight, with the lowest numbers of COVID hospitalizations since April, and a 3.5% positive test rate, the lowest rate since California began reporting in March.

The Federal Reserve announced that it will not raise interest rates until inflation reaches the 2% target. Experts say that this could leave interest rates at nearly zero until 2023.

USC and UCLA Athletic Directors met with LA County health officials to set a plan for the two PAC-12 football teams to begin practicing.  USC and UCLA have been approved for indoor activity as well as 11-on-11 full contact practice.

During a UC Board of Regents meeting, the Executive Director of the UC Health Center said that COVID-19 will likely require the UC system to continue with almost all online classes until September of 2021.

The Los Angeles county coroner has confirmed that three people experiencing homelessness died during the Labor Day weekend heat wave, when temperatures soared to over 120 degrees.

The Los Angeles Community College District, the largest in the nation, announced that it will continue online-only instruction through the end of the academic year.  

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director stated that if LA continues on the positive COVID-19 trajectory that it is on, the county could move to a less restrictive tier by October.

Governor Newsom has signed multiple bills that will make it more difficult for businesses to recover. These include VICA-opposed SB1383, which expands family leave, and SB 1159, which expands workers' compensation.

VICA Celebrates a Successful Virtual Local Officeholders Luncheon

Los Angeles Community College District Board Member Steve Veres and Amazon's Cameron Onumah discuss opportunities with online learning.

This year, VICA members were able to attend our Local Officeholders Luncheon remotely. We maintained the unique opportunity to engage with local officeholders in a casual Q&A format from the comfort of their own homes.  

After a networking session with VICA members and elected officials, the Q&A portion of our program, introduced by Darnell Tyler from Comcast NBC Universal and Carmel Stella from Wells Fargo, followed by questions to elected officials on a wide variety of issues. Cameron Onumha from Amazon, Aaron Green from Afriat Consulting, and Brad Rosenheim from Rosenheim & Associates led robust discussions with the elected officials that covered issues from land use to education.

VICA welcomed local officeholders serving in a variety of roles across Los Angeles, and received meaningful insight into the future of Los Angeles and the local issues that businesses face.  

Pictured above, Los Angeles Community College District Board Member Steve Veres stressed that despite challenges, online classes could have positive impacts on students and businesses. "Like LAUSD, we are all working to close the gap of internet connectivity. This work has impacts beyond the classroom and will impact the future."

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian spoke on the economic recovery of small businesses, stating that, "It's businesses that create jobs. It's businesses that create economic opportunities. And it's business who will get us through the economic recovery after this pandemic."

Finally, Glendale City Councilmember Ara Najarian provided a call to action to Valley businesses in saying that, "Bottom line, our fight continues. We have to fight as we are not getting the money that other projects are getting. We need to employ the Boards and let them know that the Valley needs to get its fair share."

VICA thanks the following elected officials for speaking with us and attending our Local Officeholders Luncheon - Home Edition:

Los Angeles Mayor
Eric Garcetti
Los Angeles City Controller
Ron Galperin

Los Angeles City Attorney
Mike Feuer
Los Angeles City Council President
Nury Martinez

Los Angeles City Councilmember
Bob Blumenfield

Los Angeles City Councilmember
Paul Koretz

Los Angeles City Councilmember
Paul Krekorian

Los Angeles City Councilmember
John Lee
Los Angeles City Councilmember
David Ryu

Los Angeles City Councilmember-elect
Kevin de Leon

Los Angeles County Assessor 
Jeffrey Prang

Los Angeles County Supervisor
Kathryn Barger

Los Angeles County Supervisor
Mark Ridley-Thomas

Los Angeles Community College District President
Andra Hoffman

Los Angeles Community College District Board Member
Steve Veres

Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member
Kelly Gonez
Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member 
Nick Melvoin

Burbank Mayor
Sharon Springer
Calabasas City Councilmember
Fred Gaines

Calabasas City Councilmember
David Shapiro
Glendale City Councilmember
Ara Najarian
San Fernando City Councilmember
Sylvia Ballin

Santa Clarita Mayor
Cameron Smyth

The local elected officials were able to provide insights on our most pressing questions on reopening efforts post-COVID-19, the housing shortage, public transportation, and online learning at the K-12 and college level.

Overall, VICA 2020 Local Officeholders Luncheon was a great success, and everyone enjoyed the lunch from The Garland, Steve's Smokin Barbeque, or DoorDash, as well as a swag box provided by our sponsors, which included socks, a sticker, a mug, and a pen!

VICA would like to thank our sponsors, who made the 2020 Local Officeholders Luncheon - Home Edition possible:


Afriat Consulting Group  ·  American Chemistry Council  ·  AT&T

Bobrick Washroom Equipment  ·  California Resource Corp. 

California State University, Northridge  ·  Cedars-Sinai Health System

Charter Communications  ·  DoorDash  ·  Fivepoint  ·  The Garland

Harvard Westlake  ·  Health Net  ·  Kaiser Permanente  ·  Los Angeles Rams

Los Angeles Valley College  ·  Mayer Brown  ·  Metro

Providence Health Systems  ·  Rosenheim & Associates 

Southland Regional Association of Realtors

UCLA  ·  Union Pacific Railroad  ·  US Bank  ·  Verizon
VICA supports Proposition 16, which would amend the California State constitution to permit the use of race, gender, and ethnic diversity as contributing factors, but not a deciding factor, in college admissions, government hiring and government contracting.

Proposition 16 would repeal the prohibition on affirmative action, allowing the consideration of race, ethnicity, and gender in a holistic review of an application. This will provide greater educational opportunities for individuals who may otherwise might not have had if their socio-economic background were not considered. This considerably increases their chances for meaningful employment, and will help create a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

VICA urges you to vote YES on Proposition 16, which will make the workforce of the future more diverse and better prepared.

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 Wednesday, September 30th!

VICA urges Governor Newsom to VETO Assembly Bill 3216 (Kalra), which would create a "right to recall" in California, requiring that businesses recall laid-off workers, providing such employees at least 10 days to respond. This bill would further harm employers who are struggling to avoid going out of business and would make it harder for California to achieve economic recovery. 

Beyond businesses, the "right to recall" hurts young workers who are just starting their careers as well as newer skilled workers who were hired for high level jobs prior to the COVID-19 crisis. Many would continue to find themselves in a situation where they are unable to pay for food, rent, or other essential needs.

Overall, AB 3216 would specifically target industries and individuals that have already faced the brunt of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic due to business closures and reduced travel. The last thing California needs is yet another delay in economic recovery.

Tickets: $50 / person

VICA opposes Proposition 23, which would require that every chronic dialysis clinic maintain at least one licensed physician at all times and require quarterly reports to be submitted to the California Department of Public Health. Prop 23's requirement to maintain an extra licensed physician at all times is redundant and arbitrarily bureaucratic. 

At a time when the state is facing a major public health crisis, Prop 23 would increase costs for health providers.  

According to an analysis by the Berkeley Research Group, Prop 23 would increase operating costs for dialysis clinics by $320 million annually.  Dialysis clinics unable to make up for these increased costs would see a greater risk of closing down. The rest would be forced to offset these costs onto patients and health insurance providers. Combined with the $100,000 penalty for failing to comply, Prop23 would only exacerbate the financial strain experienced by financial clinics because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 Wednesday, September 30, 2020.
Robert D. Gunsalus serves as Vice President for University Advancement for California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Gunsalus is a veteran university administrator with over 20 years of higher education and leadership experience. He is responsible for overseeing Government and Community Relations, Alumni Relations, Fundraising, Special Events, and Marketing and Communications. He also serves as president of the CSUN Foundation, which is responsible for all of CSUN's philanthropic assets and is overseen by a volunteer Board of Trustees. The Foundation Board serves as the University's primary external leadership group. He also oversees KCSN 88.5 FM, a non-profit radio station serving greater Los Angeles. He led the station through a partnership with KSBR in Orange County that was the largest expansion of a non-commercial signal in the history of the U.S. and now serves as the founding chairman of the oversight committee for the combined signal. In addition, Gunsalus serves on the advisory board for LACI@CSUN, an innovation and business incubator serving the San Fernando Valley and beyond, and is involved in numerous other civic and social organizations including the VICA Board of Directors. At CSUN, his teams have won more than 50 national and regional advancement awards.

Gunsalus holds a Ph.D. in political science from Purdue University, an M.A. in political science from North Carolina State University, and a B.A. in theology from Oklahoma Wesleyan University. He has served as an instructor for a variety of courses in political science and theory at Humboldt State, Purdue, Oklahoma Wesleyan and Indiana Wesleyan universities.

When asked a few questions about VICA and his experiences he shared these thoughts with us:
  1. Tell us about your experience with VICA and how VICA has been valuable for you?
    • In addition to the great network of leaders from across the region, I deeply appreciate the leadership and collaborative power VICA provides to the eclectic assortment of communities and organizations that make up the megalopolis of the Valley.    
  2. If you were to tell a peer or friend about VICA, what would be your sales pitch? 
    • If you care about the economic vitality and livability of the Valley, then you should join VICA. They are a 10,000 watt amplifier for the voices of the Valley.    
  3. What is your favorite experience or memory with VICA? 
    • Back in the good ole days when we could do this, it was hosting VICA for a meeting and reception at CSUN, and listening to the few who were first time visitors to our campus, say, "Wow - this is much better than that other university I attended." 
  4. How has your company made commitments or adjustments to support employees and/or the community during the COVID-19 pandemic? 
    • CSUN is doing everything possible to keep our students and employees safe, while continuing to provide life-changing educational experiences for our students, primarily virtually, and minimizing negative impacts on them and employees. The extensive details behind this massive transformation our outlined on our COVID response web site; CSUN as One.  
Government Affairs Committee
Sponsored by Dolphin Group and Rodriguez Strategies
  • The committee recommended to support City of San Fernando Measure SF.
  • The committee recommended to support City of Calabasas Measure C.
  • The committee recommended to oppose City of Burbank Measure RC.
  • The committee had a robust discussion with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on the implementation of the Los Angeles County Public Health Councils decision.

Member Messages:
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