VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
August 12, 2022
In This Issue
  • VICA Hosts Developer Roundtable
  • VICA Supports Senate Bill for Transportation Impact Reports
  • California Paid Leave Family Grant
  • Nominations are Open: Harmon Ballin Award
  • Become a VICA 2023 Board of Director
“That's always been me. I want to be great. I want to be perfect. I know perfect doesn't exist, but whatever my perfect was, I never wanted to stop until I got it right."
Serena Williams
In her Farewell to Tennis article
VICA Hosts Development Community and City Officials for a Roundtable
This past Tuesday, VICA gathered over 60 participants at The Garland for a roundtable discussion on land use and development within the San Fernando Valley. It is a rare opportunity to get land developers, Los Angeles civil servants, legislative staff, and real estate advisors all in the same room - this meeting provided a space for individuals to represent their differing interests and engage in a collaborative conversation.

One of the major points was a shared frustration with the complex, bureaucratic process development plans must go through - a process many argued can and should be streamlined. Maya Zaitvesky, Principle City Planner for LA City Planning, pointed out that the most important part in a successful project, large or small, is the accessibility and flow of information. Recommendations were made by many in attendance to improve the flow of information, including the implementation of case managers, coordination between various city departments to ensure land development is pushed along with less hinderance, and improved communication between staff at all levels.
Staffing was another hot topic, particularly for representatives from city departments. Lisa Webber, Deputy Director of Project Planning for LA City Planning, stated that staff numbers are low as a result of the pandemic, people moving to the private sector, and high rates of retirement. Bertram Moklebust, Principle Civil Engineer for the LA City Bureau of Engineering, echoed this sentiment. He shared that when he entered the Bureau, there was more than 200 applicants for one position. Now, you can barely get four applicants for one job posting.

As the discussion drew to a close, Land Use Committee Chair Jack Rubens (Sheppard Mullin) brought up recent state legislation that has passed with the intent to promote development. This legislation is less about forcing cities to build new housing, and more about ending unnecessary hinderance to new development projects, a goal that was in the shared interest of nearly all those in attendance.

VICA thanks The Garland for hosting. Thank you to the following guests for attending: Lisa Webber, Maya Zaitzevsky, Blake Lamb, Rosanna D'Antonio, Hani Malki, Osama Younan, Bertram Moklebust, Emil Abdelshehid, and Bradley Calvert.
VICA Supports Senate Bill 1410: Transportation Impact Reports
The VICA Board has voted to support Senate Bill 1410 (Caballero), which would require the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to establish a grant program for local jurisdictions to implement guidelines for analyzing transportation impacts and conduct and submit a study on those guidelines to the Legislature by 2025.

Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), cities, counties, and other public agencies must analyze transportation projects to determine potential environmental impacts. Traditionally, these impacts have been evaluated using Level of Service (LOS) analysis, a method that examines whether a project will cause increased congestion and traffic delays. Past legislation changed this methodology, requiring future projects to evaluate transportation impacts using a new metric that measures how much actual auto travel (additional miles driven) a proposed project would create on California roads - a metric known as vehicle miles traveled (VMT).

SB 1410 would utilize this new method of analysis, shedding light on the statewide implementation of VMT as the new standard of measuring transportation impacts through CEQA. In areas with limited access to reliable public transit and other alternative transportation options, developers must consider how to mitigate VMT in their projects, likely through fees that will ultimately drive up costs. For housing development, particularly in rural areas where public transportation is sparse, if not non-existent, increased project costs are passed down to the homebuyer or renter.

This bill would task the OPR with conducting a study of the implementation and impact of VMT for new development to ensure the adoption of this new standard is fair, equitable, and achieving its proposed goals. The VICA team will work to urge State Legislators to pass SB 1410.
California Paid Family Leave Grant
VICA is pleased to promote its continued partnership with the California Paid Family Leave (PFL) Grant. The program awards grants to assist California's small businesses impacted by the Paid Family Leave (PFL) Program.

California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program, which the Employment Development Department (EDD) administers, provides eligible employees with up to 8 weeks of wage replacement benefits when an employee is off work for certain qualifying reasons.

Businesses with employees using PFL may have increased costs such as cross-training existing staff and hiring and training new and/or temporary employees to cover for employees on leave. This may be particularly true for small employers. The California Employment Training Panel and California Labor and Workforce Development Agency funded a grant program for small employers to assist with these issues.

The PFL Grant Program allows eligible small businesses in California with 1-100 employees with at least one (1) employee utilizing California's Paid Family Leave program to apply for grants up to $2,000 per employee to offset the increased costs associated with the employee out on leave.

For more information, eligibility details, and to apply, visit
Nominations Are Open:
Harmon Ballin Community Service Award
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 member of VICA and is actively engaged in the organization.
  2. Has significant and long-term involvement in philanthropic, community, or public service organizations or a significant record in this area.
  3. Is a role model and community leader.

All nominee forms must be submitted via email to by Friday, September 2, 2022.

About Harmon Ballin
Harmon Ballin was a great leader and a long-standing member of VICA. He is remembered for his calm manner, leadership style and the respect he carried throughout the Valley. Ballin was involved in many nonprofits and programs, and his energy was an inspiration to everyone who knew him. When he suddenly passed away during the pinnacle of his career and civic leadership, it was a sad time for the Valley for we had lost one of the true leaders of our community. Instead of mourning Harmon Ballin, VICA celebrates and honors his legacy by bestowing this award on other dedicated civic leaders.
Some past honorees include: Ross Hopkins, Stu Solomon, Sandy Paris, Walt Mosher, Fred Gaines, Jim Garrison, Kevin Tamaki, Greg Lippe, Brad Rosenheim, Francine Oschin, Pegi Matsuda, Ross Pendergraft, Jane Skeeter, Lee Alpert, Darnell Tyler and Mark Davis. 
Do You Want to Be a VICA Board Member?
VICA's 2023 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.

VICA is also accepting applications if you are interested in chairing a committee.

If you or someone you know is interested in participating on the VICA Board in 2023 or Chairing a committee, please don't hesitate to click on the nomination form below and submit via email at no later than Friday, September 2, 2022.
LA City Attorney Mike Feuer swears in the 2022 VICA Board of Directors.
VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members
VICA After Dark: LAFD Chief Kristen Crowley
Wednesday, August 31 | 5:30 PM
FIVE on the Hill at Hilton Universal City

Chief Crowley leads a diverse department – about 3,400 sworn and more than 350 civilians – in protecting four million people in Los Angeles – the Nation’s second largest City. From the ocean to the mountains, the Valley to the Port of LA, the LAFD responds to over 1,300 emergency calls a day. She is the 19th Fire Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

VICA thanks our Presenting Sponsors, Sunhill Properties/Hilton Universal City, Medtrans, and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.
VICA After Dark: Supervisor Kathryn Barger
Thursday, October 27 | 5:30 PM

Supervisor Kathryn Barger serves the residents of the 5th District — Los Angeles County’s largest — spanning over 2,785 square miles, which includes 20 cities and 83 unincorporated communities in the Antelope, San Gabriel, San Fernando, Crescenta, and Santa Clarita Valleys.

VICA thanks our Presenting Sponsors: Anheuser-Busch & Comcast NBCUniversal
The Week Ahead
Local Officeholders Luncheon
Thursday, August 18
11:30 AM
Burbank Airport Marriot
Sponsored by Amazon, Comcast NBCUniversal, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, SoCalGas, and Wells Fargo.
Save the Date
Sports, Entertainment, Tourism & Hospitality Committee Meeting
Thursday, September 1
8:30 - 10:00 AM
VICA Office
Sponsored by History for Hire
Healthcare Committee Meeting
Thursday, September 8
12:00 - 1:30 PM
VICA Office
Sponsored by Hospital Association of Southern California
Ambassador Committee Meeting
Wednesday, September 7
9:00 - 10:30 AM
VICA Office
Sponsored by Verdugo Hills Council and Boy Scouts of America
VICA in the News
Hot News
Inflation Reduction Act Passes Senate
Senate Democrats on Sunday passed a sweeping healthcare, tax and climate change bill that will allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug costs — a significant political win as the party tries to send a message before the midterm election that it is delivering on its promises. The drug-price plan is the centerpiece of the Democrats’ bill, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The measure would also establish incentives to combat the climate crisis, impose new taxes on corporations and provide $4 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation to combat drought in the West — a last-minute addition.

Inflation Rates Slowed in July
After months of steadily climbing to a 40-year high, the pace of inflation slowed notably in July as gas prices fell sharply and Americans got relief on the cost of clothing, used cars and some other necessities. The price index for all consumer goods and services was unchanged over the month. And the annual rate of inflation in July edged down to 8.5% from 9.1% in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in a report issued Wednesday. The June inflation figure, the highest since November 1981, is now looking like it may have been the peak of of the price surge that began in spring 2021.

Chaos at LA City Council Meeting
A Los Angeles City Council meeting erupted into chaos on Tuesday, with a public speaker climbing over a bench and onto the council floor to confront council President Nury Martinez, prompting police to fill the chamber. Officers apprehended a second member of the public on the council floor moments later, while activists screamed at police and at least one audience member sprayed water from a bottle on officers. One audience member was arrested, police said.
UC Admitting More Californians
In a revised playbook guiding University of California admissions, the system’s nine undergraduate campuses accepted a record number of California first-year students for fall 2022, while significantly narrowing entry to out-of-state and international applicants amid widespread demands to preserve coveted seats for state residents, according to preliminary data released Wednesday. The UC system admitted 85,268 California first-year applicants — a 1.2% increase of 1,045 students over last year. Offers to out-of-state applicants declined by 19%, or 5,359 students, and those to international students decreased by 12.2%, or 2,442 students.

California's Ongoing Drought
With California enduring a historic drought amplified by global warming, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday released a new plan to adapt to the state’s hotter, drier future by capturing and storing more water, recycling more wastewater and desalinating seawater and salty groundwater. The governor’s new water-supply strategy, detailed in a 16-page document, lays out a series of actions aimed at preparing the state for an estimated 10% decrease in California’s water supply by 2040 due to higher temperatures and decreased runoff.

Serena Williams Retires from Tennis
All-time tennis great Serena Williams on Tuesday said she's walking away from the sport after the U.S. Open, writing that she's in the midst of a "transition" from the court. In an essay posted by Vogue, Williams said she has "never liked the word retirement" and that it "doesn’t feel like a modern word to me." However, she said in no uncertain terms that she's about to leave the sport she's dominated for decades.

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.