October 2, 2020

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

"There is no way to divorce our economic recovery from pandemic. They are intertwined."

Congressman Adam Schiff
VICA Leaders Forum

VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members 





Seymour Consulting Group

Kinkisharyo International

El Centro De Amistad

Save the Date

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

Leaders Forum with Congressman Mike Garcia
Sponsored by California Resources Corp & Van Nuys Airport
Tuesday, October 13th
11 to 12:15 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Government Affairs Committee
Sponsored by Dolphin Group & Rodriguez Strategies
Wednesday, October 21st
9 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Not For Profit Committee
Sponsored by Pacific Federal
Thursday, October 22nd
8:30 to 10 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

First Sip with VICA
Sponsored by Starbucks
Friday, October 23rd
9 to 10 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

2020 Business Forecast Conference
Thursday - Friday, 
October 29th - 30th
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Hot Issues 

Stock Market
The stock market has seen losses as both President Trump and the First Lady test positive for COVID-19 and exhibit mild symptoms.

The global COVID-19 death toll has officially passed 1 million, with the U.S. making up about one fifth of the total. Experts warn that the total is actually much higher.

California Reopening
California has announced a new equity requirement for reopening the biggest counties. Starting October 6th, counties with more than 106,000 residents must meet specific testing and positive rate guidelines in poor communities before beginning to reopen.

UCLA economists predict that despite improvements in the economy, full economic recovery from COVID-19 will take more than two years. They predict some sectors, such as housing, will bounce back much quicker than others, like hospitality.

California Wildfires
The Glass Fire in Napa and Sonoma county has devastated some of California's most beloved wineries. The damage, including unsellable smoke-tainted grapes and replacing decades old vines, will cost over $70 billion.

Parking Tickets
The Los Angeles City Council moved to resume parking tickets on street sweeping days starting October 15th. Enforcement of rules regarding abandoned vehicles, peak hours, and overnight parking will also resume on that date.

LAUSD has signed a $48.9 million contract with a startup, SummerBio, to provide rapid and extensive COVID-19 testing in a push to reopen Los Angeles school safely.

More than 600 earthquakes, the biggest of which was a magnitude 4.9 struck near the Salton Sea.  The USGS says that the probability of a magnitude 7 or higher in the vicinity in the next week has risen from 1 in 3000 to 1 in 300.

VICA welcomed Congressman Adam Schiff for a VICA Leaders Forum on Tuesday. The morning started with a networking reception which was then followed by remarks from Congressman Schiff. 

Congressman Schiff spoke on COVID-19 and the impacts which have resulted from the pandemic before answering questions on a wide variety of issues, from the Supreme Court to congressional action about Save our Stages.

The Congressman shared his thoughts on the economic recovery of businesses, such as those in the San Fernando Valley Business Community, that have had to bear the burdens of the COVID-19 crisis. Congressman Schiff stated that, "the more pennywise and pound foolish we are right now, the more prolonged the economic suffering. If we can help the hospitality and tourism industries survive - even if they have to hunker down - they will come back much more quickly."

VICA thanks Congressman Schiff for joining us and sharing his insights at our September Leaders Forum. 

Thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible.

The legislative session is officially over. This unparalleled legislative session presented challenges to our advocacy efforts, but VICA is proud to have voiced concerns on behalf of the business community to lawmakers in Sacramento. Yesterday marked Governor Newsom's final deadline to sign or veto bills, which will take effect in the new year. These new laws will have a wide-ranging impact across all industries throughout the San Fernando Valley and California. 

On housingVICA is disappointed Governor Newsom rejected a bill which would have moved the needle in addressing California's homelessness crisis. Despite overwhelming bipartisan support in the Legislature, VICA-supported AB 1845 (L. Rivas) was vetoed by Governor Newsom. AB 1845 would have made housing and homelessness a priority in California, establishing the Office to End Homelessness, headed by a governor-appointed Secretary on Homelessness.

On business, VICA is thrilled the controversial AB 3216 (Kalra) was vetoed, which would have burdened struggling businesses with a statewide "right of recall". AB 3216 would have specifically targeted businesses that have faced the brunt of the economic impacts of COVID-19 due to business closures and reduced travel, making the survival and recovery of these industries impossible.

On healthcare, VICA applauded the signing of AB 890 (Wood), which will give nurse practitioners who meet certain requirements the authority to provide certain services without physician supervision, helping to meet the needs of our growing population and the needs of hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
VICA is disappointed that AB 2164 (R. Rivas) was vetoed by Governor Newsom, even after unanimous support in the legislature. AB 2164 would have improved access to healthcare by allowing community health centers more agency in establishing patients through telehealth services.

VICA supports Measure RR, the Los Angeles Unified School District's School Upgrades and Safety Bond Measure, which would authorize $7 billion in general obligation bonds to fund school facility construction and upgrades.

LAUSD has found more than $50 billion in necessary school facility upgrades. Despite the construction of over 100 new schools, the majority of LAUSD schools are aging and not suited to provide a safe education. Increased funding is needed to significantly improve building safety, increase accessibility and prepare for natural disasters. These upgrades will also alleviate serious health risks, including the presence of lead and asbestos.

These ongoing construction, modernization and retrofitting projects will also support nearly 350,000 construction related jobs. Completing projects that are already underway could create an additional 120,000 jobs. The economic benefits do not stop with the completion of the construction projects. By providing the next generation with safe educational facilities, we are investing in the workforce of the future.

It is more important than ever to invest in the economy, the welfare of children, and the modernization of schools. Vote YES on Measure RR.
VICA supports Measure C, which sets up infrastructure for city management and the taxation of cannabis businesses if and when they are allowed to operate in the City of Calabasas.

Since it was legalized in California in 2016, the cannabis industry has been growing rapidly and has generated a significant amount of revenue for municipalities across the state. Proactively placing a tax on any commercial cannabis activity in Calabasas could generate significant funds for the City to provide more services to the community. It is estimated that in the City of Calabasas, one dispensary alone could generate $300,000 per year for the general fund. 

Measure C does not change the existing cannabis business prohibition in the City of Calabasas. Instead, Measure C shows the foresight in ensuring that Calabasas can manage the cannabis industry should the City Council or state allow the operation of cannabis businesses in Calabasas. Measure C ensures that the commercial cannabis industry will support increased and improved services in the City of Calabasas, including funding health, education, enhanced public safety, open space and homelessness initiatives. Vote Yes on Measure C!
Flora Margheritis serves as the airport manager for Van Nuys Airport (VNY), one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world. In this role, she oversees all aspects of airport operations and administration. Margheritis places a high priority on ensuring safety, security and environmental sustainability at VNY, as well as on implementing initiatives that are responsive to airport businesses and responsible to the surrounding community. Before being appointed to her current role in July 2016, Margheritis worked as VNY's Chief of Airport Operations for eight years. She began her career with Los Angeles World Airports (the City of Los Angeles agency that owns and operates VNY) in 1993 as an airport operations coordinator, and later became an airport superintendent of operations. Her more than three decades of airport experience also include six years at Bob Hope Airport (now Hollywood Burbank Airport) working as a fixed base operator. Margheritis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Administration from California State University, Los Angeles. She is a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives and an active member of Women in Aviation International. In addition, she holds a private pilot certificate and is a proud owner of a Vans RV-8 Experimental Aircraft. Besides flying, in her spare time Margheritis enjoys hiking, cooking and reading. She and her husband live in Santa Clarita, Calif., and have one daughter. 

When asked a few questions about VICA and her experiences she shared these thoughts with us:
  1. Tell us about your experience with VICA, how has VICA been valuable for you? 
    • I appreciate the important work VICA performs every day in support of businesses in the San Fernando Valley, including the tenants at Van Nuys Airport. Like VICA, we are committed to improving the business climate, promoting job creation and serving the local community. I look forward to continuing our relationship into the future.  
  2. If you were to tell a peer or friend about VICA, what would be your sales pitch? 
    • As one of the most influential advocacy organizations in Southern California, VICA ensures that businesses in the San Fernando Valley have a voice at all levels of government. VICA works with business, industry and community leaders - including many of our own Van Nuys Airport tenants - to help fuel the local economy and improve the quality of life for all residents!   
  3. What is your favorite experience or memory with VICA?
    • I truly appreciate the tremendous creativity and hard work exhibited by the VICA staff who organized this year's virtual San Fernando Valley Business Hall of Fame event! In the midst of this unprecedented pandemic, VICA brought together its members, business leaders and officeholders for a wonderfully positive and enjoyable dinner and program - all from the comfort of home!  
  4. How has your company made commitments or adjustments to support employees and/or the community during the COVID-19 pandemic? 
    • While our Van Nuys Airport team members are considered essential employees, many continue to work remotely. For those reporting to work each day, including Airport Police and Airport Operations personnel, we are following stringent federal health and safety standards. We are also utilizing video conferencing platforms to remain connected with airport stakeholders, and are in the process of developing a new virtual airport tour program.  

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