August 14, 2020

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

"A functioning democracy requires a well-informed constituency. The demise of newspapers will mean many lost jobs, and will leave many communities without local journalism."

- Assemblymember Blanca Rubio during her presentation of AB 323 before the Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee.

Media Mentions

L.A. Might Cancel Real Estate Projects Tied to City Hall Corruption
Los Angeles Times
August 7

L.A. Breweries, Wineries Say They Should be Allowed to Reopen if Restaurants Can
August 5

Bill to Support Local News, Backed by Dodd, Heads to Committee
August 11

Save Local Journalism
August 12


VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members 



Brent's Deli

Child Care Resource Center

Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association

Mott MacDonald

Pathways to Advocacy

Reason Foundation

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Welcome Our New Member

The Week Ahead

Government Affairs Committee
Sponsored by Dolphin Group and Rodriguez Strategies
Wednesday, August 19
9 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

First Sip with VICA
Friday, August 21
9 to 10 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Save the Date

Sacramento Virtual Advocacy Day
Only 12 spots available!
Tuesday, August 25
All Day
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

VICA After Dark with Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell
Thursday, August 27
4 to 6 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

7th Annual Congressional Breakfast Home Edition
Friday, August 28
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Aviation Committee
Sponsored by Aeroplex / Aerolease
Wednesday, September 2
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Sports, Entertainment, Tourism and Hospitality Committee
Thursday, September 3
8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Click here to RSVP

Hot Issues 

Public Health
California's top Public Health Official, Dr. Sonia Angell, resigned from her position as Director of the Department of Public Health days after the discovery of reporting errors in the state's coronavirus data.

Public Health
COVID-19 infections continue to surge in California, with data indicating that cases are beginning to impact rural and suburban areas more in comparison to the beginning of the outbreak.

Independent Contractors
A California Superior Court Judge recently ruled that app-based transportation companies must reclassify their contract drivers as employees under AB 5. Uber and Lyft state that doing so could lead to them suspending operations in California.

Presidential Election
Democratic Party presidential nominee, Vice president Joe Biden, announced that California Senator Kamala Harris will be his running mate in the upcoming general election.

On Thursday, California state legislators proposed a new "wealth tax", a first in the country, intending to levy a 0.4 percent tax on Californians with a net worth of more than $30 million.

Four charter schools are suing California over the state's one-year spending rule that bases education funding on enrollment numbers from February 2020 and could lower funding for these four schools.

The month of July saw the U.S. record a 1.2 percent growth in retail sales, returning to pre-COVID levels. However, economists are concerned that this growth would slow down as the pandemic continues to affect businesses and leave many unemployed.
Following suit to the Big Ten's decision, the PAC-12 announced the cancellation of their Fall football season with no guarantee that matches can resume in Spring.

VICA University Offers Insights into Virtual Event Planning

On Wednesday, VICA staff hosted a special VICA University Webinar exploring the ins and outs of planning a major event that is entirely online. During the webinar, VICA staff detailed the step-by-step process behind our 2020 Hall of Fame virtual event, explaining how to find the right virtual platform to recreate key aspects of our in-person events. VICA also discussed potential problems, such as guests losing internet connection or lack of familiarity with new online platforms, that must be accounted for. VICA hopes that the success of our 2020 Hall of Fame can help other businesses and organizations navigate the world of virtual events.

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 Friday, September 18.

Vote No on Prop 21 - Costly Rent Control Measures
VICA opposes Proposition 21, which would repeal provisions of the Costa Hawkins rental housing laws and allow local governments to impose strict rent control measures. The proposed changes laid out would effectively raise the cost of constructing new housing -- housing that is desperately needed to alleviate our state's severe shortage. Slowing, or completely halting, housing developments would also lead to job loss in the construction sector, adding on to the devastating economic impact already brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prop 21 is not a real solution to the housing crisis, but only  way to divert the attention from the real change that needs to happen.

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 Friday, September 18, 2020.
Urge State Legislature to Protect Local Journalism
business_real_estate_news.jpg VICA supports Assembly Bill 323 (Rubio), which would extend AB 5 exemptions for California newspapers for two years. This extension is vital to stabilize operations in the post-COVID environment and would prioritize newspaper outlets for state agency public outreach. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, newspapers were operating under extreme financial pressure, and the recent loss of advertising has created an industry crisis that the Legislature cannot ignore. More than a dozen California newspapers have suspended operations or closed in the last six months alone. AB 323 will help to sustain the news industry, thus helping our businesses to reach customers and recovery swiftly. California's newspapers are our critical partners in rebuilding the local and state economy, which is why we urge the Legislature to provide this crucial relief.

9 to 10 AM

No Politics | No Program | Just Networking
Register now to receive event details and connect with other leaders in the Valley's business community!

VICA member Cowe Communications Celebrates 5th Anniversary and Rebranding Launch
Women-owned and led business and brand development firm, celebrates their five-year anniversary by revealing their very own rebrand. Cowe Communications, formerly known as Cowe Consulting, is ecstatic to not only be expanding their team and their service offerings, but they are also introducing the world to their newly acquired domain:

Led by Miri Rossitto and Nicola Staples, Cowe Communications has had quite the transformation in their five years. "We opened in 2015 with a goal to be the best business consultants. Very quickly we noticed that our clients needed assistance executing the strategies that we were developing. Solutions are what we live for and our team decided to pivot the company. Now, we can not only design and develop powerful business and marketing strategies, but we can execute and publicize them too!" - Miri Rossitto.

Cowe Communications is a full-service business and brand development firm. Their mission is to help organizations determine short and long-term goals, to design and implement business strategies that assist in surpassing those goals and to promote sustainable growth thereby ensuring a successful and thriving company. The team at Cowe Communications is driven to make positive impacts all over the world. Find out more at

9:30 to 11:30 AM
Virtual Event

Don't miss our Annual Congressional Breakfast, a unique opportunity to engage with federal elected officials in a casual setting, right from your home. 

A Remo virtual login will be provided prior to the event.

Committee Meetings
Land Use (8/11)
Sponsored by The Garland
  • Kome Ajise, Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), presented on the latest updates of SCAG's "Connect SoCal Plan."
  • Anthony Dedousis, Policy and Research Director at Abundant Housing L.A., presented on their L.A. City Housing Element Proposal, the FAIR Plan.
  • The committee recommended to support AB 2323 (Friedman): CEQA Exemptions.
  • The committee recommended to support AB 3279 (Friedman): CEQA Administrative and Judicial Procedures.
  • The committee recommended to support, with concerns, SB 1299 (Portantino): the Re-zoning of Idle Retail Sites.
  • The committee recommended to oppose AB 2231 (Kalra): Defining De minimis for Public Works Projects.
Labor and Employment (8/12)
Sponsored by Sun Hill Properties Hilton Universal City
  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Officials presented on updates to County rules and health orders related to COVID-19.
  • The committee recommended to oppose AB 3056 (Gonzalez): Regulations to Warehouse Distribution Centers.
  • The committee recommended to support, if amended, SB 2999 (Low): Bereavement Leave.
  • The committee recommended to oppose AB 685 (Reyes): Employer Notification Requirements for COVID-19 Exposure.
Energy, Environment, Manufacturing and Utilities (8/13)
Sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • Kristen Pawling (Los Angeles County Office of Sustainability) presented on the County's Sustainability Plan Annual Progress Report.
  • Dominique Hargreaves, Los Angeles City Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer, provided updates on the L.A. City Green New Deal and Sustainability Progress during COVID-19.

Member Messages:
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