VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
August 5, 2022
In This Issue
  • VICA Victory: LA City Hotels Will Not Operate as Homeless Shelters... Yet
  • VICA Hosts Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins
  • VICA Opposes LA City Parcel Tax
  • Nominations are Open: Harmon Ballin Award
  • Become a VICA 2023 Board of Director
“She is gone! In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.”
Vin Scully
Commentary during Game 1 of the 1988 World Series that propelled the upstart Dodgers to the championship.
VICA Victory: LA City Hotels Will Not Operate as Homeless Shelters... Yet
VICA has been at the forefront in ensuring the LA City Council does not adopt an ordinance that would turn every hotel in the City of Los Angeles into a homeless shelter. After testifying at this morning's City Council meeting, the Council has decided to place the measure on the March 2024 ballot and allow for voters decide.

The ordinance would have:

  • Required hotels to house homeless populations in any vacant rooms.
  • Created a dangerous environment for hotel employees and guests.
  • Not protected small local businesses.
  • Drove tourism away to other cities.

After the Council made two poor decisions last month, adopting ordinances that would set forth provisions on daily housekeeping and square footage limits on daily cleaning, as well as raising the minimum wage for workers at healthcare facilities to $25 per hour, instead of putting them on the ballot.

VICA is pleased with today's outcome and thanks our members who called and emailed the Council urging them to not adopt this ordinance.

VICA will start to work on defeating the 2024 ballot measure, and ensure that our hotel and tourism industry are not harmed by poor policies. Passing this ordinance would not solve the homeless crisis in our city, and it will have negative impacts on our local economy, driving visiting families, conventions and business prospects away from our city.

Further, the ordinance being set on the March 2024 ballot gives the city a proper timeframe to be able to conduct an economic analysis, so that voters will actually see the negative impacts this ordinance will have and how detrimental it would be to our hotel industry.

VICA thanks everyone who joined in our opposition!
VICA Leaders Forum with Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins
VICA was pleased to host a Leaders Forum with Metro's CEO Stephanie Wiggins this past Friday.

Wiggins joined VICA to discuss pertinent issues relating to transportation in the San Fernando Valley, including VICA's vital role in the passage of Measure M. Wiggins reiterated how VICA ensured Valley projects were included and how she always "listens to VICA."

She opened by taking a moment to thank and acknowledge essential workers, stating that "essential workers depend on transportation now more than ever," emphasizing the importance of Metro's role in the Valley. Her dedication to the Valley already is showing; since taking on her role as CEO in 2021, Metro has created eight new lines in the San Fernando Valley and enrolled more than 2,000 students in their new U-Pass program, a program that provides college students with discounted fares and unlimited rides on all Metro services within the county.

Wiggins stated that her overarching goal for the San Fernando Valley is establishing a transit network that "connects people to places they want and need," something that will be developed with input from the community and by organizations like VICA.
She closed by stating that she "is humbled every day to be in a community role for the Valley," reiterating Metro's goal of meeting customer expectations with the declaration, "The Valley deserves it, and so does VICA."

VICA thanks our Presenting Sponsors, Bechtel Corp., Comcast NBCUniversal, EKA and Flatiron Construction, and our Co-Sponsors, CSUN, HNTB, JLM Strategic Talent Partners, and Keolis. Thank you to our Centerpiece and Table Sponsors, Armbruster, Goldsmith & Delvac, Cerrell Associates, Flatiron/Herzog, Parsons, and UCLA Government & Community Relations.
Darnell Tyler (Comcast NBCUniversal), John Engrstom (Bechtel Infrastructure & Power Corporation), Stephanie Wiggins (Metro), Kellie Hawkins (EKA), and Ural Yal (Flatiron).
VICA Opposes New Parcel Tax for the City of Los Angeles
The VICA Board has voted to oppose a 2022 LA City Ballot Measure, which would place a Parcel Tax Measure on the November 2022 Ballot to provide funding for parks and recreation infrastructure, generating approximately $227 million annually.

The measure would implement a tax of $0.08414 per square foot on improved parcels, reduced to $0.0222 upon completion of certain programs or in 30 years. The city makes over $15 billion from property taxes, among the highest of any American city. Los Angeles property owners and tenants are paying enough. The city should consider other means to support parks and recreation infrastructure projects before adding additional cost burdens to property owners and tenants.

The commercial real estate industry continues to face challenges even as the worst of COVID subsides. Buildings are still experiencing difficulty bringing tenants back to offices. In addition, inflation continues to drive up costs. A new parcel tax will add to the industry's post-COVID challenges with an impact reaching beyond just the properties themselves. Property owners will pass on the cost of additional taxes to tenants.

The VICA Board stated that no proper outreach was done from the city to the business community. The ballot measure is rushed and proper input from all stakeholders must be taken into consideration. The VICA team will work to urge the city to delay this measure to the 2024 election, and ensure a proper economic analysis is conducted.
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
Local Officeholders Luncheon
Last Chance to Register!
Thursday, August 18 | 11:30 AM
Burbank Airport Marriott

Don't miss our Annual Local Officeholders Luncheon! Come and hear from our local elected officials and enjoy lunch and networking with fellow business leaders.

VICA thanks our Presenting Sponsors, Amazon, Comcast NBCUniversal, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, SoCalGas, and Wells Fargo.

Click here for sponsorship opportunities.

For more information on elected officials joining us Click Here.
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.
The Week Ahead
Land Use Committee Meeting: Developer Roundtable & Discussion Edition
Tuesday, August 9
8:30 - 10:30 AM
Energy, Environment, Manufacturing & Utilities Committee Meeting
Wednesday, August 10
12:00 - 1:30 PM
VICA Office
Sponsored by Metropolitan Water District
Hot News
Vin Scully Dies at 94
The way Vin Scully called a baseball game, it felt like bumping into an old friend. There were stories to tell and memories to share, his soothing banter as familiar as green grass and warm breezes on a sunny afternoon. Generations of Southern California fans knew this, listening for hours on end, at home and in their cars, pressing transistor radios to their ears even as they sat watching at the ballpark. “Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good afternoon to you wherever you may be,” Scully would invariably begin. The renowned Dodgers broadcaster died Tuesday, the team announced. He was 94.

U.S. Job Market Growth
The pace of hiring unexpectedly surged last month, as the U.S. job market showed surprising strength in the face of high inflation and softening economic activity.
Employers added 528,000 jobs in July according to the Labor Department — a significant acceleration from the previous month. Job gains for May and June were also revised upwards by a total of 28,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, matching its lowest level in decades. The uptick in job growth surprised analysts who had expected a slowdown. The U.S. economy has now replaced all of the jobs that were lost in the early months of the pandemic.

McKinney Fire
Dry lightning and gusts from scattered thunderstorms could stoke more extreme behavior early this week on or near the McKinney Fire burning in Northern California, which exploded in size and intensity over the weekend, killing at least two people. The state’s largest wildfire of 2022 by far, the McKinney Fire surpassed 55,000 acres, or 86 square miles, as of a Monday morning update from Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service. The blaze, which ignited Friday afternoon at Klamath National Forest in Siskiyou County, is 0% contained.
California Water Use Dips
Californians used less water in June but are still falling short of the 15% mark set by Governor Gavin Newsom. According to numbers released Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board, Californians cut water usage by 7.5% in June compared to June 2020. However, between July 2021 and the end of June 2022, water usage dipped by just 2.7%. Given the relatively slight drop in water use and the increasingly dire picture of the Golden State's drought, Newsom convened a panel with local water leaders for the second time in as many months to point out the importance in continuing to use less water.

LA County Supervisors Vote on Sheriff
Los Angeles County voters will decide in November whether to give the Board of Supervisors the power to remove an elected sheriff from office. The proposal, which stems from supervisors’ long-running feud with Sheriff Alex Villanueva, would severely undercut the autonomy sheriffs in L.A. County have always been granted and hand an extraordinary level of authority to the already powerful supervisors. The five-person board, which is also elected, voted 4 to 1 on Tuesday to place a measure on the ballot that, if approved by a majority voters, would amend the county charter to allow a sitting sheriff to be jettisoned.

Homeless Encampments
The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to prohibit homeless people from setting up tents within 500 feet of schools and day-care centers, during a raucous meeting where protesters shouted down council members and, at one point, brought the meeting to a halt. The new restrictions, approved on an 11-3 vote, dramatically expand the number of locations where sleeping and camping are off-limits. And they come amid a furious debate over how the city should respond to encampments that have taken hold in many parts of the city.
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.