VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
Friday, January 28
In This Issue
  • Quote of the Week
  • VICA Board Takes Action
  • Newsmaker Connection - Mel Wilson
  • VICA Job Opening
  • Members
  • VICA Advocacy: Paid Sick Leave
  • Looking for Interns
  • VICA Advocacy: Eviction Moratorium
  • VICA in the News
  • VICA Action: Al Fresco Dining
  • Upcoming Events
  • Hot News
  • Member Messages
“I think the most common perception, which is wrong, in my opinion, is they think that we’re just junior-league politicians and they think that all these cases are decided on political grounds. We won’t always get it right, but we’re trying to do our best to figure out how law applies in this situation."
Justice Stephen G. Breyer
Supreme Court Justice
VICA Board Supports Committee Recommendations
This past Wednesday, the VICA Board of Directors took action on multiple recommendations from the VICA policy committees. Here are snapshots of a couple positions the Board took:
CA Plastic Waste Reduction Regulations Initiative - 2022 Ballot Measure - OPPOSE
The VICA Board officially opposed the ballot measure, which would require the California Department of Resources, Recycling, and Recovery (CalRecycle) to adopt regulations that reduce the use of single-use plastic packaging and foodware.

The California Plastic Waste Reduction Regulations Initiative would require producers to ensure that single-use plastic packaging and foodware is recyclable, reusable, refillable, or compostable by 2030. Additionally, it would require producers to reduce or eliminate single-use plastic packaging or foodware that CalRecycle determines is unnecessary for product or food item delivery.

This ballot measure would require producers to reduce the amount of single-use plastic packaging sold in California by at least 25% by 2030, and would require producers to use recycled and renewable materials in the production of single-use plastic packaging. It would establish mechanisms for accessible recycling, including take-back programs and deposits. Additionally, it would establish and enforce labeling standards to support the sorting of discarded single-use plastic packaging and foodware. Finally, it would prohibit food vendors from distributing expanded polystyrene food service containers.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Cap Initiative -
2022 Ballot Measure - OPPOSE
VICA's Board also opposed the Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Cap Initiative, which would allow judges and juries to award damages above the cap for catastrophic injuries, defined as death, permanent physical impairment, permanent disfigurement, permanent disability, or permanent loss of consortium.

The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) was signed in 1975 by Gov. Jerry Brown(D). MICRA capped noneconomic pain and suffering damages, as a result of medical malpractice, at $250,000. Under MICRA, there is no cap on economic damages, such as compensation for medical bills or lost wages.

This measure will limit patient access to care, vastly increase the number of lawsuits filed in California and further divert resources for patient care to the legal system. It will effectively eliminate the cap on non-economic damages for medical malpractice awards and hold physicians and others personally liable to pay medical malpractice awards. Furthermore, plaintiffs will be able to receive compensation for medical bills, attorney fees, and lost wages.
If passed, it will increase litigation, which will result in increased healthcare costs. Consequently, the initiative would reduce the number of medical providers available, and therefore reduce access to care.
It’s unfortunate that while California’s health providers are courageously working on the front lines of this pandemic, a ballot measure that would substantially increase the burden on California’s doctors and clinics while inflating health care costs for everyone is being focused on. The measure will have a negative effect on the health care profession and have a trickle-down effect that would be born primarily by low-income patients, who will face higher costs and restricted access to care.
We are pleased to announce our upcoming Newsmaker Connection with LA Mayoral Candidate Mel Wilson.

Tuesday, February 1
10:00 - 11:00 AM

Virtual Event
The Zoom link will be provided to those who RSVP
Mel Wilson
Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate

VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members
Silver Member:

VICA Advocacy: COVID-19 Sick Pay to Return but Amended
Early last week, the VICA team received notification that the State was discussing legislation that will approve 10 days, or 80 hours, of paid sick days in which the business will have to cover the cost. VICA remains concerned that adding additional paid sick leave entitlements will significantly increase the costs of labor and doing business in California.

As we held our Virtual Advocacy Day, our delegation raised concerns regarding the sick leave. As you know, the issues we face today given the pandemic are much bigger than what we previously encountered in 2020. Mega events are being held once again, and consumers have the right to attend at their own risk. However, it is unfair for a business to pay the cost of an employee contracting COVID, due to their own negligence and choice.

When businesses are already struggling with increases to the minimum wage and other employment costs, we simply cannot risk adding to the cost of business. We know from reports that restaurants, small businesses, and nonprofits already bear unsustainable costs, and a passage of any type of legislation demanding businesses to cover paid sick leave will ultimately raise the costs for consumers and residents.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers reached an agreement Tuesday to require employers to provide workers with up to two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave to recover from COVID-19 or care for a family member with the virus. The legislation, which lawmakers would likely fast-track to the governor in the coming weeks, would apply to all businesses with 26 or more employees. A similar law from 2021 that provided 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave expired Sept. 30.

The proposal would require employers to provide up to 40 hours of flexible paid leave to full-time workers who are sick or caring for an ill loved one, and require proof of a positive test to qualify for an additional 40 hours of paid time off. Part-time workers would be eligible for sick leave equal to the number of hours they typically work in a week or twice that amount with a positive test.

Employees could use up to three days of the sick leave to attend a vaccination appointment for themselves or a family member and to recover from any symptoms after vaccination, a provision intended to make it easier for parents to immunize their children against the virus.

The VICA Legislative Team will continue to monitor this proposal. We are pleased that this proposal won't apply to business with under 26 employees. Furthermore, the agreement includes separate proposals to restore tax credits that were suspended and capped two years ago when state officials feared the pandemic would cause California’s economy to collapse.
All internships will be remote until further notice. For more information or to apply, please visit:

VICA Submits Testimony to LA County BOS - Whiteman Airport/Eviction Moratorium
This past Tuesday, the VICA Legislative Team testified at the LA County Board of Supervisors hearing for two agenda items: Whiteman Airport and the Eviction Moratorium & Rent Freeze Expansion and Extension.

Whiteman Airport:
The BOS discussed a motion to close down Whiteman Airport. While we can support the development of a sustainability management plan for the airport, we oppose any movement to close Whiteman Airport. 

The airport plays a vital role in the nation’s integrated system of thousands of general aviation airports, and is a valuable asset to the local community, serving the diverse constituents of the City of Pacoima, San Fernando, and the broader County of Los Angeles. Shutting it down would be a disservice to the residents that enjoy the airport and the benefits it brings to the community. 

Eviction Moratorium & Rent Freeze Expansion and Extension:
VICA requested the Board of Supervisors create a true plan to phase out the county’s eviction moratorium and rent freeze.
These moratorium actions were specifically intended as temporary measures in response to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current proposal not only seeks to expand emergency measures but also extend the most significant elements for another year. At this juncture, it is critical that the county allow regular rental operations to resume.

Unfortunately, both motions were passed, but the VICA Legislative Team will continue to monitor any further action in regards to both motions.
VICA Continues to Support Al Fresco Dining
On Wednesday, the VICA Legislative Team testified at LA City's Public Works Committee to support the LA Al Fresco program to becoming a permanent program.

In May of 2020, an Emergency Directive issued by the Mayor, the City of Los Angeles launched an Al Fresco Program to create a streamlined process to provide expanded outdoor dining options for food establishments citywide. It was launched to provide a lifeline for these establishments, which had at that point been subject to a strict indoor dining ban because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The City's Al Fresco dining program has been one of few bright spots during a challenging year muddled by ineffective and contradictory guidance released by the government. During this time of uncertainty, the Al Fresco program has rolled back regulatory barriers, allowing for flexibility including curbside pickup, expansion of outdoor dining and food preparation, and even the fan favorite – to-go alcoholic drinks.

The program’s relaxed parking requirements have helped restauranteurs expand seating into parking lots and streets, allowing restaurants to stay open, protecting foodservice employees’ jobs, and ensuring that patrons can enjoy a safe meal while appreciating our City’s mild year-round climate. Speedy Al Fresco permanence will allow businesses to more easily adhere to ever-changing COVID-19 guidance while expanding operations, providing a lucrative and safe solution to restaurants’ economic and financial hardships.

Further, growing permanence of the program will help the City address archaic parking requirements for restaurants, allowing rideshare, public transportation, and rapid curbside pickup to grow as viable alternatives to congestion.

The VICA Legislative Team is monitoring this program closely as we are aware of its benefits and will continue to testify at all hearings related to this matter.
VICA's Congressional Breakfast
Friday, February 25
8:30 - 10:30 AM
IN PERSON at the Hilton Universal

Join VICA in a unique and fun setting to directly engage elected officials from Washington who represent the San Fernando Valley.
The Week Ahead
Labor & Employment Committee
Wednesday, February 2
8:30 - 10:30 AM.
Virtual Meeting
Education Committee
Thursday, February 3
8:30 - 10 AM
Virtual Meeting
Save the Date
Land Use Committee
Tuesday, February 8
8:30 - 10:30 AM
Virtual Meeting
EEM&U Committee
Wednesday, February 9
12:00 - 1:30 PM.
Virtual Meeting
Newsmaker Connection - Jessica Lall
Wednesday, February 9
10:00 - 11:00 AM
Virtual Meeting
Sacramento Advocacy Day
Wednesday, February 23
All Day
Virtual Meeting
VICA In the News
KNX News | January 27
Hot News
Van Nuys Airport
Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) announced $763,000 from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for Van Nuys Airport to improve facilities, update technology and make flying safer and more efficient. This is the first installment of airport infrastructure grants from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that President Biden signed into law. 

The University of California housed more students than the system officially had room for last fall. Yet UC leaders, lawmakers and the governor all want to dramatically expand student enrollment. Students will need somewhere to live and a new legislative plan would throw in $5 billion to help the state’s campuses ramp up their housing stock.

CA Law Update
The new year brings a raft of new laws for Californians. They’re likely to affect what your neighborhood looks like, how safe you feel, what recourse you have against discrimination — even how you take out your trash. In 2021 the Legislature sent Gov. Gavin Newsom hundreds of bills that he signed into law, including several with major consequences for Californians.

Kobe Bryant
Wednesday marked the second anniversary of the helicopter crash that took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others, and trial is nearing in a lawsuit brought by the NBA legend’s widow seeking millions of dollars in damages for the emotional distress she claims suffering after discovering that graphic photos of her loved ones’ remains were allegedly shared by Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire department.

Bus driver Brandi Donaldson describes the early days of the pandemic as living under a dark cloud. Week after week, the 38-year-old AC Transit employee wondered when – not if – she would get infected with COVID-19 and bring it home to her husband, four kids and elderly parents. But now with the omicron surge, that dark cloud is back. 
Water Drought
The fundamental challenge with water in California is that most of it isn't where most of the people are. Much of California’s water falls as snow in the Sierra Nevada and other northern mountain ranges. To satisfy human demands, we have transformed the state’s natural water systems to transport water hundreds of miles from its source.

Supreme Court Justice
Justice Stephen G. Breyer, the Supreme Court’s 82-year-old liberal pragmatist, plans to retire this year, clearing the way for President Biden to make his first appointment to the high court. Breyer, a 1994 appointee of President Clinton, is the senior member of the three-justice liberal bloc, and his retirement is unlikely to change the court’s ideological balance.

Federal Reserve
After downplaying the threat of inflation through most of last year, the Federal Reserve struck a more hawkish tone as it signaled readiness to raise interest rates in March and take other aggressive actions to combat high prices endangering the nation’s economic health. Investors and analysts are expecting at least two or three more quarter-point rate increases.

NFC Championship
The week of the biggest Rams-49ers game in three decades began with a tiff over tickets. The San Francisco area was triggered when the Rams announced a locals-only rule on ticket sales for the NFC championship game Sunday at SoFi. It was natural, to think the Rams were trying to head off a repeat of what happened at the 49ers’ regular-season-ending victory Jan. 9, when fans in Niners scarlet red swarmed SoFi.

The very thing that had once torn Ingrid Archie from her daughters and led to her incarceration now made her bubble with unbridled optimism. It was early 2019, and politicians and activists were proclaiming that Archie and others who grew up in communities disproportionately criminalized by the “war on drugs” could now profit off the legal cannabis industry.
Member Spotlight
Peter Haber
Haber Law Firm

When Peter first started practicing law, he was exclusively a litigator. He practiced in all kinds of fields, from business litigation to civil rights work. Eventually, he found his way into the corporate world where he became the Vice President of Legal and HR at Popcornopolis, a gourmet popcorn company here in LA. He was there for about 4 ½ years before he started his own practice. He is convinced that he is the only lawyer in America who worked within 20 feet of a popcorn factory - quite literally across the hall.

When asked some additional questions, the below was shared:

What has been your largest accomplishment or efforts made over the past year? 
I started my solo practice in the middle of the pandemic, supporting small and midsized businesses in all kinds of transactional and litigation matters. Managing to start and grow a legal practice in an entirely remote environment has to be my greatest success.

How has VICA supported your business strategy or expanded your footprint with the business community?  
As a new member, I hope that VICA gives me the opportunity to engage with local businesses so that I can learn more about their concerns and perhaps provide some of my own expertise.
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 Shauna Carter
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.