VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
Friday, February 25
In This Issue
  • Quote of the Week
  • VICA Sacramento Advocacy Day
  • 2022 Legislative Priorities
  • Fighting for UI Trust Fund Repayment
  • Updated Health Officer Order
  • Members
  • VICA Board Position
  • Events
  • News
  • Member Spotlight
  • Member Messages
"Although Los Angeles has made some progress with Proposition HHH, it hasn’t been enough... The costs are too high and the pace is far too slow to address the tragedy on our streets."
LA City Controller Ron Galperin
Statement in a report released about Proposition HHH-funded projects.
VICA's Virtual Advocacy Day
Assemblywoman Luz Rivas joins the VICA Advocacy Day delegation.
On Wednesday, a delegation of VICA members and staff virtually "traveled" to Sacramento to speak with lawmakers for our monthly Advocacy Day. The group advocated for San Fernando Valley business interests and had productive conversations with elected representatives on bills currently moving through the legislative process. In total, VICA brought eight issues to the attention of our lawmakers that will have various affects on doing business in the Valley.

VICA met with Assemblymembers Isaac Bryan, Heath Flora, Devon Mathis, Luz Rivas, Christopher Ward and Senator Scott Wiener. The delegation also met with the staff from the offices of Assemblymembers Marc Levine, Evan Low, Bill Quirk, and Randy Voepel as well as staff from the offices of Senators Jim Nielsen and Melissa Hurtado.
Below is a summary of the issues the VICA delegation discussed with the elected officials:

  • Support Flexible Scheduling: Allows non-exempt employees to request a flexible work schedule without employer obligation to pay overtime compensation, a change imperative to our return to a new normal.

  • Oppose Assembly Bill 1001: A housing and private development mitigation tool that will put limitations on local zoning. The bill will use backchannel reasoning and arguments to expand CEQA.

  • Support Assembly Bill 1322: Establishes a framework for the aviation industry to reduce its carbon footprint by creating a plan to incentivize the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The bill will improve air quality in our communities and enable the state's environmental goals.

  • Concerns Regarding Independent Contractors: VICA continues to express our concerns about AB 5 to our legislators, asking them to negotiate and introduce bills that will allow independent contractors to thrive in California.
Assemblymember Isaac Bryan speaks to the VICA Advocacy Day delegation.
  • Oppose Assembly Bill 257: This will enact the Fast Food Accountability and Standards (FAST) Recovery Act, eliminating franchisees' authority as small business owners and destroying the franchise model. It will empower a small Council of non-representative individuals to exercise powers over businesses that supersedes state law, further burdening our small businesses and blocking our economic recovery.

  • Oppose Senate Bill 213: Establish a presumption in the workers’ compensation program for a broad range of illnesses and injuries and relieve hospital employees from having to demonstrate that certain infectious diseases, musculoskeletal injuries, and respiratory diseases arose out of their work environment. The financial impact of SB 213 would significantly burden our hospitals and health systems with increased costs which would be astronomical.

  • Oppose Senate Bill 260: The bill will mandate all U.S.-based companies that do business in California with revenues more than $1 billion to annually report and set up targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will cause a plethora of new jurisdictional issues and drive production out-of-state and increase the cost of goods for California residents.

  • Support Senate Bill 485: It will foster studio construction and renovation, resulting in increased production jobs and spending in newly constructed stages. California has provided film tax credits in the past, which have been a resounding success, helping to keep California as the global leader in the entertainment industry. SB 485 will mirror these existing tax credits by providing incentives calculated on payments to local suppliers and workers behind the camera for newly constructed or renovated soundstages.
VICA Advocacy Day delegation with
Senator Scott Wiener.
Lastly, the VICA delegation discussed VICA's 2022 Legislative Priorities, which ranged from opposing a raise on statewide cap for local sales and use taxes, to alleviating the homelessness crisis, and support efforts to resolve the digital divide.

We thank our elected officials for meeting with us, and we thank our members that virtually traveled with us for our February Advocacy Day! If you are interested in joining our in-person March Advocacy Day, click here to register.
The VICA delegation speaks to Assemblymember Devon Mathis.
Fighting for Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Repayment
Our legislative team spoke this week at the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration in support of the EDD requesting $1.0 billion in General Fund for 2022-23 and $2.0 billion for 2023-24, totaling $3.0 billion, to pay down the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund debt. This loan was taken out from the Federal Government to continue the uninterrupted disbursement of UI benefits.

California’s UI program is funded through both state and federal UI payroll taxes. California’s UI tax is based on a rate established by law. The state rate increases when the condition of the UI trust fund is poor, up to a maximum of 6.2 percent. Due to longstanding solvency issues, California’s UI tax rate has been at this maximum amount since 2004. The federal UI tax typically is used to pay for state UI program administration costs and is set at a rate of 0.6 percent. Both state and federal UI payroll taxes are applied to each employee’s first $7,000 in annual wages.

The Governor’s proposal would reduce the amount of outstanding federal UI loans. As a result, the proposal would reduce state interest costs immediately. The state also would face lower interest payments each year the loan remains outstanding. We estimate that the Governor’s proposed $3 billion payment likely would reduce General Fund interest costs over the repayment period by a total of $550 million to $1.1 billion.

The VICA Legislative team continues to monitor the request.
VICA Board Decision
Earlier this month, the VICA Board of Directors took action on multiple recommendations from the VICA policy committees. Here is a snapshot of a bill the Board voted to support:

Assembly Bill 1322 (Robert Rivas): California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 - Scoping Plan - Sustainable Aviation Fuels - SUPPORT

The VICA Board officially supported AB 1322,which would require the state board to consult with other states, the federal government, and other nations to identify the most effective strategies and methods to reduce greenhouse gases, manage greenhouse gas control programs, and facilitate the development of integrated and cost-effective regional, national, and international greenhouse gas reduction programs.

AB 1322 would require, that as part of the next scoping plan update, the state board must develop a plan consistent with federal law to use sustainable aviation fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aircrafts in the state by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

In 2015, intrastate aviation accounted for an estimated 36,000,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, or roughly 8.5% of our state’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Flights from California’s airports are a larger contributor to global warming than all the heavy-duty vehicles on California’s roads combined.

While technology and policy are driving emissions reductions in the transportation and building sectors, aviation emissions will continue to grow without similar technological and policy initiatives in the aviation sector. This is because aviation is an especially challenging sector to decarbonize. The deployment of sustainable aviation fuels is an emission reduction strategy working today that must be rapidly scaled up to help the industry do its share in limiting the worst effects of climate change. But, if the state converted waste biomass, primarily from forest management, into advanced biofuels including SAF, it could achieve up to 84,000,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Still, there are no plans to decarbonize the aviation sector in the current scoping plan. Expanding the state’s leadership through goals and incentives will meaningfully improve air quality in our communities and enable the state’s environmental goals.
LA County Health Officer Order Update Now in Effect
The County of Los Angeles' Public Health Department updated the Health Officer Order on Wednesday, February 23, which took effect at 12:01 AM this morning. The new order states:

In light of decreasing case and test positivity rates and hospitalizations, this Order creates elective criteria for establishments, businesses, and venues to voluntarily implement to exempt either of the following from the indoor masking requirement:

Option #1 - all fully vaccinated customers, visitors and onsite workers; or
Option #2 - just fully vaccinated customers and visitors.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated persons must continue to wear a well-fitting mask in public indoor settings.

To read the full order, click here.

If you are looking for any other information or resources, you can visit the LA County Public Health website by clicking here.
VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members
Extraordinary Women in Leadership
Friday, March 11
In-Person at The Garland

VICA’s Women’s event, brings together women from all walks of life to share their experiences, challenges in the business world, overcoming odds and leading successes. VICA showcases women throughout their professional and personal experiences, to educate others, and empower women in leadership.
The Week Ahead
SETH Committee
Thursday, March 3
8:30 to 10 AM
In Person at the VICA Office
VICA Leaders Forum with Congresswoman Karen Bass
Thursday, March 3
11:30 AM to 1 PM
In Person at The Garland
Save the Date
City Attorney Candidate Forum
Thursday, March 10
4:30 - 6:00 PM
Jonathan Club
Sacramento Advocacy Day
Tuesday, March 22
All Day
Sacramento, CA
VICA Newsmaker Connection
with Joe Buscaino
Thursday, March 24
8:30 - 9:30 AM
VICA Office
VICA After Dark with Darren Kettle
Wednesday, April 6
5:30 - 7:30 PM
Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport
Hot News
Ballot Languages
The 2020 Census confirms California’s status as one of the nation’s most diverse states. About 40 percent of Californians speak a language other than English and one in five have limited English knowledge. SOS Shirley Weber will reduce the number of languages required in some voting precincts from 56 to 20.

LA City Council
The LA City Council voted on Tuesday, Feb, 22, to appoint former Councilman Herb Wesson to represent the city’s 10th district, as a replacement for Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was suspended by his council peers after being indicted.

Gascon Recall
In a nearly unanimous vote, a union representing about 700 Los Angeles County prosecutors announced Tuesday it will support the recall of District Attorney George Gascón. With nearly 84% participation from its membership, voter turnout exceeded all previous elections held by the Association of Deputy District Attorneys. About 98% of those who voted support recalling the progressive Gascón.
Russia/Ukraine Conflict
The Kremlin says that the rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine have asked Russia for military assistance to fend off the Ukrainian “aggression.” The appeal raises the prospect of Russia’s direct military involvement in eastern Ukraine amid Western fears that Moscow is poised to launch an all-out invasion of its neighbor.

LA Mayoral Debate
Tuesday night’s Los Angeles mayoral debate at Loyola Marymount University didn’t offer much in the way of fireworks from the stage. However, plenty of fireworks came from the audience. Take a read at the five takeaways from the event.

Sports Betting
California voters are open to the idea of creating a legal market for betting on college and professional sports but fewer than half of those surveyed in a new poll are sure of their support, an unsettled finding that serves as a prelude to a multimillion-dollar political battle in November. Efforts to legalize sports betting in California have been in the works since 2018
Member Spotlight
Stephanie Klasky-Gamer
LA Family Housing
President & CEO

Stephanie Klasky-Gamer is the President and CEO of LA Family Housing, an organization that helps people transition out of homelessness and poverty through a continuum of housing enriched with supportive services. Under her leadership, LA Family Housing has transformed into one of the region’s largest homeless service providers and a premier developer of environmentally sustainable affordable housing in Southern California. She loves hiking all around Los Angeles, but she was fortunate to also summit Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Mount Whitney in September 2019!

When asked some additional questions, the below was shared:

What has been your largest accomplishment or efforts made over the past year? 
LA Family Housing’s greatest accomplishment in 2021 was our continued innovative and aggressive response to COVID-19, which disproportionately impacted our community members experiencing homelessness. We also greatly expanded our real estate pipeline, opening three new bridge housing sites, four Project Roomkey sites, and one Permanent Supportive Housing building (Residences on main, in partnership with Coalition for Responsible Community Development). Additionally, we prioritized investing internally in our staff and infrastructure to meet the new demands on our agency after experiencing unprecedented growth in 2020.

How has VICA supported your business strategy or expanded your footprint with the business community?  
Working with VICA has helped to establish strong relationships with the San Fernando Valley business community, which greatly benefits our real estate growth. VICA also advocates for land-use policies that promote development.
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.