VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
July 22, 2022
In This Issue
  • CA Paid Family Leave Grant
  • ACTION ALERT: Oppose Publicizing Company Pay Data
  • VICA Land Use Committee to Host Roundtable & Discussion
  • VICA Welcomes Two Legislative Affairs Team Members
  • Media Highlights
“It’s plain and simple: Angelenos deserve a city where they can live and work without fear. Crimes like this put employees and customers in danger and harm our local economy. As Mayor, I pledge to put public safety first.”
LA Mayoral Candidate Rick Caruso
Statement on a retail crime attempt on Wednesday, July 20.
California Paid Family Leave Grant
VICA is pleased to announce its partnership with the California Paid Family Leave (PFL) Grant. The program awards grants to assist California's small businesses impacted by the Paid Family Leave (PFL) Program.
Businesses impacted by California's Paid Family Leave program will have:
  • Increased costs such as training and upskilling existing staff to cover the duties of the employee on California's Paid Family Leave;
  • Hiring and training additional staff to cover the duties of the employee on California's Paid Family Leave; and marketing, recruitment, and
  • Other reasonably foreseeable training costs
The PFL Grant Program allows eligible small businesses in California with 1-100 employees with at least one (1) employee utilizing California's Paid Family Leave program to apply for grants up to $2,000 per employee to offset the increased costs associated with the employee out on leave.

California's Paid Family Leave program allows California workers to take paid leave to bond with a new child (through birth, adoption, or foster care) or to care for a seriously ill family member. Beginning July 1, 2020, this paid leave expanded from six (6) to eight (8) weeks. California's Paid Family Leave program also expanded the twelve (12) week non-paid protected leave to all businesses, regardless of business size. 

For more information, eligibility details, and to apply, visit or call (818)989-0300.
Action Alert: Oppose Publicizing Company Pay Data
One of the most concerning bills still moving in the California Legislature is SB 1162 by Senator Limon. The bill seeks to disclose private employers’ annual pay data reports, which are currently submitted to state agencies and are currently not made public. Publicizing those reports will not help close the wage gap as advertised by the proponents, instead it will cause businesses to face costly litigation and unfair public scrutiny based on data that has no bearing on whether companies are engaging in discriminatory conduct.

We urge you to reach out to Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel's office to express concerns about the bill.

Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel
Call: (916) 319-2045

SB 1162 would encourage new, burdensome litigation against employers based on the publication of broad, unreliable data collected by the state. Further, this bill undermines employers’ ability to hire and subjects employers to a private right of action and penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). The additional burdens and costs this proposal would create will limit an employer’s ability to offer higher wages and benefits to new or existing employees and discourage growth or expansion in California.

A fact sheet and our letter opposing the bill can be found below.
VICA Land Use Committee to Host Roundtable & Discussion
The Valley Industry & Commerce Association is pleased to invite you to a Developer Roundtable & Discussion hosted by our Land Use Committee.  The details are as follows:
Tuesday, August 9 | 8:30 – 10:30 AM
The Garland
4222 Vineland Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91602
Registration is REQUIRED. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
The format for the discussion is as follows:
Input from local developers on their recent experience entitling and constructing projects in the Valley and other communities where VICA works - the challenges they have faced and the ideas they have to improve the process.
Group Discussion with municipal leaders, who include:
Vince Bertoni – Director of Planning – LA City Planning
Lisa Webber – Deputy Director of Project Planning – LA City Planning
Rossana D’Antonio – Deputy Director – LA County Public Works
John Weight – Executive Officer – LA Department of Building & Safety
Bradley Calvert – Assistant Director of Community Development – City of Glendale
Bertram Moklebust – Principal Civil Engineer – LA City Bureau of Engineering
Emil Abdelshehid – Assistant Director-Power New Business and Electrification – LADWP
If you are currently a VICA member, please click here to register.
If you are not a VICA member and are interested in attending, please email to RSVP.
If you would like to submit comments or questions ahead of time, please email and we will read them anonymously during the roundtable.
We look forward to having you join us! 
Welcome to the VICA Family
The VICA team welcome's its newest additions to the team, Victor Reyes-Morelos, Legislative Affairs Manager, and Abby King, Legislative Affairs Associate!
We are pleased to have Victor Reyes-Morelos join VICA as a Legislative Affairs Manager. Victor is a lifelong resident of the San Fernando Valley, residing in San Fernando and Sylmar for most of his youth. 

Victor is a graduate from UC Irvine with a Bachelor's in Political Science, as well as receiving Associate Degrees in Business, and Social & Behavioral Sciences from Pasadena City College. Victor brings over nine years of experience covering various industries, including financial services, legislative affairs, and community organizing. Victor’s passion for conducting legislative advocacy and supporting economic development made the decision to join VICA an easy one for him. Victor looks forward to meeting many of our member partners and being able to contribute to a better quality of living for all residents and supporting VICA’s efforts in creating economic opportunities for the community.
Abby King is VICA’s newest Legislative Affairs Associate. Abby is a graduate of Whitman college where she earned a B.A. in politics with a minor in psychology. In her professional career Abby has worked for a variety of local elected officials, engaging with community members and promoting policies that advocate for the needs of Los Angeles residents.

During her free time, Abby enjoys hiking along some of the numerous hiking trails within the valley, cooking, and spending time with close family and friends. As a lifelong resident of the San Fernando Valley, Abby is excited to join the VICA team and begin advocating for the policies best suited for the San Fernando Valley business community. 
Take a moment and welcome our newest team members! and
VICA Thanks Our New & Renewing Members
Last Chance to Register - Newsmaker Connection with Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson
Tuesday, July 26 | 11:30 AM
VICA Office

LA City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson proudly represents the Eighth District of Los Angeles and chairs the city’s Planning Land Use and Management committee. He has introduced policies that combat homelessness, create quality jobs, clean streets, and encourage community policing. Within his first 18 months as a Councilmember, he authored Proposition HHH and has authorized more affordable housing in district 8.

VICA thanks our Presenting Sponsors, Amazon, Cedars-Sinai and State Farm.
Last Chance to Register - Leaders Forum with Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins
Friday, July 29 | 8:30 AM
Burbank Airport Marriott

Stephanie Wiggins, Deputy Chief Executive Officer for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), most recently served as Executive Director of Vendor/Contract Management for Metro. She has more than 20 years of experience working for transportation agencies.

VICA thanks our Presenting Sponsors, Bechtel Corp., Comcast NBCUniversal, EKA, and Flatiron Construction.
Local Officeholders Luncheon
Get Your Sponsorship Before it's too Late!
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.
VICA After Dark: LAFD Chief Kristen Crowley
Wednesday, August 31 | 5:30 PM
FIVE on the Hill at Hilton Universal City

VICA After Dark is a regular evening reception designed to give VICA members and guests the opportunity to hear updates about policies impacting the business community from a featured opinion leader and network with other prominent business leaders from the community.

VICA thanks our Presenting Sponsors, Five on the Hill, Medtrans, and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.
Save the Date
Land Use Committee Meeting: Developer Roundtable & Discussion Edition
Tuesday, August 9
8:30 - 10:30 AM
Hosted by The Garland
Energy, Environment, Manufacturing & Utilities Committee Meeting
Wednesday, August 10
12:00 - 1:30 PM
VICA Office
Sponsored by Metropolitan Water District
VICA in the News
The Residence at Sportsmen's Lodge
KNX | July 11
San Fernando Valley Business Journal | July 18
Los Angeles County Broadband Initiatives Capital and Main | July 19
Los Angeles County Mask Mandate
Courthouse News | July 20
Hot News
LA28 Game Dates
Mark your calendar. The LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be here in six short years. The LA28 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony is set for July 14, 2028, with the Games running through July 30, 2028, and the LA28 Paralympic Games will kick off August 15, 2028, and close August 27, 2028. The LA28 Games will be Los Angeles’ third time hosting the Olympic Games (previously 1984, 1932) and the first time hosting the Paralympic Games. The LA28 Games will represent the creativity, diversity and youthful energy of the Los Angeles region.

Southern California home prices and sales edged lower in June from the month before, adding to the pile of evidence that the housing slowdown is starting to pull home values lower. The data, released Tuesday by DQNews, marks the first month since January that Southern California’s ultra-competitive housing market saw a decline in the median home price. The region’s six-county median sale price was $750,000, down from $760,000 in May. However, a broader view shows that prices are still soaring compared with last June.

Digital Divide
The White House announced on Thursday that 1.6 million Californian households have enrolled in an affordable internet program that was made possible by the bipartisan infrastructure law President Biden signed in November. The affordable internet program enables households to cut their monthly internet bill by up to $30 per month. Households on tribal lands can cut their costs by up to $75 per month. California has the highest number of enrollees of any state. The program is administered by the Federal Communications Commission and was made possible by $65 billion in funding from the 2021 law.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday demanded that UCLA explain how its Pac-12 exit for the Big Ten will benefit all of its student-athletes and honor its relationship with UC Berkeley — the only UC campus that will be left behind and will likely take a big financial hit in a conference weakened by big-name defections. Newsom made an unusual appearance Wednesday at the San Francisco meeting of the UC Board of Regents, where he serves as an ex-officio member, to join the board’s closed-door discussion on the issue.

LA County Ballot Measure
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to craft a proposed measure, aimed for the November ballot, that would give the board the ability to remove Sheriff Alex Villanueva and future elected sheriffs from office. Lawyers for the county were tasked with writing a charter amendment that would go before county voters on Nov. 8. If their measure receives a majority of votes cast, the board would be granted the power to remove an elected county sheriff for the first time in its history. Removing a sheriff would require four of the five supervisors.

Amazon Fresh
Amazon Fresh has expanded its Southern California footprint with the opening of a new supermarket in Encino, featuring the company’s “Just Walk Out” technology.
The 44,000-square-foot store, at 16325 Ventura Blvd., is the 16th Fresh in California. It will employ hundreds of full- and part-time workers at a starting wage of $16.40 an hour, the company said.
Amazon Fresh said it will be opening another store in Westlake in the coming weeks and a Pasadena location after that. Specific locations for those markets have not been revealed. Amazon Fresh operates a total of 57 stores, including 39 in the U.S. and 18 in the U.K.
Member Spotlight
Alysia Bell

Alysia has her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and has worked for LAUSD, Southern California Edison, Pepperdine, multiple chambers of commerce and UNITE-LA. She has had the privilege of working with the team at UNITE-LA for 11 years and wakes up every day feeling more and more passionate about their work.

Fun facts: She weighed eleven pounds and two ounces when she was born (she apologized to her mother regularly); her nickname growing up was Tippy (as in Tippy Toes – thanks to years of ballet); and she is a huge sports fan.
When asked some additional questions, the below was shared:

What has been your organization’s largest accomplishment or efforts made over the past year?
The retention and recruitment of incredible team members is a proud accomplishment of UNITE-LA. Both our staff tenure (on average, senior leadership has been with UNITE-LA for a decade) and the all-stars who have joined our family more recently (which includes 14 new hires since the beginning of the pandemic) has led to deep, institutional knowledge complemented by fresh, generative thinking as we complete a new strategic plan that aims to advance our mission and deepen our impact.
Please share how VICA has supported your business strategy or expanded your footprint with the business community?
UNITE-LA and VICA have a long track record of jointly advocating for cradle-to-career education and workforce development policy that has contributed to strengthening our local schools and the workforce that supports our communities.
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.