Let's Capture and Use This January's Rain and Snow

Gary Toebben on January 17, 2017 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The New Year has delivered the first long, steady rain and snow to California in a long time. Our reservoirs are refilling and our groundwater basins are beginning to replenish.

This is not the time, however, to exhale and assume our water crisis is over. While up to 40 percent of the State is no longer in a drought, that is not the case for Southern California, where some parts of Los Angeles and Orange counties are still classified as "extreme drought."Ě The Metropolitan Water District's regional reservoirs remain at much lower levels than at the beginning of the drought, in part because much of the rain we have received was not captured, it simply flowed to the ocean. We still lack the infrastructure to secure our long-term water reliability and resiliency.

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Advocating For Business and Los Angeles in 2017

Gary Toebben on January 10, 2017 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Advocating for legislation that stimulates economic growth, more good jobs and a higher quality of life is one of the core missions of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. The heart of our influence and success in these efforts is member engagement. Personally taking your stories to elected officials about the impact of legislation on your companies, organizations and clients is essential to our success.

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Big Opportunities for 2017

Gary Toebben on January 3, 2017 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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2016 finished strong for the Los Angeles County economy. Employment during the year grew by 65,300 jobs and the unemployment rate declined to 5.1 percent. Voters expressed their willingness to invest in transportation (Measure M), housing (Measure HHH) and education (Measure CC) at the Nov. 8 election by 71.15 percent, 77.14 percent and 75.92 percent respectively. We have the opportunity to continue this positive economic momentum in 2017 if our voters and elected officials continue taking bold actions to build on these basic foundations. Here is how:

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Thank You

Gary Toebben on December 20, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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In my final Business Perspective of 2016, I want to say thank you to the 1,650 member companies and organizations who support the mission and work of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. When the Chamber was founded in 1888, 54 business owners signaled their commitment and determination to make L.A. an economic powerhouse and a great place to live and visit. Only 50,000 people lived in L.A. at that time.

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How Would Repeal Of The ACA Affect Californiansí Health Coverage?

Pauline Bartolone and Lydia Zuraw, California Healthline on December 14, 2016 at 10:30:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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In almost every county across California, regardless of its political leaning, at least one in 10 people has health coverage because of Obamacare.

And in some counties, almost one-fifth of the population is eligible for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, either through the expansion of Medi-Cal or Covered California, the state-run health insurance marketplace that offers subsidized private coverage.

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A Housing Option That L.A. Should Incorporate

Gary Toebben on December 13, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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California and Los Angeles are in the midst of a housing supply and affordability crisis that is threatening our economy and our quality of life. We are only building one new housing unit for every eight new residents. Last month, an analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that millennials are leaving L.A. at one of the highest rates in the country. Over the last 10 years, the number of County residents between the ages of 18 and 35 decreased by 7.4 percent. The home of Hollywood, Silicon Beach, world-class universities and a revitalized downtown is losing some young wage earners because they can no longer afford to buy or rent a home in our city.

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It's Time for the Safe, Re-Opening of Aliso Canyon

Gary Toebben on December 6, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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It has now been more than a year since the Aliso Canyon gas leak temporarily shuttered one of this region’s most critical pieces of energy infrastructure. The impact on adjacent communities was significant, but after much work, the leak was stopped and new, stringent safety measures have been implemented. Yet, the facility still sits idle. It’s time to change that.

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Growing the Los Angeles Economy Through Tech Entrepreneurs

Gary Toebben on November 29, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The story of the growth of Los Angeles and its economy is highlighted by the ingenuity and vision of entrepreneurs. During National Entrepreneurship Month, I want to share with you what the Chamber is doing to ensure that L.A. builds on its fastest growing entrepreneurial sector: technology.

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California Braces For Medi-Calís Future

Anna Gorman and Pauline Bartolone, California Healthline on November 22, 2016 at 11:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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California grabbed the first opportunity to expand Medicaid and ran with it, helping cut the number of uninsured people in half in a few short years.

Thanks in part to billions of dollars in federal funding, a third of California’s residents — including half its children — are insured by Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid.

Now, with the election of Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress, the state that bet so heavily on the Medicaid expansion is bracing to see how much of its work will be undone. While no one knows yet exactly what will happen, many policymakers and advocates fear the federal government will end or severely limit funding for the expansion.

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Local Leadership Shines

Gary Toebben on November 15, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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This past week I've been reminded of how important leadership is. We rely on leaders for direction, for courage and for inspiration -- in business, the social sector and, of course, in government.

Nowhere is leadership more important than at the local level, where real nuts-and-bolts change happens. We are most successful at addressing society's biggest challenges by working together with those in our region who are committed to common causes.

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