Pension Reform a Must for City of Los Angeles

Gary Toebben on June 19, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Two weeks ago, the voters in San Diego and San Jose, the second and third largest cities in California, overwhelmingly passed measures to reform their pension plans for city employees.

On the heels of these two votes, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa directed Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana to immediately begin discussions with the City Council on a series of pension reforms that the mayor proposed in April. Last week, at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Orlando, Mayor Villaraigosa continued his push for pension reform, telling his fellow mayors that he was prepared to take his reform measures directly to the voters in spring 2013 during elections for mayor and City Council.    

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Congratulations to the Los Angeles Kings and Anschutz Entertainment Group

Gary Toebben on June 12, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The Los Angeles Kings made our city and county of Los Angeles happy and proud last night with their 6-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils and the first ever Stanley Cup for a Los Angeles team. Athletes whose names were unknown to many residents before the playoffs began have now become heroes in our community and appropriately so.




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Chamber Celebrates Victory and Leadership in Yesterday’s Primary Election

Gary Toebben on June 6, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to have been one of the two co-sponsors of the Proposition 28 - Term Limits Reform - with the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. In yesterday’s primary election, Proposition 28 garnered the support of 61 percent of the California voters and passed in every county in the State.








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Early Warning: Early Education Matters

Gary Toebben on June 5, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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President Barack Obama emphasized the need for making education a national priority, which will produce a workforce capable of capitalizing on a global economy. This commitment comes at a time when 83 percent of our nation's low-income fourth graders failed to read proficiently. In Los Angeles County, only 41 percent of third grade students score proficient or higher on English Language Arts.

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Yes on Proposition 28: A Sensible Reform

Gary Toebben on May 29, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The statewide primary election is June 5 — one week from today. Proposition 28 is on that ballot and gives Californians a change to fix one of the many things that is wrong with state government. 

Sacramento is not working as it should. Californians agree and are frustrated by the lack of leadership and decision making in our state capitol.  How do we move past the status quo of disappointment and disfunctionality?arrowRead More

Chamber Members Rally For Business Growth In Sacramento

Gary Toebben on May 22, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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More than 100 L.A. Area Chamber members are taking part in ACCESS Sacramento today and tomorrow to advocate for legislation to dramatically improve the statewide business climate and place the highest priority on growing jobs and the economy.

The course of California's future is being set right now in Sacramento. Decisions made this year will determine the rate of business growth, the number of new jobs created and the strength of our education system. Every day businesses are being stymied by anti-competitive regulations, residents are losing faith in the State's ability to deliver essential services and California remains in dire need of a long-term strategy for budget stability.arrowRead More

New Focus on Jobs and Budget Needed at L.A. City Hall

Gary Toebben on May 16, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The Los Angeles Times ran a story over the weekend that missed the mark about the influence of the business community at L.A. City Hall, which prompted me to send a letter to the editor on Sunday afternoon.

In my response to the story, I pointed out that business is an aggressive advocate at City Hall and actively engaged in city elections.

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Make Term Limits Work: Vote Yes on Proposition 28

Gary Toebben on May 8, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The original intent of California's term limits law was to end the era of career politicians and cultivate a new breed of citizen-legislator to focus on the needs of their constituents. But things haven't turned out that way.

The author of the original law, former Republican Assemblymember Pete Schabarum, laments that that law is not working as he intended. In an article in the Los Angeles Times, he said his hope was that term limits would encourage a new type of "citizen legislator," one who would serve for a period of time but return to private life, allowing new individuals to offer their ideas and perspectives to government. Unfortunately, that has not been the result.arrowRead More

Expo Today, America Fast Forward Tomorrow

Gary Toebben on May 1, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week was a significant week for transportation. Locally, the Los Angeles County Metro Board of Directors approved the first 3.9 miles of the Westside Subway Extension, and the first phase of the Expo Line, 7.9 miles from downtown to Culver City, opened to great fanfare.arrowRead More

L.A. Budget Deficit is Not Temporary

Gary Toebben on April 24, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Filling a $222 million budget deficit is a daunting task and there are many objectors to the 2012-13 budget proposal that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presented to the L.A. City Council last Friday. Immediately after the budget was presented, members of the public objected to more cuts in city services and additional fee increases. City employees said they had already sacrificed enough and responded with a “no” to reopening negotiations on wages, benefits and pensions. And regular City Hall budget critics said that once again the mayor was kicking the can down the road to the new mayor and City Council that will be elected in 2013 and 2015.  




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