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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A Good Supreme Court Decision

Gary Toebben on April 17, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, the California Supreme Court made a common sense decision that will be good for California employers and employees. The ruling eliminates a major complaint that businesses and business organizations, like the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, have been urging the California Legislature to address for years. 

In a unanimous ruling, the court stated that employers must make duty-free meal and rest breaks available to employees, but cannot be held liable if employees decide to work instead of rest. "We conclude an employer's obligation is to relieve its employee of all duty, with the employee thereafter at liberty to use the meal period for whatever purpose he or she desires, but the employer need not ensure that no work is done,” Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar wrote for the court. 

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L.A. City Budget Requires Tough, Long-Term Decisions

Gary Toebben on April 10, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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When the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the City of Los Angeles begins a 50-page report on budget options with an introduction titled "A cautionary Tale: The City of Stockton, California," it is clear that a serious fiscal challenge faces the second largest city in the nation. On Feb. 28, 2012, the Stockton City Council adopted a resolution to pursue a state mandated process in an attempt to prevent insolvency and bankruptcy.



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Lights, Camera ... Hollywood Community Plan!

Gary Toebben on April 3, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Hollywood. The name alone is iconic; conjuring up images of fame, fortune and glamour. The Hollywood Sign sitting atop Mount Lee constantly reminds us that our past, present and future is inextricably linked to that image — the movies.

But Hollywood is more than an image and it is more than the film industry. It is a real community with geographical boundaries where people live and work. Hollywood is not just a destination for the world’s tourists; it is also an important economic driver as a location for creative start-ups, professional services and urban housing.

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Building Our Youth For The Future

Gary Toebben on March 27, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future." The L.A. Area Chamber understands that a good education and early work experience are key elements in preparing our youth. That is why HIRE LA’s Youth is so important to the future of our economy.



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L.A.'s Air Force Base – A Technology Giant in Our Community

Gary Toebben on March 20, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Many people in L.A. County don’t know about one of the major engines to our economy: the Los Angeles Air Force Base, located in the City of El Segundo. The base has no runways, but serves as the epicenter of our region's aerospace industry. It is home to the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC).

Activated back in 1954, under a different name, the base developed the first Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and today, SMC is working to launch GPS III in 2014. That’s right, GPS, which is used by a billion people around the world — not to mention by our military, the Federal Aviation Administration and military users in 55 other countries — was developed at SMC.arrowRead More

Success in D.C. Moves Los Angeles Forward

Gary Toebben on March 13, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, 175 leaders with a ticket to D.C., representing business, government and nonprofit organizations, let their voices be heard by advocating for Los Angeles and Southern California. They attended 80 meetings on your behalf with members of Congress, Cabinet Secretaries and White House staff.arrowRead More

Don't Play Politics with Grocery Stores

Gary Toebben on March 6, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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All over the City of Los Angeles vacant buildings sit waiting for a new tenant. In some neighborhoods, residents are waiting patiently for a retail grocery store that provides healthy and affordable food. So it is a double coupon event when a grocery store wants to open in a building that has been vacant for more than 20 years, in a neighborhood that does not have close access to a major retail grocery store.



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