ACCESS Washington, D.C. — Your Ticket to a Better Los Angeles

Gary Toebben on January 24, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week's announcement that a new federal courthouse for Los Angeles has finally been authorized and funded is the result of a 10-year effort to replace a woefully outdated facility in downtown Los Angeles. We applaud Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and the other members of the Los Angeles Congressional delegation for their persistence on this important project for our judicial system and the Los Angeles economy.

This success points out the importance of the Annual ACCESS Washington, D.C. trip the Chamber, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, other elected officials and partnering business organizations take to Washington, D.C. to advocate on behalf of important projects and legislation to benefit the citizens and economy of our region. This year’s trip is March 5-7, and all members of the Chamber and our partnering organizations are invited to join us in walking the halls of Congress and our nation’s capitol.arrowRead More

Padilla Bill on Redevelopment Agencies Should Be Top L.A. Priority

Gary Toebben on January 17, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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For Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Council President Herb Wesson and the members of the Los Angeles City Council, the number one priority for this week should be to rally Speaker John Perez and the other members of the Los Angeles Legislative Delegation to mobilize statewide support for Senator Alex Padilla’s bill SB 659 which would extend the life of Redevelopment Agencies (RDA’s) from Feb. 1 to April 15. Padilla’s bill is not about whether to end RDA’s, that issue has already been decided and the State won.arrowRead More

Community Colleges Poised for Transformative Change

Gary Toebben on January 10, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Yesterday, the California Community College Board of Governors took a monumental step to improve student success across the state community college system by voting unanimously to support a task force report that will make significant changes in the system.

More than 70 percent of all undergraduate college students in California are in the community college system. Yet only about 25 percent of the students seeking degrees, certificate or transfers complete their work. Two years ago the L.A. Area Chamber sponsored a bill — SB 1143, authored by Sen. Carol Liu, which called for the California Community College Board of Governors to establish a task force on how to dramatically improve student success. David Rattray, the Chamber’s senior vice president of Education & Workforce Development, served on that task force.




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2012: Local Economy Poised to Bear Fruit -- Jobs!

Gary Toebben on January 3, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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I am upbeat about the growth of the local economy in 2012. The roots are growing for major job creating projects that could put thousands of family members back to work in large and small businesses across the southland. Fruit trees have been planted to yield an economic recovery that will benefit all Angelenos. Here are some exciting examples.
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Good News for L.A. Students

Gary Toebben on December 20, 2011 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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For the students of Los Angeles, holiday presents came early this year. Despite difficult financial times — including California's mid-year budget cuts to education last week — two recent developments show that it is still possible for public institutions to get their act together when addressing the future of our children. arrowRead More

Passport to Los Angeles

Gary Toebben on December 13, 2011 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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From the days the Santa Fe Railroad opened Southern California to the Midwest and East Coast by connecting Chicago with Los Angeles, through the silver screen glamour years of Hollywood's golden era, and up through our latest role as a global center for entertainment, culture and restaurants, Los Angeles has a long and proud history as a worldwide tourist destination and is the preferred gateway for international travelers into the United States.










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Wizards to Make Some Tourism Magic in Los Angeles

Gary Toebben on December 6, 2011 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Millions of Muggles will be coming to Los Angeles to visit Hogwarts and they won’t need to take a special train from platform nine and three-quarters for wizards only. Warner Bros. Entertainment and Universal Parks and Resorts announced today a partnership that will bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Universal Studios Hollywood and create a major new tourist attraction for Los Angeles and Southern California.





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Let's Build Bridges Across California

Gary Toebben on November 29, 2011 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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With 38 million people and the eighth largest economy in the world, California has the resources to achieve great things for its citizens. But we don't always use those collective resources to our advantage. Besides the obvious political differences between Republicans and Democrats in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., we allow long standing geographic differences to undermine the development of plans to maximize the vast and diverse human and physical resources of our great State. These regional divisions go unchallenged, in part because we do not take the time to understand the resources and aspirations of the rest of the State and how we can all benefit by working together rather than rallying the troops to compete with each other.arrowRead More

A Time for Courage and Giving Thanks

Gary Toebben on November 22, 2011 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, a group of Loyola Marymount University (LMU) students tried their hand at solving our nation’s budget deficit. At the West Coast launch of Budget Hero 2.0 — a web game sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Public Insight Network at American Public Media — teams of LMU students in economics and political science were tasked with eliminating $1.2 trillion of federal deficit. With free reign to make decisions on federal budget items, including defense, education, social security, Medicare and the Bush tax cuts, the teams deliberated on the real world impacts of cuts and expenditures. They all reached the same conclusion. Reducing the deficit is a daunting task, but it can be achieved with courage and compromise.arrowRead More

Public Pension Tsunami Demands Action Now!

Gary Toebben on November 15, 2011 at 3:15:00 pm in The Business Perspective 
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Three weeks ago, Governor Jerry Brown laid out a fair and comprehensive plan to address California’s growing public employee pension liability crisis. The governor’s 12-point plan received widespread and positive news coverage from taxpayers, pension experts and media.
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