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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A Major Step Forward on Pension Crisis

Gary Toebben on February 28, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, Senate and Assembly Republicans introduced Gov. Jerry Brown's pension reform legislation and called upon all members of the Legislature to work across party lines to enact Gov. Brown's 12-point reform plan. The Chamber applauds this action and leadership.

The growing liability of our current public employee pension system is out of control and cannot be sustained. Gov. Brown’s plan is a blueprint for addressing billions in unfunded state pension obligations and moving our State forward toward full economic recovery. The outcome of Democrats and Republicans working together on this crisis has the potential to benefit all Californians and reduce the fiscal anxiety that citizens and every department of state government currently experiences each year.


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Congress Fiddles While Our Infrastructure Burns

Gary Toebben on February 21, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Imagine as the CEO of a business or the head of a household, that you limited your long-term planning to six months. That’s how Congress has been managing transportation and infrastructure since 2009, when the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Act- A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) expired. Eight short-term extensions have only served as a Band-Aid. Repeated delays have hurt our economy, stymied job creation and allowed for the continued deterioration of our nation's roads, highways, bridges and transit.




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Environment and Justice for All

Gary Toebben on February 14, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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There was a seven hour trash stink at L.A. City Hall yesterday as businesses from across the City expressed their anger about a proposal that would give the City the power to select the trash hauler for every business in Los Angeles and set the rates as well.

For the first time in the history of Los Angeles, the City is moving forward with a proposal that will set waste hauling rates for all privately held multi-family and commercial businesses by moving from an open market system to an exclusive franchise selected by the City. Specifically, the Los Angeles Board of Public Works is recommending that the City establish an exclusive franchise for each of the 11 yet to be established waste hauling districts. The proposal will create a costly and contentious bureaucracy for businesses and put the squeeze on small, family-owned waste hauling companies, many of whom have served Los Angeles for generations.arrowRead More

An Investment Worthy of Business Community Action

Gary Toebben on February 7, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The Los Angeles Business Leaders Task Force on Homelessness blueprint, Home For Good, was launched just over a year ago. There is good news to share as well as a big opportunity to take this strategic initiative to end chronic and veteran homeless in Los Angeles County to the next level!

Home For Good is aimed at the 12,000 chronically homeless Angelenos, which includes approximately 1,400 homeless veterans, who have been homeless for more than a year and have serious mental or physical health problems. It is a plan that not only saves tax payer dollars, but has proven successful in cities all over the nation. As a result of the Task Force’s participation in the last two ACCESS Washington, D.C. trips, the feds have renewed faith in Los Angeles and our efforts to solve this terrible blight on our City and our people.


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