The Business Perspective

Ready to Ride

Gary Toebben on March 8, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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This past Saturday, thousands gathered in the San Gabriel Valley for the opening of the Gold Line Extension, which connects Pasadena to Azusa, through the cities of Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte and Irwindale. This $1 billion, 11.5 mile extension was funded with Measure R dollars approved by the voters in 2008.

 

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Congratulations and Welcome to Speaker Rendon

Gary Toebben on March 1, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Next Monday, Speaker-elect Anthony Rendon from Los Angeles County will be sworn in as the 70th Speaker of the California State Assembly. He was elected on Jan. 11 to the chief leadership position of the 80-member body, taking the helm from outgoing Speaker Toni Atkins, who we thank for her service.

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Changing Lives and Shaping Our Workforce: Summer Internships Make a Difference

Gary Toebben on February 23, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Los Angeles County has more than 200,000 young people who are out of school and out of work. At the same time, many businesses are struggling to fill thousands of entry-level positions. We call these 16-24 year olds “Opportunity Youth,” because their disconnection from the labor force is a significant loss to the L.A. economy.

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LADWP Infrastructure Investments Deserve Our Support

Gary Toebben on February 16, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Angelenos in every corner of the City at one point or another have been impacted by a broken water main or electricity blackout. These incidents are the most visible signs of our aging water and power systems and the necessity of maintaining the infrastructure in the 465 square-mile area served by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP). The business community has a long history of recognizing that improvements to and maintenance of our utility infrastructure is key to the health of our economy and has supported rate increases that dedicate funds to this use.

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Transportation Funding Needs Green Light in Sacramento

Gary Toebben on February 9, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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In his State of the State address in January, Gov. Jerry Brown once again called on the Legislature to find a solution to California’s funding gap for highways, bridges and transit. The funding shortfall for the basic transportation needs of our state is getting worse every day and our businesses, residents and visitors are grumbling. 

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Cashing in on the Promise of College

Gary Toebben on February 2, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Each year thousands of qualified high school seniors do not apply to college because they fear the financial barriers are too great and they are unaware of opportunities to secure financial aid. In 2014, the “California Financial Aid Tracker” from Education Trust-West revealed that 40 percent of California’s public high school graduating seniors do not file financial aid applications and leave millions of dollars of financial aid unused. 

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Big Opportunities for 21st Century Investments

Gary Toebben on January 26, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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When it comes to investing in Los Angeles’ transportation infrastructure, we are in a golden era. The promises of Measure R are becoming a reality with the Regional Connector, Purple Line extension and Crenshaw/LAX line in full construction mode. Expo Phase II, connecting downtown to Santa Monica, is in the final testing phases, and the Gold Line Foothill extension is scheduled to open in March. The long-discussed goal of connecting the Metro system to LAX and transforming the way passengers access the airport terminals is now in the environmental planning stage.

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Ending Homelessness Attracts Hundreds of Caring Citizens

Gary Toebben on January 19, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, both the City and County of Los Angeles presented plans to address homelessness and invited public comments. The plans appropriately described the growing number of homeless persons and the shortage of affordable housing as a crisis. Each plan outlined suggested expenditures of approximately $100 million per year or $200 million total per year to take bold and comprehensive action. Both plans indicated that existing funds could be re-prioritized to get the ball rolling but that a dedicated revenue stream would be needed to sustainably fund the proposals. Neither recommended a specific revenue source. 

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Partnering To Address a Crisis

Gary Toebben on January 12, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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When a community like Porter Ranch is facing a crisis, it is appropriate to expect a response from government that collaborates with citizens and the private sector to communicate helpful information about what caused the problem, and develop partnerships to address short and long-term responses and solutions. Such a response from government took place last week when the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) and the Southern California Gas Company (SoCal Gas) announced a new plan to partially address the release of natural gas and fumes from the Aliso Canyon storage facility owned by SoCal Gas.

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Happy New Year and 16 wishes for 2016

Gary Toebben on January 5, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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With January in full swing, I wanted to share my “wish list” for improving the economy of the City and County of Los Angeles for the upcoming year. Here’s what my dream year would look like:

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