The Business Perspective

L.A. Blankets the Halls of Congress

Gary Toebben on March 11, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Southern California delivered 168 leaders from business, government and nonprofits to the steps of the Capitol today for ACCESS Washington, D.C. 2014. The annual lobbying pilgrimage, sponsored by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and 12 other business organizations is cutting a wide swath across the halls of government.

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Killing Middle Class Jobs

Gary Toebben on March 4, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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During the 20th Century, the growth of middle class jobs in Los Angeles and Southern California was fueled by oil, manufacturing and construction. Today, all three of these industries are under attack by new regulations and a not-in-my-back-yard mentality, which together are depleting the number of middle class jobs in these sectors.  

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Work to Secure Federal Funds Pays Off

Gary Toebben on February 24, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last Thursday was payoff day for years of work to secure federal funds to supplement local Measure R dollars and ensure the safety of our regional rail service. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Representatives Xavier Becerra and Lucille Roybal-Allard joined Metro officials Thursday morning to celebrate $670 million in federal funding for the new Downtown Regional Connector

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Welcome Investments for L.A.ís Future

Gary Toebben on February 18, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The "grand pour" was the center of attention in downtown Los Angeles this past weekend.  The continuous concrete pour of the foundation for the new Wilshire Grand hotel and office tower set a record in the Guinness Book of World Records and attracted thousands of spectators. The 1,100 foot building will be the tallest in Los Angeles and west of the Mississippi when it opens in 2017.  

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Help Transform L.A.ís 68 Year-Old Zoning Code

Gary Toebben on February 11, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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It has been 68 years since the City of Los Angeles did a comprehensive update of its zoning code, an important tool that plans, defines and directs the City's built environment. Over the years, the City has taken a “piecemeal” approach by amending the zoning code at will without a visionary picture of the future. This has resulted in a more than 600-page book, which represents a substantial hurdle in the modernization of Los Angeles.

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Past Water System Investments Pay Big Dividends During This Drought

Gary Toebben on February 4, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Water is one of those resources we often take for granted. The worsening drought this year is a reminder of how precious water is to our state economy. The full scope of the damage caused by this drought is still unknown as we wait for what nature will bring California the rest of this winter and spring in terms of snow and rain. But now is a good time to look back on the investments here in Southern California that are tempering the impact of this drought and look ahead at what still needs to be done to assure reliability in the future.  

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Feb. 1 is Cash for College Super Saturday

Gary Toebben on January 27, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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While the nation is focused on the Super Bowl this coming Sunday, thousands of high school students and their parents in Los Angeles will be focused on Cash for College Super Saturday by attending a free financial aid workshop at 50 locations. From now until March 2, workshops will be held at 180 locations throughout Los Angeles.

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Big Progress On Transit Projects

Gary Toebben on January 21, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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In 2008, more than two-thirds of Los Angeles County voters approved Measure R, a one-half cent sales tax that will generate $40 billion over the next 30 years for traffic relief and transportation improvements throughout the county. Today and last week, voters were rewarded for their support.

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A Time for Truth

Gary Toebben on January 14, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, after nine months of work, the LA 2020 Commission released its first report. Outlining the critical issues facing Los Angeles, the report is long on facts and short on rhetoric. I encourage everyone to read “A Time For Truth.”

One of the challenges identified by the 13-member commission is shown in the graph below which can be found on page six of the report.

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A Good Start for 2014

Gary Toebben on January 7, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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I often find that when I set pen to paper to write these weekly communications, it’s to scold one level of government or another for creating another new regulation that makes it harder or more expensive for businesses to create jobs and grow the economy. Imagine my joy when my first The Business Perspective of 2014 is to call attention to a positive action by a powerful yet not highly visible part of our state government. Today, I write in praise of the California Board of Equalization.

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