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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Region Ends Year with More Jobs & Other Successes

Webmaster on December 22, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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As 2015 comes to a close, we should celebrate that Los Angeles County has 73,200 more jobs than one year ago and our unemployment rate stands at 5.9 percent, down from 8 percent in November 2014. The result is a happier holiday season for many families and friends.

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Federal Education Bill Is Good for California Economy

Webmaster on December 15, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, both houses of Congress passed and the President signed into law the Every Student Success Act (ESSA). This bill replaces the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation that was enacted 12 years ago. The goal of ESSA is to ensure that all students, including our youngest learners, have equal access to a quality education no matter their background or ethnicity. 

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Don'ít Doom L.A. to a Permanent Housing Shortage

Gary Toebben on December 8, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last month, a group of activists calling themselves the “Coalition to Preserve L.A,” led by Michael Weinstein with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, filed papers to place an initiative on the November 2016 ballot that would establish a citywide building moratorium on higher density housing. The measure is officially titled “Restrictions on General Plan Amendments, Required Review of General Plan; Building Moratorium Initiative Ordinance,” but don’t be fooled by the archaic sounding language. The implications of this measure would be devastating to Los Angeles and doom us to a permanent housing shortage.

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Congress Should Ratify Trans Pacific Partnership and U.S. Leadership Role

Gary Toebben on December 1, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman had lunch at the Chamber to discuss the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement that Congress will consider in 2016. Prior to the Chamber meeting, Ambassador Froman met with leaders from the motion picture industry, who are very supportive of the TPP and know how important the agreement is to growing entertainment jobs in L.A. and California.

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A Prayer for Safety this Thanksgiving Day

Gary Toebben on November 24, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Thanksgiving is an important day on the American calendar, both for our nation, and for each of us as individuals, families and businesses. It is a collective opportunity to express appreciation for all that we have, whether that is a little or a lot.

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End Goal in Sight for Federal Transportation Legislation

Gary Toebben on November 18, 2015 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Since 2010, a new six-year federal transportation bill has been a high priority for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce during our frequent trips to Washington, D.C. After 33 short-term extensions and the two-year MAP-21 bill, Congress is finally poised to approve the first long-term transportation package since SAFETEA-LU was passed in 2005. America needs this certainty to ensure the construction of essential transportation and goods movement infrastructure for the future.

 

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