Jobs and Freedom

Gary Toebben on August 27, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech and the March on Washington, there is one bit of information that many forget. The actual name for that historic event was the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”  The theme for the 25th anniversary commemoration was “March for Jobs, Peace and Freedom.”

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Time is Running Out on Meaningful CEQA Reform

Gary Toebben on August 20, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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With three weeks left in the 2013 legislative session, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) reform is waiting on the sidelines while the list of public and private projects being stalled under the allegation of CEQA violations continues to grow. The most recent ruse is a CEQA challenge to a new downtown high-rise housing project in San Jose by a construction union official objecting that some workers on the project would be non-union from Sacramento. The appeal may not be successful in the long term, but it is one more example of interest groups using CEQA to stop or delay projects for reasons that have nothing to do with the environment. 

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Transportation Funding on a Crash Course

Gary Toebben on August 13, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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In September of last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed an important bipartisan pension reform bill designed to increase the retirement age for new employees, cap the annual payout, eliminate numerous abuses of the system and require workers who are not contributing half of their retirement costs to pay more. The Public Employee Pension Reform Act affects all state public workers hired after Jan. 1, 2013, as well as local governments that participate in the State's pension funds. It was an important first step towards reducing the hundreds of billions of dollars in underfunded pension liability.

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California's Pro-Athlete Workers' Comp Loophole is Bad Business

Gary Toebben on August 6, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Professional sports are part of the excitement Los Angeles offers to residents and visitors. We have the privilege of cheering for some of the world's best teams and finest athletes.

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Getting to Yes on New Jobs

Gary Toebben on July 30, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Even though they have been seated for less than a month, it is already clear that the "new" Los Angeles City Council has a spirit and energy that is focused on the economy and finding a way to get to "Yes."  This means yes to job creation, yes to economic growth that provides more tax revenue for city services, yes to businesses large and small to help them invest in Los Angeles, and yes to policy and development decisions based on sound economic data, not political calculations.

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A Good First Move Towards More Jobs

Gary Toebben on July 23, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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recent study by UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs shows that the City of Los Angeles lost nearly 100,000 jobs between 1990 and 2011. During that period of time, examples of government working closely with business and community leaders to drive successful economic development projects and strategies are too few and far between.

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The Excitement of a Summer Job

Gary Toebben on July 16, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti kicked off HIRE LA’s Youth for 2013 and called on L.A. business leaders to provide summer employment and internship opportunities for the young people of our city. The Chamber lauds Mayor Garcetti for making summer youth employment and internship opportunities one of the first priorities of his new administration.  

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Independence and Immigration

Gary Toebben on July 9, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Five days ago we celebrated the birth of our great nation and paid tribute to a society, culture and economy that have been driven by immigrants and their descendants. For 500 years, people from far-away lands have displayed a passion for America and the dreams it offered. The desire to protect those dreams led to the founding of the United States of America 237 years ago.   

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Open for Business!

Gary Toebben on July 1, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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While newly elected Mayor Eric Garcetti passed on showing off his keyboard skills Sunday afternoon, he hit all the right notes for the business community in his inaugural address on the steps of City Hall. "These times demand a back-to-basics mayor focused above all else on our economy and jobs, and that's what I intend to be," Garcetti began.

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A New Day for Los Angeles

Gary Toebben on June 25, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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On July 1, the City of Los Angeles will see the most significant turnover of leadership in a dozen years. This turnover should bring new hope and a renewed energy for engagement in the civic arena. I have had the honor of working with many elected leaders across the country in my 40 years representing the business community. Getting a good start is important, which is why I offer our newly elected officials this bit of unsolicited advice.

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