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.
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.
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. Read More
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.Read More
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:Read More
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.Read More
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. Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More