The United States is a nation of immigrants. For 500 years, we have experienced a constant flow of people from around the globe. My family came from Germany in 1860 and was part of the westward migration of hardworking families who settled the plains of Nebraska and converted what early explorers called "the great American desert" into the breadbasket it is today. Read More
This Wednesday, the Ad-Hoc Committee on Business Tax Reform will meet for the first time to begin the formal process of phasing in reform of the gross receipts tax once and for all. This committee, chaired by L.A. City Councilmember Paul Krekorian and Vice-Chair Eric Garcetti, will build on the work done by the Business Tax Advisory Commission (BTAC) and lay out a plan for a reduction of the tax known as one of the greatest barriers to doing business in the city of Los Angeles.Read More
Every so often we have the opportunity to make a significant change in the vision and direction of our government. For the voters of the City of Los Angeles, the 2013 election is one of those times. Nine out of 15 City Council seats are at play in this election, and of those nine seats seven will be filled by new officials as the incumbents are termed out or not seeking another term. These newly elected councilmembers will likely serve 12 years in these positions, setting the agenda for economic development, public safety, city services and much more. Read More
After almost a half-decade of decline in funding for K-12 and Higher Education in California, Gov. Jerry Brown's new budget proposal includes a boost in funding that will have an impact on every student who is attending school in the Golden State. This increased investment in education, coupled with a state budget proposal that is nearly balanced, offers hope that our state is on a path toward economic stability if Gov. Brown and the Legislature will also address key issues that are holding back our economy.Read More
Today the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is holding a hearing on a proposed $275 million annual fee that few taxpayers are aware of, but will have a significant financial implication for all public and private property owners throughout the County. Several Chamber members have already indicated that the new fee on their property would cost them more than 1 million dollars per year.Read More
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition to Fix LAX NOW has received a powerful endorsement to move the north runway at LAX — from L.A.'s voters. Read More
Ahead of the public hearings to modernize the airport and move the north runway, which start tonight, the Coalition to Fix LAX NOW sponsored a comprehensive citywide poll to hear from L.A. voters on what they think about LAX and moving the north runway. The poll was conducted in December and the findings were released on Monday. The results of the poll were extraordinarily clear: move the north runway.
Last week the L.A. City Council unanimously approved the largest redevelopment project in the history of South Los Angeles. The University of Southern California’s Specific Plan will create housing for more than 5000 students, new dining and entertainment options and a new fire station. It will also provide $20 million for affordable housing throughout the neighborhoods that surround USC. In total, the 20-year project is expected to create 12,000 construction and permanent jobs and have a $1.1 billion impact on the region's economy. As one neighborhood advocate described in her supporting testimony, “USC will provide unprecedented benefits to the community.”Read More
Earlier this year, the Brookings Institution released a report on Los Angeles that identified exports and tourism as key economic engines for the future. The report described "a unique opportunity to reorient the regional economy and reassert the region as a vibrant globally significant market." This past week, Los Angeles took a big step forward and a big step back in following that advice.Read More
You may have been one of the people inconvenienced by a labor protest that blocked the entrance to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on the day before Thanksgiving, the busiest travel day of the year. This protest was ill-timed, ill-conceived and without merit. Angelenos traveling to be with families and friends were inconvenienced and delayed by protesters who ironically don't earn their living serving the traveling public at the airport. This charade deserves a universal "boo."Read More
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you. Read More
When the Pilgrims gathered together in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621 to thank God and their Native American friends for a bountiful harvest and helping them survive their first year in a foreign land, they began a wonderful national tradition.