Stop Politics From Grounding A World-Class LAX

Gary Toebben on April 8, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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It is not hyperbole to say that the upcoming vote by the members of the L.A. City Council on the new long-range plan to modernize the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the most important vote they will cast during their term in office. Their vote will determine whether our gateway to the world moves forward with an exciting plan for modernization or whether we settle for piecemeal investments that will never create the safe and efficient passenger experience that is being offered at competing U.S. airports and other gateways around the world.

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A New Set of Eyes on City of L.A. Finances

Gary Toebben on April 2, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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When I arrived in Los Angeles in 2006, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the L.A. City Council were facing a $200 million budget deficit even though the economy was booming and city tax revenue was growing by 5 percent annually. The Council balanced the budget with cuts in expenditures, but in 2007, the same story unfolded again. The economy was strong and city tax revenue was growing by more than 5 percent, but the projected budget deficit was still $200 million. Some of us asked the question, why do we have a significant budget deficit every year when tax revenue is growing at a rate much higher than inflation? 

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Strong Advocacy in Washington, D.C.

Gary Toebben on March 26, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Earlier this month the Chamber led a delegation of 150 people for two days on our annual ACCESS Washington, D.C. advocacy trip. Business and nonprofit leaders were joined by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and five members of the L.A. City Council to advocate for a wide range of policies to benefit Los Angeles and the nation.

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Moving Forward on Jobs and the Environment at the Ports

Gary Toebben on March 19, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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International trade is the cornerstone of our economy here in Southern California. So too is our great weather and quality of life. That is why BNSF Railway Company’s proposed Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) project is so important to Los Angeles County and all of Southern California.

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LAX Modernization ... A National Project

Gary Toebben on March 12, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Yesterday, 150 business and community leaders from Los Angeles arrived in Washington, D.C. for meetings with members of Congress and the Obama Administration on issues of priority to the City and County of Los Angeles. The delegates were part of ACCESS Washington, D.C., the Chamber's annual advocacy trip with partnering organizations to our nation's Capitol.

 
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Your Vote Matters

Gary Toebben on March 4, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Pension reform, business tax reform, economic development policies, public safety, education reform, LAX modernization and enhancing our transportation infrastructure; these are just a few of the issues discussed each week in this column. Yet the topic of today's The Business Perspective is the most important because it impacts all of these issues and many more. Tomorrow is Election Day and it is critical that we make choices that will set the City of Los Angeles on the right path.

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Just 87 Yards

Gary Toebben on February 26, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The Coalition to Fix LAX NOW is excited about two victories in the effort to finally modernize the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Recently the Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) voted 6-1 to support anLAX modernization plan that includes separating the north runways by an additional 87 yards. Soon thereafter, the City Planning Commission (CPC) concurred and voted unanimously to support the BOAC plan to provide Los Angeles with the world class airport we deserve. 

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No Time to Rest on Transportation Investment

Gary Toebben on February 19, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last year, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed the first surface transportation reauthorization bill after nine extensions. This legislation, Moving Ahead for Progress in the Twenty-First Century (MAP-21), included a provision known as America Fast Forward (AFF), which was born out of the ingenuity of Los Angeles transportation leadership. Spearheaded by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Metropolitan Transportation Agency and championed by the L.A. Area Chamber and Labor, the program expanded theTransportation Infrastructure Finance & Innovation Act (TIFIA) fund tenfold for infrastructure projects nationwide. Locally it helped accelerate Measure R projects including the Crenshaw Transit Corridor line, which received a $549 million TIFIA loan this past October. 

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Continuing the American Dream With Immigration Reform

Gary Toebben on February 12, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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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.  

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Tax Reform in the Red Zone

Gary Toebben on February 5, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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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.

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