Google Announcement Signals Surge in High Tech Jobs

Gary Toebben
President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

When Google announced a week ago that it was making a $120 million purchase of 12 acres of land in Playa Vista, the tech world took notice. The land is zoned for nearly one million square feet of commercial space and sits adjacent to the historic hangar in which Howard Hughes built his famous “Spruce Goose” airplane. […]

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CEQA Abuse Kills Construction Jobs Again

Gary Toebben
President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Jon Healey with the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board hit the nail on the head last week in his column about how IBEW, the electrical workers union, used a threatened environmental challenge under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to secure a card-check provision from Kinkisharyo in Palmdale. Then, once the IBEW had that assurance, CEQA was no longer […]

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We Are All Pilgrims

Gary Toebben
President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

A Pilgrim is defined in most dictionaries as a person who makes a long and difficult journey to reach a sacred place. As we begin the Thanksgiving holiday, we are reminded that those pilgrims who shared a feast with Native Americans in 1621 traversed the Atlantic to find a sacred place. It wasn’t a shrine […]

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CEQA Being Used To Thwart 250 Jobs for Los Angeles County

Gary Toebben
President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

I am often asked by the media what elected officials can do to be more business-friendly and create new jobs. I tell them about California business regulations and taxes that do not exist in other states. I also talk about streamlined processes and tax credits that do exist in other states. My concrete examples about […]

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There They Go Again

Gary Toebben
President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

I wish I could say I was surprised. I wish I could say that this is a new frustration. In reality it is just the same old song we keep hearing from public employee unions. More than a year ago, Gov. Jerry Brown and the legislature showed leadership by making some moderate changes to the […]

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On the Goal Line

Gary Toebben
President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

As we enter the start of football season, I always look forward to watching a team march down the field with pinpoint passes and well executed running plays to score the winning touchdown with seconds left on the clock. This scenario acts as an effective metaphor for AB 1839 – The Film and Television Tax Credit program […]

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Potholes or Pensions: A Fundamental Question

Gary Toebben
President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Two weeks ago the headlines in Los Angeles included a Department of Water & Power water line failure in West L.A. and a ruling by the Employee Relations Board to overturn the creation of a new pension tier for future city employees. The juxtaposition of these two stories points out the tug of war taking […]

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California and Mexico are Essential Partners

Gary Toebben
President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Gov. Jerry Brown’s Trade Mission to Mexico last week sent the right message to business leaders in Mexico and California. Mexico is California’s largest export market and businesses know how important it is to take care of your largest customers. Gov. Brown and his 130-member delegation were warmly received by Mexican elected officials and business leaders at […]

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Don’t Let This Drought Go Down the Drain

Gary Toebben
President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Two weeks ago, State officials approved an emergency regulation imposing $500 fines on water users who violate mandatory conservation measures. With 80 percent of the State now in extreme drought, it’s imperative that we all conserve as much water as possible. Visit SoCal WaterSmart to find out what water conservation programs are available for your home and business. The […]

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They Thought We Were Crazy

Gary Toebben
President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

In 2009 when the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce partnered with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles to end chronic and veteran homelessness in L.A. County, most people either ignored the announcement or thought we were crazy. Los Angeles was the homeless capital of the United States and it would always be that […]

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