Sacramento Should Not Usurp Local Control

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

California is a vast state, with regions that vary greatly in needs and circumstance. From dense cities, to desert expanses and mountain ranges; from areas whose economy depends on technology or manufacturing, to communities that are driven by fishing or agriculture. This geographic and economic diversity is what makes California great. With such varied needs, […]

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The Time is Now for the California WaterFix

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

Last week, the State Water Resources Control Board began a series of hearings on the California WaterFix, the plan to update the state’s aging water infrastructure. Our Southern California region is highly dependent on this infrastructure, with one-third of our fresh water flowing from the Sierra Nevada Mountains through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. In total, 25 […]

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Prop 53 Gives Taxpayers Less Say, Not More

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

One of the myths of Proposition 53 – the Cortopassi ballot measure – is that it somehow would give taxpayers more control over the funding of major infrastructure projects. In truth, Proposition 53 gives local taxpayers and residents less ability to decide what gets built in their communities. One of the little-known details of Proposition […]

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State Budget: Good Progress, but Transportation Void is Obvious

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

Last week Governor Brown signed a $171 billion California budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1 and the legislature adjourned for summer recess. The budget included major wins for the Chamber’s cradle-to-career education priorities to prepare California’s 21st century workforce. They included: Multi-year investment of $500 million by 2020, which will create […]

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The Next Generation of Manufacturing in Los Angeles

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

Last week, President Obama and the U.S. Department of Energy announced a $70 million grant for a Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Institute (CESMII) to be headquartered in Los Angeles. More than 200 partners from academia, industry and non-profits, including the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, formed the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) and worked with UCLA […]

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Action On Affordable Housing by Governor Brown

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

Investing in housing is critical to California’s long-term quality of life and economic competitiveness. That’s why the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce strongly supports the proposal Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled last month to streamline affordable housing and help ease the housing crunch that is devastating the state. L.A. County needs 500,000 affordable homes and the State […]

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Business And Labor In Promising Discussions For Ports Future

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

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are essential to the economic health and well-being of the Southern California – as well as the State of California and the nation.  The two ports are responsible for more than 300,000 jobs for our friends and neighbors.  But the world in which the ports operate is […]

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Don’t Halt Los Angeles’ Momentum

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

*UPDATE: Since the drafting of this column, we have received word that the initiative effort led by Michael Weinstein has stopped collecting signatures, but may try to instead qualify for the March 2017 City Ballot. Los Angeles is an exciting city in which to live and work right now. Cranes are a common part of the […]

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An Important First Step Toward a Water Market

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

What gets measured gets managed, ” management guru Peter Drucker once said.  In the fourth year of a historic drought, Drucker’s statement is especially relevant. Simply put, in spite of numerous databases containing information on hydrology, biology, water quality, water use and other technical information, there is no single entity responsible for collecting and reporting […]

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Don’t Doom L.A. to a Permanent Housing Shortage

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

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 […]

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