Minimum Wage Increase – Intent and Results Will Not Match

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

Let’s start with a key premise. Everyone wants working men and women in Los Angeles to have more economic opportunities and have a better quality of life. The current debate is not a question of WHAT our common goal is, but a disagreement over HOW do we get there? The just released independent Beacon Economics study of […]

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Privatization Makes Money for L.A. Convention Center – What Should Be Next?

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

Last month the L.A. Convention Center announced a $3.3 million profit for 2014. The first-ever profit at the Convention Center was the result of a new partnership between the City of Los Angeles and AEG to operate the facility. AEG, the owner and operator of Staples Center and L.A. LIVE, made hundreds of big and little changes […]

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Taft-Hartley Act an Option for Ports Labor Dispute

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

For nine months, negotiators for the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have been unsuccessful in crafting a labor agreement to replace the contract that ended on July 1, 2014.  The PMA represents the shippers that use the West Coast ports of the United States to import and export […]

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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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