Every elected official is talking about job creation, but few have actually done anything to create or save private sector jobs. Actions taken over the last week highlight the marked difference between action and inaction.

Yesterday, the L.A. City Council’s Budget & Finance Committee voted unanimously to recommend the creation of a new internet business tax category. If approved by the full Council this Friday, this will send the clear message that Los Angeles is willing to compete for well-paying, high-tech jobs. This new category, established at the lowest tax rate available, will provide fiscal certainty for dozens of L.A.-based internet businesses that pay an average salary of well over $75,000 per year.

The Budget & Finance Committee made the right decision. If this proposal is passed by the full Council, there will be a short-term loss in tax revenue for the City but a long-term opportunity to create jobs and dramatically increase the tax revenue that these growing companies (and their employees) will contribute to the City of Los Angeles. I especially applaud Council President Eric Garcetti for his leadership on pushing forward this action and we encourage a unanimous vote on Friday.

Contrast this action with the inaction of members of the California State Senate.

The Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee stopped legislation that would have fast-tracked 25 development projects in California by exempting them from certain legal challenges under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Lawmakers buckled under an onslaught of opposition from environment groups that oppose any improvements to the State’s broken CEQA law.

The exemption would have created tens of thousands of desperately needed construction trade jobs throughout the state. Unemployment in this sector is well above 30 percent, impacting working families all over Southern California. That’s why business leaders, construction trade unions and many state officials saw this narrow exemption as one of the best vehicles to put Californians back to work as soon as possible. These new projects would have also meant more desperately needed income tax, property tax and sales tax revenue for the state.

These are just two examples — one positive and one negative — of how our elected officials have a direct role in supporting or opposing policies that will help pull us out of this recession. Today’s economy and high unemployment rate require a complete overhaul of the orthodoxy that ruled local and state legislative bodies during the good times and now must be cast aside for California to join the rest of the nation in an economic recovery.