It is a core tenant of every action we take at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce that the best commodity is a job. A job allows us to stand with pride and be empowered to take care of ourselves, our families and our community. A job teaches young adults important values, and increases our individual and collective human capital.

In a healthy economy, the private sector creates the majority of the jobs and government provides the environment for the private sector to flourish. Government accomplishes this by taking actions to keep our streets safe, ensure an educated and skilled workforce, and maintain an efficient public infrastructure. Government also acts as a partner in neighborhoods where it is hard for a business to start, maintain and thrive. 

The loss of Community Redevelopment Agencies several years ago made this last role of government more difficult. Despite having the will, public officials had to find new ways to assist in the promotion of economic development. Last month Governor Brown signed AB 2 (Alejo), which allows local governments to create Community Revitalization Investment Authorities (CRIAs) to utilize available funding to boost the economy. I am excited to say that L.A. County took a bold step last week by employing this new legislation to create and implement a comprehensive and focused plan to reassert their leadership in economic development.

The Chamber supports the four primary elements outlined in the County plan because those four goals closely parallel the mission of the Chamber and its members:

– Supporting small businesses and manufacturers
– Investing in emerging technology sectors, starting with bioscience
– Targeting catalytic projects that can transform a neighborhood
– Attracting foreign investment and promoting exports

The goals of this new County initiative are an appropriate legacy use of the Community Redevelopment Agency dissolution dollars. We are excited to assist the County Supervisors and staff and to participate on their advisory committee to develop the strategies to achieve these goals. Together, we can ensure that a growing economy in L.A. County touches every community member in every corner of this great region.