Action Updates 2009

Our 2009 Action and Activities Included:

Highlighting United Chambers’ activities for this year so far, was our conference call with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger regarding the May Election Propositions, hosting Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Budget Town Hall Meeting, having an intimate leadership meeting with Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, holding the first Southern California Constitutional Convention and receiving the “Political Partner of the Year” award from the California Chamber of Commerce for our work on behalf of businesses. We accepted this award in Sacramento and only four chambers from throughout the state were given this award.

United Chambers Leadership Meets with Los Angeles County Supervisor Antonovich
Members of United Chambers met with Supervisor Antonovich to discuss how the state budget cuts would affect the county. The Supervisor also shared his views on how our state could work better and members discussed the current water crisis facing California and our region.

Los Angeles Mayor Meets with United Chambers Members
UC Members joined with VICA Members for a meeting with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to discuss LAUSD education issues. The Mayor reported that 9 out of 10 of his partnership schools improved this past year with a 30% increase in parent participation. But more needs to be done. Yetserday, LAUSD Board Members voted to open up bidding to run the 50 new schools to be built over the next three years to give a healthy competition to our school district. They also voted to include the 200 underperforming schools. Operations of these schools would be open to parent/teacher collaborations, partnerships, I Divisions and Charters. Along with these changes would come better accountability.

United Chambers Participates in Conference Call with Governor’s Secretary of Education
UC staff participated in a conference call with the Governor’s Secretary of Education – Dr. Glen Thomas and Undersecretary Kathryn Radtkey-Gaither regarding RACE TO THE TOP education funding. The Governor has called on lawmakers to call a special session to look at school accountability measures to satisfy the Obama Administration requirements to compete for 4.35 billion in federal discretionary funds for education reform.

As it stands now, California can not compete for this one time infusion of federal dollars without changing state law that currently prohibits California Teachers from being evaluated based on student test scores. Changes to a growth assessment model would set a standard evaluation & performance model and would allow for better accountability, and would allow California to compete for these funds. United Chambers supports these efforts.

– AB 1405 (De León; D-Los Angeles) OPPOSED Would grant the Air Resources Board broad authority to implement unlimited fees & taxes with little or no oversight.

– AB 527
 (Fuentes; D-Los Angeles) OPPOSED Payroll Records/gives an unfair advantage to employees in unpaid wage disputes before the Labor Commissioner by creating a presumption that all records are false where the Labor Commissioner finds that one was falsified.

– AB 793 (Jones; D-Sacramento) OPPOSED Imposes unfair and costly litigation burden on California employers by unreasonably expanding employer liability in workplace lawsuits far beyond the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.

– SB 242 (Yee; D-San Francisco/San Mateo) OPPOSED Could result in new shakedown lawsuits against businesses by making it a strict liability violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, subject to minimum damages of $4,000, if a business limits the use of a customer’s language, even if unintentionally.

– SB 789 (Steinberg; D-Sacramento) OPPOSED  Undermines the process that now guarantees, through secret-ballot elections, a fair vote and the expression of agricultural employees’ true sentiments on the selection of a collective bargaining representative. This act will hurt California’s businesses by driving up costs, making employers less competitive in a global market.

– S.560 (Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) OPPOSED HR. 1409 Representative George Miller (D-Martinez) ‘Card Check’ Selection of Unions-Eliminates the right of workers to hold secret ballot elections and increases costs for employers already struggling to make payroll in this economic downturn. Allows the federal government to gain more control over private companies through government arbitrators deciding the terms of labor-management agreements.

– Supporting AB 333 (Fuentes) Job creating, Land Use Bill

– Hosting, for over 40 UC members, “Hard Hat Tour” of the new Performing Arts Theatre at Cal State Northridge

– Supporting Boeing’s C-17 project

– Hosting with Assemblyman Smyth’s office, the Valley Elected Rep’s monthly meeting

– Opposing Federal Card Check Bill

– Honoring 15 Small Businesses with our Keynote Speakers, Supervisors Antonovich and Yaroslavsky at our Annual Small Business Awards Breakfast

– Advocating for businesses to keep their signage

– Participating on the Valley Regional Conference (Neighborhood Councils) Panel on the importance of building relationships and networking

– Hosting Annual Sacramento Trip – Meetings with:  Herb K. Schultz – Senior Advisor – Office of the Governor – topics Healthcare & Budget; Mac Taylor – Legislative Analyst – topic Budget; Julia Brownley –Assemblymember 41st District – topic Education; Cliff Wagner, COS, Assemblymember Dan Logue- VC Jobs, Econ Dev & Econ Recovery – topics Budget & Economic Recovery;  Cameron Smyth –Assemblymember 38th Dist.- Republican Caucus Chair – topics Sacramento Environment & Legislation, Mike Chrisman – Secretary for Natural Resources – topics Water & Energy

– Governor’s Conference Call with United Chambers Board of Directors on May Election Propositions

– Hosting Mayor’s Budget Townhall meeting, first stop on the Mayor’s budget tour

– Hosting the So. CA Chamber of Commerce Executive’s Board Meeting (SCACCE)

– Holding the first So. California Constitutional Convention to begin the discussions on solving our State’s issues

– Honoring Businesses and Business Leaders at our Annual Recognition Dinner with

Keynote Speaker Assemblymember Cameron Smyth

– Hosting and intimate leadership meeting with Assembly Speaker Karen Bass

– Opposing Measure B

– Hearing update on Burbank Airport Proposed Curfew

– Holding Annual Business Mega Mixer at Pickwick Gardens along with Business Expo hosted by The Valley Economic Alliance

– Advocating on behalf of businesses being hurt by an increase in parking meter fees by the City of Los Angeles

– Supporting Burbank Airport as a Transit Center

– Supporting permanent housing for Veterans

– Supporting education and the relocation of Our Community School

– President & CEO, Debi Schultze elected Chair-Elect for the Los Angeles County Business Federation

– Leadership meeting with Assemblymember Cameron Smyth

– Leadership meeting with Assemblymember Brownley’s Office

– Supports Energy Industry with the support of the Sunrise Powerlink Transmission Line

– President & CEO, Debi Schultze Elected to the Board of the Southern California Association of Chamber Executives (SCACCE)