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Partnership supports water efficiency, clean engine incentives, opposes Metro Board meddling, backs San Gabriel Mountains Nat’l Monument

The Partnership voted to support AB 968 (Rubio) and AB 1654 (Rubio), two key water use efficiency bills which propose a comprehensive, consensus-based approach that ensures that urban water suppliers improve water efficiency over the long-term, while balancing available supplies to meet demand during times of drought. Developed with input from experts in the water industry, the two bills would set efficiency targets instead of applying a one-size-fits-all approach for water use reduction. The bills require annual reporting and try to encourage further capital investments to increase local water supplies.

The Partnership also backed AB 1274 (O’Donnell) which funds the Carl Moyer Incentive Program by deferring a required smog check from year six to year eight of ownership of newer model cars. The Carl Moyer program provides financial incentives to companies looking to upgrade to newer, cleaner-burning engines and zero-emission equipment fleets.

The Partnership voted to oppose SB 268 (Mendoza), which will dramatically restructure the Metro Board by removing three Supervisors and giving more seats for the Mayor of LA to appoint. With the passage of Measure M last fall, Metro is still sorting through thorny details of how to accelerate projects how best to provide discretionary authority to the prioritization of projects on a regional level while balanced with oversight from Metro. Now is simply a terrible time to reshuffle the Board and expect improved policy outcomes while the agency is tackling dozens and dozens of major projects. The Partnership would like to thank Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) and Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) for opposing SB 268.

Finally, the Partnership will send a letter of support for the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument to the Department of Interior. President Trump has ordered a review of national monuments approved in the past 20 years, including the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. The designation of the national monument has brought substantial dollars into the San Gabriel Mountains, allowing the Forest Service to address critical problems with trail maintenance, signage, and access to the mountains. These are substantial improvements to an area that has not received an adequate share of resources in the past. The Partnership believes that this national monument designation has achieved great things for the mountains and our residents. We see no need to eliminate the designation.

For further information, contact Brad Jensen, Director of Public Policy, bjensen@sgvpartnership.org.

SGV Commercial Real Estate Development – Oct. 7

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The Partnership is collaborating with Arcadia Association of Realtors to organize a commercial real estate-focused conference at Monrovia's DoubleTree Hotel. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7. Early bird registration ($69) ends on Oct. 3. Included in pricing: Included in Pricing: Parking, Buffet Lunch, Networking Reception with Hors D'Ouevres. Register today!

Here's why you should attend:
Learn the entire development processHear a San Gabriel Valley commercial
market update
Hear about current city development
projects
Learn what development projects
cities want to see
Learn how to work with the cities
Networking with other commercial/
investment REALTORS® and City
Managers

Strategic Planning Workshop – Oct. 12

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Dear Partnership Members,

As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we are dreaming a greater future. You are invited to participate in our very first strategic planning workshop to help shape the future of the Partnership. Come with fresh new ideas and creative approaches.

The workshop will take place from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

The location is Duarte Community Center, 1600 Huntington Dr. Duarte, CA 91010

RSVP today with Christina Garcia cgarcia@sgvpartnership.org

SGV June Primary Election Results

San Gabriel Valley residents went to the polls yesterday to vote in the California primary. Click here to see the results.

Here are some of the closest races:

*Mail-in ballots are still being counted and the official results will not be certified for several weeks. Races that are currently close may change as more votes are counted.

5th Supervisorial District: Kathryn Barger, the longtime chief of staff of current Supervisor Mike Antonovich, led this race with nearly 30% of the vote, twice the percentage of her closest opponent, Darrell Park. Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) trails Park by only 417 votes to come in third place. Ara Najarian, a city council member in Glendale, is fourth with 13.06% followed by Mitch Englander, an L.A. City Councilman, with 12.36%. Barger had the endorsement of not only Supervisor Antonovich but also Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and former Supervisor Gloria Molina.

48th Assembly District: This Assembly seat covers the central cities of the San Gabriel Valley. When the polls closed, Cory Ellenson, a school board member in Glendora and the only Republican in the race, led his competitors with nearly 27% of the vote. Blanca Rubio, a Democrat and school board member in Baldwin Park, was second with 25.1% of the vote and trailed Ellenson by roughly 1,000 votes. Third place was Bryan Urias, also a Democrat and a current board member of the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, who had 23.1% of the vote and trails Rubio by 1,060 votes.

25th Senate District: LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich topped the field in this race covering Glendale, Pasadena, and the eastern foothill cities. Antonovich, a Republican, had 40.2% of the vote, followed by former state Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada) with 27.1%. Four other Democrats split the remainder of the ballots cast.

32nd Congressional District: Incumbent Congresswoman Grace Napolitano won her primary with 51.7%, followed by Gordon Fisher, a Republican, with 24.3% of the vote. Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) came in third but trails Fisher by only 222 votes.

Job shadowing during Spring Break provides opportunities for employers and students

by Dr. Michelle Yanez, Director of Education Pathways

As students finished up midterms and headed out for spring break this week, some packed up for the beach while others used the time to make contacts and learn something new that might propel their future careers.

This week I worked with Pasadena City College and Partnership members to place twenty-five PCC students in job shadowing opportunities as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Technology Linked Learning (AMETLL) Grant. Job shadowing and internships on a student’s resume is still the biggest game changer for a young person in the beginning of their career pathway.

I called on Partnership members and many stepped up to host students, including the City of Monterey Park, City of Claremont, Freudenberg Medical, Parsons Brinkerhoff, Three Valley MWD and Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD. Union Pacific railroad went the extra mile and hosted ten students to ensure that all had an opportunity to meet and speak with an engineer. The students got to learn about the important work of engineers in the rail system and career opportunities. Non-members Jacobs Engineering and Dow Hydraulics also participated.

These opportunities and collaborations come at a time when youth employment is at a historic low, as young people struggle to compete with seasoned employees.  According to the President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, the underemployment rate for recent college graduates with at least a Bachelor’s degree has steadily increased since 2001, while at the same time there are hundreds of thousands of positions employers are struggling to fill.  California’s unemployment rate for youth ages 16 – 19 is 21.5 percent, and ages 20 – 24 is 11.4 percent, compared with an overall unemployment rate in the state of 5.8 percent.

Furthermore, the days of assuming that all high school students can afford to pursue a four-year-degree is over.  K-12 schools and colleges today have to prepare students for both college and career employment. Most students will not earn a degree, however, with the right exposure to skill sets and training, these students can still prepare themselves to meet the needs of employers.

Employers may not realize the important role they play in this shift.  Relationships with industry is sought by every educational institution and it should be just as important to industry. It is incumbent on employers to work with their local schools and colleges to inform them of what skills are needed to fill vacant positions.

The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership is focused on workforce development and Partnerships between education and industry in the San Gabriel Valley. We have amazing schools and colleges in the region and there is no reason why jobs should go unfilled.

We are asking our member employers to consider opening their doors to allow students to see what kind of jobs they must prepare for and the skills needed so that they can adjust their education and training pathways. We are asking employers to work with faculty in an advisory capacity so that curriculum includes industry participation and feedback.  We are also asking our school members to include that valuable feedback in their programs. The workforce is changing and we have to change with it!

To partner with the AMETLL grant for workforce development, contact Dr. Michelle Yanez by calling the Partnership at (626) 856-3400 or email myanez@valleyconnect.com

The SGV Political Universe Part 2: Fundraising for the 25th Senate District

by Brad Jensen, Director of Public Policy

Just a quick update on the year-end fundraising reports for the contested 25th Senate District race I discussed in my previous post. Candidate fundraising reports can indicate a strong show of support for a candidate from individuals and grassroots donors. More typical, especially in California, these reports reveal the interest groups backing a candidate. I suggest looking at Paul Mitchell’s 2015-2016 CA Assembly and Senate Fundraising Infographic, a handy resource for readily accessible campaign finance data instead of the aged Secretary of State’s website.

Former state Assemblymember Anthony Portantino raised $150,473.49 in the last six months of 2015 while spending $107,700.61 over the same period. He raised just over half a million dollars in 2015 for his Senate race, while spending only $163,950.20 for the year. Portantino ends the years with just under a million dollars in cash on hand (COH) with $994,069.88 in the bank. A large chunk of that final figure came from a loan of $275,000 from Portantino’s Congressional campaign account. With nearly a million dollars on hand, and possibly more to come, Portantino would appear to be in the driver’s seat for this race heading into the June primary.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who jumped into the 25th Senate seat race in August 2015, had an impressive fundraising effort for the year. He raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars - $248,902.65 – in only four and a half months. He spent only $30,821.85 leaving him with $224,325.04 in cash on hand. He received help from the Republican Senate Leader Jean Fuller of Bakersfield who donated $8,400 to Antonovich and another $4,200 from Sen. Andy Vidak of Hanford. Antonovich’s overall fundraising profile is a healthy mix of small, medium and large donations from individuals and other interest groups. What may be troubling for Anthony Portantino is that the Supervisor raised more money in the last six months of 2015 than the former Assemblymember did, surpassing him by $75,000.

Other challengers in the race raised far less than the two experienced politicians leading the field but they still had interesting fundraising totals. Phlunte Riddle raised $84,344.26 from July to December 2015. Her total contributions for the year were $177,729.26 – an impressive figure for a challenger who’s never held office. She spent $71,572.07 for the year leaving her with $106,157.19 in cash on hand. As I mentioned in my last post, a host of top-flight California Democrats have backed Riddle in this race and have opened their campaign accounts to assist her. She’s received $4,200 each from the campaign accounts for Rep. Judy Chu, Sen. Connie Leyva, Sen. Holly Mitchell, Asm. Shirley Weber, and Asm. Chris Holden. She also received contributions from the La Verne Police Officers Association PAC and the Pasadena Police Officers Association PAC.

Watch this race heading into June – things could get interesting in the primary.

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San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership Board of Directors approves Jeff Allred as new President and CEO

Wednesday morning the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership Board of Directors approved Jeff Allred, current City Manager of Rosemead, as the next President and CEO of the Partnership.

Allred, a 50-year resident of the San Gabriel Valley, has served in various capacities of city management in the cities of Rosemead, La Verne, El Monte, West Covina and Pomona and has extensive economic development experience.

“Jeff has an impressive track record of success in strategic planning for economic development,” said David Reyno, Director of Government Relations for Foothill Transit and Chair of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership Board. “We look forward to how Jeff will position the Partnership to lead and support the growth of the San Gabriel Valley economy.”

Economic development has been a key priority during Allred’s tenure as city manager of Rosemead, with substantial new businesses opening in the city along with major infrastructure and aesthetic improvements at the city’s entry points. Allred managed an aggressive building program, completing two state-of-the-art aquatic centers and a new civic center downtown plaza.

Prior to joining Rosemead, Allred spent five years as the city manager of City of Norco in Riverside County. He has had a long and distinguished career in local government in the San Gabriel Valley, previously serving in key administrative roles with the Tri-City Mental Health Authority and with the cities of La Verne, Downey, El Monte, and West Covina. He has been actively involved with the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, serving as President of the San Gabriel Valley City Managers Association in 2013-14 and a member of the Steering Committee.

Allred will retire from Rosemead at the end of April 2016 and assume the role of President and CEO of the Partnership in May 2016. He is preceded by Cynthia Kurtz who was President and CEO of the Partnership for seven years before accepting a position as Director of Operations for LA River Revitalization Corporation in January 2016.

Kaiser Permanente’s Partnership with Bassett High School Proves Career Pathways Work

by Dr. Michelle Yanez, Director of Education Pathways

Reyna Del Haro, Director of Public Affairs at Kaiser Permanente in Baldwin Park, sat with me this week to share a Pathway success story. Sixteen years ago, Del Haro met with the principal at Bassett High School, located in the City of La Puente, to pitch the idea of a medical Pathway for students.  He immediately agreed and assigned Linda Howard, a counselor, to be the anchor for the school side of the partnership.  Howard’s hard work to get the students prepared to participate has turned out to be an important factor in the success and longevity of the program. Most of the students come from underserved families and might not otherwise learn about college, careers in health care or even access to health care.

The program uses a competitive process to select twenty high school seniors to enter an eight week clinical internship. Howard works hard to ensure that all her students are medically cleared before they can participate. Del Haro shared that the beauty of this program is that when student begin the program, they think that most Kaiser employees are doctors and nurses.  By the end of the program, they learn that there are so many types of jobs in a hospital and not all of them require a four-year degree. They can explore working in administration, finance, food preparation, facilities and even cleaning-which is critical in an infectious environment. Students get to pick their top two areas and spend four weeks in one area and four in the other. The ancillary benefit is that they get to meet and talk with staff and learn about how they got into their careers. They become their mentors that help them beyond the internship.

At the end of the program there is an award ceremony and one student is awarded a $1,000 scholarship to the college of their choice. Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez, Chairman of the State Senate Committee on Health and Bassett Alumni, is invited to speak to them. The students really connect with the fact that he is from their high school and community. Dr. Hernandez urges the students to return to their community after college to work. Del Haro says that the program is important because Kaiser strives to hire employees that reflect their surrounding community, and the program creates opportunities for Hispanic and Asian students, the predominate demographic in the San Gabriel Valley.

Over the years, some of the Basset High School students have become Kaiser employees-proof that career pathways work. While the program with Bassett High School has had great success, the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) has caused Kaiser’s hospitals to burst at the seams with new patients, reducing their capacity to expand student programs like this one to high schools around the region. However, for groups willing to carry the torch of community-focused programs, Kaiser offers grants through their Community Benefit Outreach Program. These grants offer an opportunity to partner with Kaiser to address access to health care, obesity prevention, and social services-including workforce development. The request for grants will go out in March of this year. For more information, call (626) 851-6156.

The SGV Political Universe: The Race for the 25th Senate Seat

by Brad Jensen, Director of Public Policy

California politics are never boring but its elections certainly can be. That was the conclusion after an especially sleepy 2014, better known as the “most boring California election ever,” as Governor Jerry Brown won re-election by a landslide while backing two “important but boring” ballot measures. Statewide turnout was low: only 42.2 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Turnout in Los Angeles County - which has more residents than all of Michigan - was the lowest in the state with only 31 percent of those registered voting. Yet another proud chapter in the ongoing saga of Golden State voter apathy.

This election year, however, is shaping up to be one for the history books, as both national parties grapple with populist insurgencies in the race to elect a new president and a series of once-in-a-generation elections occur here in California, most notably the race for the open Senate seat held by Senator Barbara Boxer since 1993. The most interesting races in the state, and possibly the most consequential, will be in the San Gabriel Valley (SGV) in eastern Los Angeles County. One of the most demographically diverse regions of the state, SGV voters will vote in several major legislative, supervisorial and Congressional seats in 2016, each of them with broader ramifications for California’s politics both today and in the future.

In the coming weeks, I’ll preview each of the key races in the San Gabriel Valley. This week I’ll look at the 25th Senate District:

The SGV’s vast 25th Senate district, which includes Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank as well as Glendora, San Dimas, Upland, La Verne, and Claremont, is shaping up to be one the most hotly contested of this cycle. Click here for an economic profile of the district. Voter registration is 41.1% Democratic, 29.8% Republican, and 24% no party preference. In 2012, the district voted 59.9% for President Barack Obama over 47.4% for Republican Mitt Romney.

With incumbent Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge) termed out of the legislature, the open seat has attracted top-flight contenders. Former Democratic state Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, who represented much of the district in the legislature but termed out of the Assembly in 2012, announced he would run for the open Senate seat way back in June 2013. Many believed that Portantino would be challenged by Assemblymember Mike Gatto of Glendale, who is termed out of the Assembly in 2016, but Gatto decided against running for the seat late last year. Instead, long-time L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich announced he will run for the seat. Antonovich served three terms in the Assembly during the 1970s and has been County Supervisor since 1980 but will be termed out this year after 36 years in office. Portantino acknowledges that Antonovich is well known in the district but believes the Supervisor’s positions are out of sync with the majority of voters. Many observers believe Antonovich would be a formidable opponent in a race whose contours have yet to emerge.

Several other Democrats have decided to run including Teddy Choi, Katherine Perez-Estolan, and notably Phlunte Riddle. Riddle has never held public office but had a long and successful career in law enforcement, being the first African American woman lieutenant in the Pasadena Police Department. She has been endorsed by a bevy of top-flight politicians: Congresswomen Judy Chu and Karen Bass, Senators Isadore Hall III, Hannah-Beth Jackson, Connie Leyva, and Holly Mitchell, and Assemblymembers Susan Bonilla, Cheryl Brown, Jim Cooper, Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Cristina Garcia, Dr. Shirley Weber and Chris Holden. Portantino has just under a million in his campaign account according to the latest available finance data from the Secretary of State, while Riddle has raised roughly $100,000, again according to the most recent campaign finance report. Antonovich has yet to file a campaign report with the state. The two veteran pols, Portantino and Antonovich are likely to advance through the top-two primary in June and face off in November, but Riddle could surprise many. With turnout likely to be higher due to the presidential election, this race could very well be up for grabs.

 

Anthony-Portantino

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Portantino

Riddle

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Supervisor

Mike Antonovich