<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
  • Fri, March 23, 2018 9:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Partnership staff travels to Washington, D.C. to advocate for 57/60, ACE funding

    Washington, D.C. - The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership visited Washington, D.C. this week along with other key leaders from the region to advocate for federal infrastructure funding. The Department of Transportation INFRA Grants could help build new railway grade separations in Montebello and Pico Rivera as well as fix the 57/60 confluence - the worst traffic bottleneck in California.

    "The Partnership travels to Washington every year to advocate on behalf of key priorities for our businesses and residents," said Partnership President and CEO Jeff Allred. "The San Gabriel Valley is an east-west region and has heavy traffic from the Ports of L.A. and Long Beach and the Inland Empire. Addressing our rail and freight infrastructure needs is a major priority for the Partnership."

    In Washington, the San Gabriel Valley delegation met with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Glendale), Rep. Norma Torres (D-Pomona), Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-El Monte), Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach). Meetings were also held with the staff of Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena) and with the Department of Transportation.


  • Fri, March 23, 2018 8:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Hill: Trump threatens to veto omnibus over wall funding, lack of DACA fix

    President Trump on Friday threatened to veto a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, raising the prospect of a government shutdown.

    The president vented his frustration that the measure does not include enough funding for his long-promised border wall between the U.S. and Mexico or protections for young immigrants covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

    "I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded," Trump tweeted.

    Talking heads on one of Trump's favorite television programs, "Fox and Friends," trashed the proposal on Friday morning. 

     “This is a swamp budget, this is a Mitch McConnell special," said Fox News personality Pete Hegseth. “There’s no wall. Ultimately, the Democrats controlled this process.”

    Sacramento Bee: Nancy McFadden, Jerry Brown's chief of staff, dies

    Four years ago, Nancy McFadden returned to her alma mater to receive an honorary doctorate and deliver the commencement address. Though at the pinnacle of her career, working as the chief of staff for Gov. Jerry Brown, she urged the graduating students of San Jose State University not to forget kindness and gratitude as they changed the world.

    “I hope you live life not for the accolades but for the experience itself,” she said. “Climb the mountain not to plant the flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world and not so the world can see you. I hope you don’t let fear stop you. I hope you take a pause every so often and I wish you so much more than luck.”

    The speech was a favorite memory of McFadden’s closest friends, a moment they felt captured the quintessential Nancy: an accomplished politico who cherished sharing her experience as a mentor, especially to young women; an avid traveler who could land an important deal one day and then jet off to see the world the next; a crucial figure in California government who was not concerned about receiving praise for her achievements, though she often deserved more credit than she got.

    McFadden, who rose through the ranks in Washington and Sacramento to become Brown’s executive secretary during his final two terms in office, died Thursday night following a battle with ovarian cancer. She was 59.

    “Nancy was the best chief of staff a governor could ever ask for,” Brown said in a statement. “She understood government and politics, she could manage, she was a diplomat and she was fearless. She could also write like no other. Nancy loved her job and we loved her doing it. This is truly a loss for me, for Anne, for our office, for Nancy’s family and close friends – and for all of California.”

    Inland Daily Bulletin: Pomona delays deciding whether the city should get in the business of regulating hospitals

    Pomona leaders put off a decision Monday on whether they should include regulating local hospitals as part of their municipal duties.

    The City Council on Monday discussed a proposed ordinance that would establish minimum wage and staffing levels at acute care hospitals in the city, a topic that attracted hundreds on both sides of the issue — although most were opposed. The proposal is almost identical to an initiative backed by a health workers’ union.

    The council decided to wait and see if the measure qualifies for the November ballot.

    Mayor Tim Sandoval said it was clear to him there were still too many legal uncertainties if Pomona moved forward. A lawyer for the cities’ two hospitals has threatened to sue if either the ordinance or the measure passes.

    After nearly four hours of public comment, the mayor asked to “continue the ordinance until such time when we know whether or not a ballot initiative is certified, and what the implications of such an initiative would be on our deliberations.”

    Both the potential ballot measure and proposed ordinance would require Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center and Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare to increase employee minimum wages to $18 an hour in January 2019.

    Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, which is attempting to organize the hospital’s workers, is collecting signatures to put before the voters a measure requiring Pomona hospitals to increase housekeeping. The measure would also bump housekeeping staff by another 20 percent should infection rates climb higher than national benchmarks.

    According to the Pomona City Clerk Eva Buice, the union must gather 6,458 signatures and submit them to her office by the end of April to qualify in time for November’s election.

    Sacramento Bee: Republican rising in governor's race against Gavin Newsom, new poll finds

    Gavin Newsom has secured a commanding lead over his rivals in the race for California governor, but Republican businessman John Cox has moved into second place in recent months, according new statewide Public Policy Institute of California poll.

    "As more people are paying attention, we have a number of Republicans and independents looking for something different in the race," said Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California. "They're saying John Cox is the person who maybe represents their views about limiting regulations and lower taxes. I think there's a market for those views in California."

    Republican businessman John Cox, a candidate for governor in California, said he supports a wall on the border with Mexico and allowing immigrants in the state to fill agricultural jobs. He appeared at a debate with five other candidates at USC on McClatchy

    Newsom, the state's lieutenant governor and former San Francisco mayor, is favored over all Democratic and Republican candidates by a double-digit margin, with 28 percent of likely voters indicating they'd vote for him in the June primary, up from 23 percent in February.

    Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa fell behind over the same period, dropping to 12 percent from 21 percent. Cox's favorability doubled – climbing from 7 percent in February to 14 percent today, according to the poll.

    Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach came in fourth at 10 percent, followed by Democrats John Chiang at 6 percent and former state schools chief Delaine Eastin at 5 percent. Roughly a quarter of likely voters – 24 percent – remain undecided.

    Former Hillary Clinton aide Amanda Renteria, who has criticized Newsom for an affair more than a decade ago, was not included in the poll.

    Among Democratic likely voters, the state's largest voting bloc, Newsom leads Villaraigosa 39 percent to 22 percent, while Chiang and Eastin were both at 9 percent. Among Republicans, Cox leads Allen 33 percent to 25 percent. The last Public Policy Institute poll had Newsom and Villaraigosa in a virtual tie.

    Politico: The Former College Dropout Who Would Be Dianne Feinstein

    Fourteen people and three rescue cats were awaiting Kevin de León when he pulled up to a PetSmart and stepped inside through drizzling rain. In his briefing folder, an aide had included a note titled, “Cat puns you can use, if you’re feeling festive!” De León hit nearly all of them. “Meow is the time,” he told the members of Kitty Devore Rescue, describing himself as an “alley cat.” Grateful for de León’s attention, a woman beamed back at him, “Someone knows our name!”

    It had been two weeks since de León impressed a crowd on a more brightly lit stage. In a coup at the California Democratic Party’s annual convention last month, de León—until Wednesday the Democratic leader of California’s state Senate—deprived Dianne Feinstein of her own party’s endorsement by outpolling the state’s senior senator by 17 percentage points in the delegate vote. Although de León fell short of the 60 percent threshold necessary to claim the party’s backing himself, he embarrassed Feinstein and put a California institution on her heels.

    For de León and his supporters, the convention marked a turning point not only in his quixotic campaign to unseat Feinstein, but also in a generational struggle among Democrats in the nation’s most populous state. For decades, Feinstein and her centrist brand of politics have appeared as immovable as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and California’s fourth-term governor, Jerry Brown. For once, a restless, more progressive class of Democrats had unsteadied the establishment. De León skewers Feinstein for her moderation and depicts her as unfit to battle President Donald Trump. He is also testing the muscle of the nation’s newly emboldened left.

    “Time’s up!” de León’s supporters chanted as Feinstein left the convention stage. Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist and Democratic megadonor who once considered challenging Feinstein himself, described the contest on MSNBC as “incrementalism versus visionary thinking in the Democratic Party.”

    Yet if de León’s success at the convention showed the power of the Democratic Party’s left flank, the days that followed have laid bare its limitations. A champion of progressive causes in Sacramento, de León is largely unknown statewide. Typical of state lawmakers, despite his outsize influence crafting state law, de León’s plight outside the capital is jarring anonymity. Calls he places to prospective donors go to voicemail, and the checks he does receive are small.

    City Journal: Long Weekend at Kamala's: How reforms to the Democratic superdelegate system will make it easier for a progressive to win the party nomination

    Supporters of Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential bid have long blamed the Democratic Party’s superdelegate system for his defeat. It’s no surprise, therefore, that they are pushing to reform that system, reducing or perhaps even eliminating slots for unelected and unpledged delegates. Recent reports suggest that they may succeed in doing so, but that their efforts will not help Sanders win the party’s nomination in 2020. Instead, they will make it likelier that another progressive will triumph: California Senator Kamala Harris.

    Harris, not Sanders, will be the probable beneficiary of the rules change because of the demographic makeup of the Democratic primary electorate. It would not be an oversimplification to say that the Democrats divide into three rough groups: progressives, centrists, and non-whites. African-Americans are by far the largest share of the last group, totaling nearly a quarter of all Democratic voters nationwide.

    Democratic Party nomination fights have followed a similar pattern since at least 1984. A candidate appealing to educated, more liberal Democrats challenges a relatively more centrist rival favored by the party establishment; the progressive wins most primaries and caucuses in New England, the West, and Wisconsin, while the centrist wins most of the remaining states. This outcome has historically doomed the progressive, from 1984 challenger Senator Gary Hart to Sanders himself, because there are more centrists than progressives or liberals.

    The non-white vote, and especially the African-American vote, plays an underappreciated role in this process. Non-whites almost invariably back the more centrist candidate, providing that person with key support to defeat his or her more liberal challenger. Africans-Americans and Latinos backed Walter Mondale over Hart in 1984 and Bill Clinton over Paul Tsongas and Jerry Brown in 1992, delivering the nomination to both men in the process. They did so again in 2016, backing Hillary Clinton by margins as large as 80 percent, allowing her to win most Southern and Midwestern primary states as a result.

  • Fri, March 16, 2018 1:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Partnership meets with U.S. Chamber Lobbyist to Discuss Midterm Elections

    PASADENA - This week, the Partnership hosted a special roundtable discussion with Ron Eidshaug, Vice President of Congressional and Public Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on the outlook for the midterm elections.

    Eidshaug began the discussion by acknowledging that the first year of the Trump Administration has been contentious but noted that very significant policy changes have been enacted, especially in regulatory affairs. The role back in onerous rules and regulations left over from the Obama Administration - which arguably tried to push the envelope on a variety of regulatory fronts - have played a part in the strong economic growth in the United States. The passage of tax reform was extraordinarily important to move the United States more in line with tax rates around the world, thereby making our companies more competitive. Companies are bringing money home that they had previously stashed overseas, and that money should lead to new investment and new jobs. This is an important story that is often overshadowed by more scandalous or salacious stories covered by the press or emerging from Congress or the Trump Administration.

    A key priority for the U.S. Chamber in 2018 is passage of a substantial infrastructure package. With the Federal Highway Trust Fund nearly empty due to the declining purchasing power of the federal gas tax, the Chamber is backing a 25-cent increase - to be phased in at 5-cents per year over five years - to help pay for an infrastructure plan. An investment in the transportation and goods movement system would pay off in the long run by expediting the delivery of goods and services. Politically, however, it may be challenging to push through a package in Congress, with some Republicans opposing a tax increase while Democrats would be hesitant to provide a policy victory to Republicans before the midterm elections.

    Eidshaug fielded a variety of questions about the Supreme Court and the possibility of overturning Chevron deference, where federal agencies are deferred to in most litigation, as well as the future of both major national parties in light of the Trump Presidency. California's reputation in the country was also discussed with Eidshaug notably calling it "the Land of Bad Ideas."

    Eidshaug will be meeting with business groups around Los Angeles and Southern California for the next few days. Our thanks to Partnership member Hahn & Hahn LLC for generously hosting us.

  • Fri, March 16, 2018 10:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Orange County Register Editorial Board: California cities risk being sunk by unnecessary stormwater cleanup costs

    Local governments in California risk being sunk by the cost of projects to clean up stormwater runoff, but a new report by the state auditor says those costs are not always “necessary and appropriate.”

    The report recommends that the Legislature amend state law to direct the State Water Board to assess whether a study is justified to evaluate the safe level of a pollutant in a specific body of water. As an example, it cited a study of the Los Angeles River that found that a higher limit of a pollutant was safe, saving over a billion dollars.

    Stormwater cleanup can require the construction of costly infrastructure like pipes, filters and retention basins, changes to pavement and new landscaping features to capture and filter runoff. Local jurisdictions incur hundreds of millions of dollars in costs for planning, construction, operation and maintenance.

    The cost of compliance with stormwater requirements for Los Angeles County has been estimated at $20 billion over the next 20 years.

    Sacramento Bee: Democrats consider disavowing Pelosi after special election win in Pennsylvania

    When the elderly man who had just opened his door to Conor Lamb launched into a tirade about Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic candidate was ready with an answer.

    “We need a new generation of leadership,” he said one afternoon last month, part of a well-rehearsed response in which Lamb reiterated he wouldn’t support Pelosi as a Congressional leader (or Paul Ryan, for that matter).

    His apparent victory in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District — the Associated Press had not called it but most election analysts consider Lamb’s tiny lead insurmountable — has reignited the deep and divisive debate inside the Democratic Party over whether candidates should disavow Pelosi to win independent and moderate voters, and whether party leaders should let them.

    “We have got to realize she is unpopular, even if there are many people who like her," said Linda Andrews, chairwoman of a local Democratic committee inside the 18th District. "So we have to make this change. If we expect to win, we have to be flexible. We have to be willing to change.”

    Politico: Democrats brace for potential California disaster

    One day after Democrats claimed victory in a closely watched Pennsylvania special election, a potential disaster reared up in California.

    In a state that’s central to the battle for control of the House, Democrats emerged from a filing deadline late Wednesday resigned to the possibility that no Democratic candidate will appear on the November ballot in several key House races.

    California’s unusual, top-two primary system — in which the top two vote-getters advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation — had raised the prospect of a nightmare scenario in several districts where crowded fields of Democratic candidates might splinter their party’s share of the vote, enabling two Republicans to finish atop the field in the June primary.

    In response, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and state party leaders had spent weeks running up to the deadline working to cull large fields of Democrats in targeted contests.

    By Wednesday, a handful of Democrats had abandoned their campaigns to replace retiring Republican Reps. Darrell Issa and Ed Royce in Southern California. But as the candidate filing period closed, the glut of Democrats remaining still threatened to split the primary vote — leaving open the possibility that two Republicans could advance to the general election, wiping Democrats off the ballot entirely in November.

    Los Angeles Times: California doesn't want this towering water project. Trump Administration may build it anyway

    The Trump administration is pushing forward with a colossal public works project in Northern California — heightening the towering Shasta Dam the equivalent of nearly two stories.

    The problem is that California is dead-set against the plan, and state law prohibits the 602-foot New Deal-era structure from getting any taller.

    But in these times of unprecedented tension between Washington and California, the state's objection to this $1.3-billion project near the Sacramento River is hardly proving a deterrent. The Trump administration is pursuing the project with gusto, even as it seeks to make deep cuts in popular conservation programs aimed at California's water shortages.

    The project promises a big payoff for water interests with close ties to the administration. A former lobbyist for one of the biggest of those interests, the politically connected Westlands Water District, holds a key administration post with power over the flow of federal money.

    Fresno Bee: California high-speed rail continues to be a moving target in cost, schedule route

    The latest release of the every-other-year business plan by the California High-Speed Rail Authority represents yet another iteration of a project with moving targets for price, schedule and geography.

    The rail agency's draft 2018 business plan issued last week offered a sobering look at a project that has been plagued with challenges and skepticism since before 2008, when the state's voters approved Proposition 1A, a $9.95 billion high-speed-rail bond. The bonds are one source of money to help build what was envisioned as a system of electric trains traveling at up to 220 mph to connect the state's northern population centers – San Francisco and Sacramento – with Los Angeles, the Inland Empire and San Diego, all by way of the the San Joaquin Valley cities of Merced, Fresno and Bakersfield.

    What was once optimistically pitched as a complete 800-mile program that could be built for about $35 billion and conceivably up and running by as early as 2020 has run headlong into an unrelenting wall of obstacles, including engineering, litigation and politics.

    Over time, the cost estimates have ranged from the original rosy $35 billion for 800 miles to a sticker-shock-inducing $98 billion for just the first 520-mile phase from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim. For the past six years, the estimate for the San Francisco-Los Angeles/Anaheim phase has wobbled in the mid-$60 billion range, with no forecast offered on the price tag for future Phase 2 extensions to Sacramento and San Diego.

    Sacramento Bee: State Legislative weighing new policy ideas to bring healthcare costs down

    Obamacare is beginning to unravel, and California can't create its own replacement – at least not yet.

    So health care advocates and lawmakers are working on a piecemeal approach. They want to offer a public insurance option to compete with private companies. They want to increase subsidies for those buying insurance through Obamacare. They want to cover most undocumented immigrants. They want to lower prescription drug costs.

    A new coalition of California labor and health advocacy groups – including Health Access California and the Service Employees International Union – unveiled the latest legislative push Thursday, outlining Democratic-led efforts supporters say will improve the state's health care financing and delivery system.

    Legislation is still being crafted, but any major overhaul will face steep political and financial challenges.

    Rough estimates indicate the costs for measures to expand access, improve quality and lower consumer costs could be as much as $10 billion – an amount lawmakers acknowledge is not available in this year's budget.

    Orange County Register: California's housing crisis and the density delusion

    Once seen as a human-scale alternative to the crowded cities of the past, California’s cities are targeted by policy makers and planners dreaming of bringing back the “good old days,” circa 1900, when most people in the largest cities lived in small, cramped apartments. This move is being fronted by well-funded YIMBYs (“yes in my backyard”), who claim ever greater densification will help relieve the state’s severe housing crisis.

    The goal, as stated by one YIMBY journalist, is startling in its retroactive boldness. “Getting people out of their cars in favor of walking, cycling or riding mass transit.” notes Liam Dillion, “will require the development of new, closely packed housing near jobs and commercial centers at a rate not seen in the United States since at least before World War II.”

    Besides being ahistorical — this kind of housing was restricted to the urban cores a few of the largest metropolitan areas — many residents of these districts, including in California, gleefully abandoned this lifestyle for a more private, lower-density and family friendly lifestyle as soon as it became practicable. In fact, millions of people moved here from crowded cities, small towns, rural areas and other countries to enjoy this lifestyle.

    The density-seeking measures such as state Sen. Scott Wiener’s highly contested SB827 seek to dismantle local zoning to boost densities, allegedly to address state’s housing affordability crisis. High density housing is far more expensive per square foot to build than townhouse or single-family construction. Nearly all the new market-rate housing built in the state is “luxury” by middle-income standards, and more expensive than what it replaces.

    In reality, the YIMBY’s suggestion that new, dense housing will improve affordability for all is patently absurd. Decades of densification in Los Angeles has seen ever higher rents, displacing low-income, especially minority households. Many former transit customers have been driven to lower-rent areas with less transit service, precipitating a massive decline in ridership, even as billions continue to be spent building new rail lines. The Wiener Bill could exacerbate this trend, and likely increase the need for low-income housing, already well beyond the capability of public coffers.

    Nowhere, here or abroad, has densification materially improved housing affordability, whether for low income households or the larger number of middle-income households. Density-oriented policies have helped drive prices up so high that Bay Area, $200,000 salary engineers cannot afford a home near their headquarters. In the meantime, many young families are increasingly leaving the state for less heavily regulated and less expensive states like Texas, Nevada and Arizona. Among those under 35, 80 percent of all homes purchased nationwide are single family houses and virtually all surveys of millennials express an overwhelming desire for this kind of residence.

  • Fri, March 09, 2018 12:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Los Angeles Times: President Trump signs steel tariffs, aimed at China but may hurt allies instead

    President Trump has repeatedly singled out China for the kind of unfair trade he aimed to curb Thursday when smacking tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. But in the fallout, China is the one emerging relatively unscathed.

    Trump gave a reprieve to Canada and Mexico, for now, and suggested allies such as Australia also may receive exemptions. Countries around the globe, including Japan and South Korea, scrambled to get on the list. Leaders loudly condemned the move, which threatens to explode into a trade war and rupture America's most important alliances in Asia.

    "This is not just about Japan," said Ken Onuki, director of general affairs at the Japan Aluminum Assn. "It's a violation of free trade."

    Japan's trade minister called the decision "extremely regrettable," and South Korean officials said they might lodge a protest with the World Trade Organization.

    China, the world's largest producer of steel and aluminum, denounced the tariffs as an affront to the international trade order. The country will take "effective measures" and safeguard its rights based on the damage caused, the Ministry of Commerce said on its website.

    It probably won't feel much. China accounted for about 2.5% of U.S. steel imports last year, a result of previous restrictions. It exports a fraction of the aluminum the U.S. receives.

    Politico: Trump Administration goes on offense, sues California over sanctuary laws

    After more than a year on defense against a flurry of legal challenges to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, the Justice Department went on offense Tuesday, filing a suit against the State of California that alleges obstruction of federal immigration enforcement.

    Filed in federal court in Sacramento, the lawsuit targets three sanctuary-focused laws that the California Legislature passed last year. Each was passed as part of a backlash against Trump’s vows to step up immigration enforcement.

    The litigation is modeled on a lawsuit the Obama administration filed in 2010 against a controversial state law in Arizona that sought to crack down on illegal immigrants, SB 1070. That case resulted in a Supreme Court ruling finding that some provisions of the Arizona law unconstitutionally intruded into Congress’ right to set federal immigration policy.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions traveled to California to tout the new lawsuit on Wednesday morning in a speech to law enforcement officials in Sacramento.

    “The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you,” Sessions told the California Peace Officers Association meeting. “We are fighting to make your jobs safer and to help you reduce crime in America. And I believe we are going to win.”

    Sessions, who represented Alabama for two decades in the U.S. Senate, also compared California's defiance of federal immigration policy to southern states' long battle against the federal government over civil rights and desegregation.

    CALMatters: California's new 'sanctuary' law will aid some immigrants but not all

    One of the most controversial issues in Sacramento this year has been widely referred to as the “sanctuary state” law, which will take effect Jan. 1. It is intended to protect law-abiding immigrants from being set on a path to deportation after interactions with local police. But in immigrant communities and elsewhere, there is confusion about how the law will work and exactly what protection it provides. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the measure, named the California Values Act, into law after negotiations made it more palatable to law enforcers, who had protested it initially.

    The author, state Senate leader Kevin de Léon, a Los Angeles Democrat, and others say the label is confusing because the term “sanctuary” has become political—a flashpoint in the immigration debate. The phrase originated with people who took sanctuary in churches. Undocumented immigrants continue to do this, and so far immigration officials have not gone to places of worship to arrest them. However, just being in California does not mean blanket protection from federal authorities. The state law sets up guidelines for California law enforcement agencies’ interaction with federal immigration authorities. Undocumented immigrants may still face deportation if they have committed crimes or are swept up in raids by federal agents at workplaces, in neighborhoods or other venues or are arrested individually.

    The Values Act has been called a tool for public safety, put in place to ensure that immigrants continue to feel safe cooperating with local police as reporters of crimes and witnesses in court. Some police officials, including the chief of police in Los Angeles, endorsed the law for this reason.

    CALMatters: Data Dig: Are foreign investors driving up real estate in your California neighborhood?

    Back in 2006, about 10 percent of California single-family homes were purchased in all-cash transactions, according to the real estate data firm ATTOM Data Solutions. A decade later, it’s nearly 25 percent. That means a quarter of California’s extremely tight housing inventory is unlikely to go to households like the Rothenbergs—moderate-income families who need a mortgage to buy a home.

    While all-cash buyers are often treated as a rough proxy for international buyers—the California Association of Realtors estimates they are more than twice as likely to pay in cash as domestic buyers—in reality they are more varied. Some are rich enough to not need to finance a first (or second or third) home, or simply prefer California real estate to the stock market. Private investment firms snapped up a ton of cheap homes during the foreclosure crisis—at one point more than one in three California homes was being purchased with all-cash. And increasingly older people, or their children, are liquidating assets to make all-cash offers.

    But experts came to see foreign buyers as a bigger force in the market, and a contributor to the rise in single-family rentals California has seen the past 10 years.

    “My guess would be that it’s flipped and that foreign buyers are now having a bigger impact than institutional investors,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM. “They aren’t a huge percentage of buyers, but certainly they are one of the reasons that the California market has bounced back so strongly from the recession.”

    So what percentage of California’s housing stock is owned by foreign investors?

    Politico: Kamala Harris keeps 'em guessing

    Ask Sen. Kamala Harris about her aspirations for higher office and you’ll get an unsatisfying answer.

    “I have aspirations to get through this interview,” the California Democrat says with a belly laugh.

    One year into her stint in the Senate, the Democratic Party's newest rising star — and one of its most buzzed-about potential 2020 hopefuls — has cut a profile that offers few clues about her political aspirations. Expectations for her are especially high given that Harris hails from California, the center of the resistance engaged in an ongoing battle with the Trump administration.

    Sitting with POLITICO reporters in her Capitol office last week for a rare extended interview, she offered detailed, philosophical answers largely devoid of the partisan talking points of other new Senate arrivals plainly eyeing the White House. In response to a softball question about GOP inaction on guns and immigration, she spoke at length without uttering the word "Republicans." Though she's not above taking swipes at President Donald Trump, Harris appears more at home working with Senate Republicans than wrangling with them.

    Harris has also accumulated attention-grabbing moments on the job, such as when she skewered Attorney General Jeff Sessions over Russia and when she bucked her own party leadership on a major immigration compromise, arguing that it gave away too much to the president.

    CALMAtters: California's middle class is in decline despite the state's immense wealth

    California’s lush coastline, balmy climate and post World War II economic promise made it an easy sell as America’s middle class paradise in the 1950s.

    “The California Dream of two or three generations ago was, `I’m going to move from a place that’s cold and flat to a place where there’s lots of opportunity,’” said Joel Kotkin, a presidential fellow in Urban Futures at  Chapman University in Orange. “`I’ll get a job in an aerospace factory, in an oil company. I’ll buy a house with a pool. I’ll die and go to heaven. And I’ll do it all in good weather.’”

    Today the weather remains. But access to the California dream is being choked off.

    Stratospheric housing costs, the exit of key companies and the failure to replace the jobs that left with them have downsized the state’s middle class.

    Since 1970, California’s share of the middle class fell from 60 percent to just over half the population. That trend almost mirrors patterns across the country. The number of middle-income Americans slipped from 61 percent in 1971 to 50 percent in 2015, according to the Pew Research Center.

    Washington Post: Democrats see a wave of enthusiasm but still face an identity crisis

    Democrats cheered Tuesday’s primary elections across Texas, where more than 1 million of the party’s voters cast ballots — the biggest number in more than a decade. And a new class of rising stars emerged, among them Rep. Beto O’Rourke, now the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate challenging Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

    But the results also foreshadowed the unresolved identity crisis facing Democrats nationally as the primary season kicked off, leaving that coveted blue wave a real but still distant possibility.

    One bitter U.S. House primary that drew the heavy-handed involvement of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee headed to a runoff with standard-bearers for the party’s establishment and liberal wings suspicious of each other and feuding over how best to take on President Trump. In another House primary, the liberal message of little-known former math teacher Mary Wilson carried her into a runoff with a higher-profile, better-funded candidate.

    These squabbles, while at times seemingly parochial, could have sweeping implications for the future of Congress and the political soul of the party as it barrels toward November and then the 2020 presidential election.

    At issue are vexing questions of ideology and style, forcing Democrats to decide whether to embrace or reject the outsiders who are driving the party hard to the left on issues such as universal health coverage and free college tuition.

    Reactions among top Democrats to the tussles on Tuesday and to what may lie ahead range from roaring encouragement to unease. While there is widespread optimism about the record number of Democrats running, there are concerns that infighting could distract from the goal of hobbling Trump.

    City Journal: Left and Lefter in California

    The California Democratic Party’s refusal to endorse the reelection of Senator Dianne Feinstein represents a breaking point both for the state’s progressives and, arguably, the future of the party nationwide. Feinstein symbolizes, if anyone does, the old Democratic establishment that, while far from conservative, nevertheless appealed to many mainstream businesses and affluent suburban voters. The rejection of Feinstein reveals the eclipse of the moderate, mainstream Democratic Party, and the rise of Green and identity-oriented politics, appealing to the coastal gentry . It offers little to traditional middle-class Democrats and even less to those further afield, in places like the industrial Midwest or the South. In these parts of the country, bread-and-butter issues that concern families remain more persuasive than gestural politics.

    To its many admirers back east, California has emerged as the role model for a brave new Democratic future. The high-tech, culturally progressive Golden State seems to be an ideal incubator of whatever politics will follow the Trump era.

    Certainly, California is an ideal place to observe this shift, as radicalism faces no restraints here. The Republican Party has little to no influence in politics and culture and not much even among business leaders. For the Democrats, this vacuum allows for a kind of internecine struggle resembling that of the Bolsheviks after the death of Lenin. And just as happened then, a new Stalinism of sorts seems to be emerging—in this case, to the consternation not only of conservatives but also of traditional liberals and moderates of the Feinstein stamp.

    Yet as California Democrats exult in what they see as a glowing future, they are turning away from the models that once drove their party’s (and the state’s) success—a commitment to growth, upward mobility, and dispersed property ownership. California’s current prosperity is largely due to the legacy of Governor Pat Brown, who, a half-century ago, built arguably the world’s best transportation, water, and power systems, and created an incubator for middle-class prosperity. Ironically, the politician most responsible for undermining this achievement has been Pat’s son, Governor Jerry Brown. Long skeptical of his father’s growth-oriented, pro-suburban policies, Brown the Younger put strong constraints on growth, especially when these efforts concerned the fight against global warming—a quasi-religious crusade. Battling climate change has awakened Brown’s inner authoritarian; he has lauded the “coercive power of the state” and embraced “brainwashing” on climate issues.

  • Fri, March 09, 2018 12:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Partnership hosts breakfast event with Asm. Chris Holden

    PASADENA - Today the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership hosted Asm. Chris Holden for a breakfast at the beautiful new Shriner's for Children Medical Center in downtown Pasadena.

    The new medical center is one of 22 medical facilities in the Shrine Hospital System, one of the largest pediatric sub-specialty systems in the country, specializing in orthopaedics, plastics/burn reconstruction and cleft lip and palate for children up to 17 years of age. These services are offered without regard to a family’s ability to pay.

    Over 30 members of the Partnership and their guests joined the Assemblymember for a discussion on public policy and key issues facing the state.

    Asm. Holden chairs the important Utilities and Energy Committee in the Assembly and he spoke about efforts to improve energy reliability and performance across the state, especially in light of California's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing global climate change.

    Asm. Holden also discussed a key bill he's introducing - AB 1778 - which reintroduces tax increment financing for cities to enable them to fund transit-oriented development projects and provide affordable housing. Building new housing near mass transit infrastructure or key transit corridors - especially housing in greater density - is generally viewed as a way to address the state's serious housing crisis. By housing more Californians in proximity to convenient mass transit, it encourages greater transit use and less traffic congestion. It's also a more efficient use of land to build housing units with greater density, placing more housing units on the market and lowering prices. Asm. Holden has been encouraged by the willingness of the State Legislature to work on the housing issue head on and is hopeful about the prospects of AB 1778.

    Asm. Holden also introduced his new district director, Catherine Del Rosario, he previously worked for him in his Sacramento office. The Partnership extends a warm welcome to the San Gabriel Valley to Catherine.


  • Fri, March 02, 2018 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Pomona, CA - The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership met with Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) for breakfast this morning. Over 30 Partnership members attended the event and got an update on new legislation in Sacramento and efforts by state lawmakers to address the serious sexual harassment scandal that has engulfed the state capitol for the past few months.

    Senator Leyva fielded questions on a variety of important issues dealing with property taxes, water infrastructure, health care, education, housing, the Foothill Gold Line, and public safety.

    Realtor Kris Darney asked the Senator what could be done to help local communities work with and aid their local homeless people. Senator Leyva related a story of Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) who traveled to Utah to learn how that state is handling its homelessness challenges. Senator Leyva said in Utah, ordinary people look on every homeless person as a brother or sister. While it may be hard to find that perspective with the homeless when we naturally worry about our own personal safety, we do need to make that shift to view the homeless with kindness and consideration.

    There was an extended discussion regarding a potential ballot measure in the City of Pomona that would require two non-profit medical facilities, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center and Casa Colina, to be regulated by the City and no longer by the L.A. County Health Department. The measure would include a requirement that if the two facilities don't meet certain performance benchmarks, they would be required to hire additional support and service staff. Partnership President and CEO Jeff Allred asked Senator Leyva her position on this issue and she replied that while she was aware of the efforts to improve wages for the medical facility support staff, she was unaware of the attempt to have the City of Pomona directly regulate these facilities. Mr. Allred noted that the City of Pomona has plenty of other important issues to worry about already and does not need another one, especially when the L.A. County Health Department has the regulatory oversight of these facilities well in hand.

    Senator Leyva also spoke about her continued focus on women's issues at the state level and her passion to provide more protections for women to be treated fairly and equally, especially in circumstances of harassment.

    The next Legislative Breakfast for the Partnership will be on Friday, March 9th in Pasadena with Asm. Chris Holden (D-Pasadena).


  • Fri, March 02, 2018 12:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Partnership supports increase in renters tax credit, making organized package theft a felony

    IRWINDALE, CA - The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership supported legislation this week that would double the renters tax credit in California. It also backed bills to make organized package theft a felony and allow paramedics and emergency medical technicians to transport patients to sobering centers or mental health facilities. Significantly, the Partnership's Legislative Action Committee also voted to oppose SB 100, a bill that sets 2045 as an artificial date for 100% of the state's electricity to be generated from renewable resources.

    "An increase in the state's renter tax credit is long overdue," said Partnership President and CEO Jeff Allred. "With the state likely to have a significant budget surplus this year, an increase in the renters tax credit will have a significant effect on low-income families struggling to make ends meet."

    The Partnership supported SB 1182 by Senator Steve Glazer of Orinda, which doubles the annual renters tax credit at a cost of an estimated $230 million a year to the state's general fund.

    The Partnership backed AB 1899 by Asm. Al Muratsuchi of Torrance, which makes organized package theft a felony. More and more communities in the San Gabriel Valley are seeing higher rates of package theft as more people shop online and ship their items to their homes.

    AB 1795 by Asm. Gipson would allow paramedics and emergency medical technicians the flexibility to take intoxicated patients or patients undergoing a mental episode to sobering centers or mental health facilities where they can receive care appropriate to their needs.

    Finally, the Partnership opposed SB 100 by Senator Kevin de Leon which prematurely calls on the state to achieve 100 percent electricity generation from renewable resources. Today, only 25 percent of the state's electricity comes from renewable resources. Arbitrarily calling for the state to move its entire generation capacity to renewables in a quarter-century's time without any analysis as to the cost is bad state policy.

    For more information, contact Brad Jensen, Director of Public Policy, at the Partnership, (626) 856-3400 or


  • Fri, March 02, 2018 11:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sacramento Bee: Spend gas tax money ASAP, new CALTrans leader says directive from Gov. Jerry Brown

    Caltrans' new director takes her seat this week with immediate marching orders: Spend money, and spend it fast.

    Gov. Jerry Brown has asked new Caltrans head Laurie Berman and new Transportation Secretary Brian Annis to turn the state's gas tax hike into quick and visible highway improvements.

    The pair describe it as a historic opportunity and a major challenge.

    “Right now is a great time to be in transportation,” Berman said. “With (gas tax legislation) SB 1 we’ve got a lot to deliver, which is exciting. For a long time we did not have the funding to adequately maintain our system."

    State transportation accounts are expected to see $5.4 billion annually as a result of Senate Bill 1, a Brown initiative that raised the gas tax 12 cents per gallon and increased vehicle registration fees.

    "At the end of the day, we just need to be able to deliver the projects in a way the public finds meaningful and notices."

    Sacramento Bee: California tax agency rejects 4-cent gas tax increase, giving Governor Brown a $617 million problem

    Gov. Jerry Brown’s office has to find another $617 million for his next budget because a tax-collecting agency he gutted last year has used some of its waning authority to reject a 4-cent increase in fuel taxes.

    Normally, the Board of Equalization’s annual requirement to set fuel tax rates is almost automatic. It has tweaked recommendations, but it has not rejected them.

    This time, two Board of Equalization members said they did not want to hike fuel taxes so soon after the Legislature’s adoption of a separate 12-cent per gallon gas tax that took effect in November.

    “I’ve never voted for a tax increase on gasoline for my constituents. It hurts them,” said board member Diane Harkey, a Republican who is running for Congress.

    She was joined by Democrat Jerome Horton, who said the administration did not make a compelling case. “It’s the equity of it that I’m having pause,” he said, arguing that lower-income people with long commutes would suffer because of the extra tax.

    Republican George Runner was absent and did not vote. Democrat Fiona Ma and Deputy State Controller Yvette Stowers voted to support the recommendation from Brown’s office.

    The Legislature gave the Board of Equalization responsibility for fuel taxes in 2010, when the state shifted its model for collecting some taxes on fuel.

    Previously, the state charged a sales tax based on the prices consumers pay. Now it charges an excise tax that levies a tax on each gallon purchased.

    Los Angeles Times: $2 billion to help house California's homeless isn't being spent - and no one knows when it will be

    Nearly two years after California lawmakers approved a $2-billion bond to help finance new housing for the state's homeless, not a penny has been spent, and it's unclear when any of the money will be available.

    The dollars are tied up in court as a Sacramento attorney challenges the state's plan to pay off that debt with money California voters approved in 2004 for mental health services. The funding, the attorney contends, should not be diverted from treatment programs, even if the mentally ill benefit from the housing. State housing officials said they don't know how long the litigation will take to resolve.

    The delay is causing deep frustrations. Over the last year, homelessness increased nearly 14% in California and now affects more than 130,000 people in the state — a quarter of the nation's homeless population. The lack of funds is slowing the amount of housing that can be built, said Ruth Schwartz, co-founder and executive director of the Los Angeles nonprofit Shelter Partnership.

    "We're all disappointed because the need is immediate," Schwartz said.

    San Gabriel Valley Tribune: Major step forward for $6 billion 710 Freeway widening: Metro Board backs plan

    A proposal to widen the 710 Freeway along portions of its run from Long Beach to East Los Angeles received a significant boost Thursday when officials who run the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority decided to select the plan as their preferred option.

    The decision in favor of the $6-billion plan is not final. The decision by board members leading the authority, which also goes by the shorter name of Metro, means that further environmental analysis of the freeway project will focus on how plans to widen the 710 Freeway may affect the surrounding area. It’s up to Caltrans, not Metro, to certify the final analysis.

    Metro’s board acted to support plans to widen the 710 Freeway after unanimous votes in favor of additional actions that include a delay of any widening until improvements to interchanges and streets could be made and doubling the amount of funds that may be made available through the project to support the adoption of zero-emissions vehicles to $200 million.

    Project supporters say the 710 expansion is needed to upgrade the freeway, which is heavily burdened by truck traffic related to goods moving in and out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

    “This is a modernization project of a gateway to our ports that is falling apart. That is sometimes dangerous,” Long Beach Mayor and Metro board member Robert Garcia said during the early part of Thursday’s board discussions.

    CALMatters: As California oil regulator seeks more money, legislators ask, 'Is this working?'

    Early in 2011, Bill Allayaud was so fed up with what he saw as dereliction of duty by California’s oil and gas regulator that he began to catalog grievances: unregulated fracking, allowing companies to inject oilfield wastewater into clean water aquifers, little or no oversight into critical practices affecting public health and safety.

    “They were essentially lap dogs for the oil industry,” Allayaud, a lobbyist with the Environmental Working Group said.

    He attached the ever-expanding list to his office wall. With the way things had been running at the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, Allayaud had little confidence the list would ever grow smaller or come down.

    “This was a backwater agency in charge of multi-billion dollar corporations,” he said. “It was a wink and a nod, that’s the way it went for decade after decade.”

    California’s oil and gas regulator, known as DOGGR, has endured years of scolding from the Legislature for a lack of accountability, from environmentalists for allowing an industry to run roughshod over a state regulator and from the federal Environmental Protection Agency for failing to enforce clean water laws.

    But the state’s oil watchdog is undertaking a comprehensive reform, officials say, that will radically change the agency’s culture and modernize a department with one foot in the last century.

    “We are a dramatically different organization than we were three years ago,” said David Bunn, director of the state Department of Conservation, which oversees the oil and gas agency. “We’ve made dramatic changes. There’s still a lot to do.”

    Capitol Public Radio: How the Home of Reagan Turned Into the Trump Resistance

    With more than two dozen lawsuits against the federal administration and new laws designed to thwart federal immigration actions and environmental rollbacks, California has squarely established itself as the Democratic resistance to President Donald Trump.

    “Californians should be wary of the national calls for unity and healing. Unity must be separated from complicity,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, a Los Angeles-area Democrat, told colleagues in his first official speech after the 2016 election. “We don’t need healing. We need to fight.”

    But California’s reputation as a Democratic stronghold has relatively recent roots. While the Democratic Party has held a voter registration advantage since the 1930s, its statewide electoral record leaned conservative for much of the 20th century.

    From Gov. Earl Warren’s oath of office in 1943 to the end of Gov. Pete Wilson’s final term in 1998, the state elected only two Democrats to its highest office, both named Gov. Edmund G. Brown (Pat and Jerry).

    “California was a red state,” says UC Davis professor Mindy Romero, who studies voting behavior and trends. “We had consistently elected Republican governors.”

    Democrats largely controlled the state Legislature, but from Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 to Ronald Reagan in 1988, a majority of Californians voted for the Republican presidential candidate in every year except 1964, when they supported Lyndon Johnson over Barry Goldwater.

    Starting in the 1990s, however, Republican candidates began to lose their competitiveness in California. In 1994 — a fateful year for the party — the GOP won five of the state’s eight statewide elected offices. By 2000, that number had dwindled to one. The party has not won a single statewide election since 2010. 

  • Fri, February 23, 2018 12:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce that you can now access the 2017 Annual Report online. Please click on the image below.

    The 2018 Legislative Guide is also available online:

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 

Receive our special events and announcements.

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up-to-date with the latest developments. Be a part of our community.


San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership

4900 Rivergrade Road, Suite B130, Irwindale, CA 91706

Phone: (626) 856-3400    Fax: (626) 856-5115


Office Hours: Monday–Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.,
Friday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software