Partnership goes to Sacramento with the REAL Coalition, advocates with lawmakers
IRWINDALE, CA - The Partnership visited Sacramento this week and joined the REAL Coalition in meetings with key lawmakers working on housing, transportation and economic development legislation. The REAL Coalition is a group of the 25 largest regional business groups in the state, including the Los Angeles Area Chamber, Orange County Business Council, Greater San Diego Chamber, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and many others.
"We had a great opportunity to meet with key lawmakers this week," said Partnership President & CEO Bill Manis. "We gave critical feedback to our legislators on housing, transportation and the major issues facing the San Gabriel Valley."
The Coalition met with Senator Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco), chair of the Senate Housing Committee, to discuss his bill, SB 50, which up-zones areas around transit hubs and stations, encouraging greater density in new housing development. Next was Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose), chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, who discussed his economic development bill, SB 5, which hopes to bring back tax increment financing to help build more affordable housing in the state. The final meeting was with Larry Mendonca, the director of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development and new chair of the State High Speed Rail Authority. He emphasized that the Newsom Administration is approaching economic development with a focus on equity across the state, helping those areas that need jobs and new growth the most. California has the 5th-largest economy in the world, he said. Clearly, something is working in the state's business community but major challenges remain - and the Governor and his staff want to address the things that are holding back greater growth in California.
Following the REAL Coalition meetings, Partnership staff met with Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge), who represents the foothill cities of the San Gabriel Valley in the Senate as well as chairing the Appropriations Committee. He discussed the various redevelopment proposals introduced in the legislature and expressed dissatisfaction with some of their provisions. The Partnership also met with the staff of Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) and Asm. Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park).