Preservation of Local Lands

The Central Coast Heritage Protect Act was recently passed with bipartisan support.  Part of the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act.  Thanks to the valiant efforts of environmental advocates, Representative Salud Carbajal and local officials there is work being undertaken to preserve and protect our land. 

The goal of the law is particularly important for Los Angeles.  It is hoping to protect increasing amounts of land – up to 250,000 acres – as protected wilderness areas within the Los Padres National Forest and Carrizo Plain National Monument

According to Rep Carbajal:

“Protecting our environment, enhancing public safety and growing our economy are not mutually exclusive. The passage of the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act proves this, and it’s a huge step forward for all of us. Our Central Coast is the most beautiful district in the nation and this bill ensures our public lands, like Los Padres National Forest and Carrizo Plain National Monument, will be preserved—for our economy, for our environment and for future generations.”

In addition, Graciela Cabello, Director of Youth and Community Engagement at ForestWatch said:

“Protecting lands on the California Central Coast is a critical step to ensuring our children and future generations have access to wild places and to protecting fragile ecosystems. These lands are some of the most biodiverse ecoregions in the world and we want to see them protected.”

To date the bill has been supported by around 500 local organizations, businesses and landholders.

Local Award Winners

Residents in Los Angeles often get recognized for their talents, hard work and dedication to their professions.  In this article we report on some of the more recent awards and recognitions that have been offered to locals.  With this recognition can often come a boost to the local economy.

The Los Angeles Business Journal recently announced the selection of Albert Valencia and Pooja S. Nair as the region’s Top Minority Attorneys. They have been recognized for being “particularly impactful [while successfully] maintain[ing] the highest professional and ethical standards.”

California’s economy has definitely benefited from movie-makers choosing to shoot their films in the region.  One such example has been the recognition by the Los Angeles City Council of the Oscar-nominated motion picture produced locally.  This includes: Marriage Story (which has received six Oscar nominations); Ford v Ferrari (4 Oscar nominations) and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (10 Oscar nominations).

Other notable local recognitions include 11 area squad players from the Crescenta Valley High, St. Francis and Flintridge Prep schools.  they received All-CIF accolades split up as follows:  Crescenta Valley High – 7 players; Flintridge Prep – 3 players and St. Francis – 1 player.  , plenty of players got the job done in helping their squads register winning campaigns.

California Consumer Privacy Act

The beginning of this year witnessed the implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act. The CCPA – whose impacts go way beyond California – came into effect on the 1st of the month primarily in order to provide Californians with additional rights and privileges vis-à-vis securing their data.  Those in the UK (who will also be affected by the CCPA like they were with the GDPR in 2018) are now being trained on how to implement this.

The CCPA has been hailed as potentially a very powerful legislative addition for consumers as well as businesses and will ultimately put the US on the same page as the UK vis-à-vis global privacy. American consumers will get access to exactly what companies know about them; have power over whether they can keep that information and stop them from selling it. 

This will have quite the impact on businesses.  Many are bemoaning the extra burden it places on them in terms of time and money with a company being forced to pay up to $23.5m (4 percent of global annual revenue) with failure to comply.

For the consumer though, what could be bad? Very little apparently. Such high stakes are forcing companies to go through their cybersecurity practices with a fine tooth comb.  For Californians there is even more good news because regional policy makers have already come up with their own plan to protect personal data via the CCPA.  And, this will likely have a trickle down effect on other states and even countries given that California has the fifth largest economy in the world.

Fourth Annual Women’s March

For the fourth consecutive year, thousands of locals took to the streets to march downtown in support of women’s rights.  This year had a slightly different focus due to the upcoming elections but still featured female empowerment slogans along with jokes and off the cuff banners.  Other rights that jumped on the bandwagon were those from the LGBTQ community, immigrants, race, anti-war and more.  There were approximately 30,000 attendees (lower than the last two years). Featured speakers were: Eric Garcetti, Caitlyn Jenner and Maxine Waters.

The main event – as in previous years – took place in Washington. Even though there were less people marching, the “energy” was described as being “still there.”

Women’s Leadership Series

Last month women in leadership roles were invited to the home of Eric Garcetti.  The Mayor invited 200+ women to join him at the Getty House for the Women’s Leadership Series & Engage LA event series.

At the event, women were able to network with each other while getting information on the many female locally-owned and run businesses and how they can get involved in the future.  As well discussions centered on competing for city contracts within the four million residence city that comprises 500,000 businesses.

Within the city’s $10billion budget, 10% is dedicated to fund city contracts.  Back in 2013 – when Mayor Garcetti first took office – only 1½% of the contracts went to women. Since gender equality is such a high priority for Garcetti, this has changed.

One of the takeaways from this was that more women have to bid for contracts.  Not only is this going to result in the best person for the job and likely bring more women into positions that they deserve it will also benefit the city.

In addition, members of Garcetti’s Innovation Team (LA City’s first female Director of Finance Claire Bartels and Chief Procurement Officer Shannon Hoppes) have been attempting to simplify the process of getting contracts.

Jobs and Internships Fair

Next week the largest local annual career fair will be held at UCLA. Hosted by the UCLA Ackerman Union, the UBS (Undergraduate Business Society) Jobs & Internships Fair gives business owners the opportunity to present their vacancies to the public.

A wide variety of industries are presented including HR, marketing, operations, communications, sales and accounting.  More than 500 people come every year and all UCLA students are welcome.

As well as presenting opportunities, this event is a networking event for students and business owners.  Some of the student organizations that have attended in the past include: Alpha Kappa Psi, Bruin Advertising Team, Campus Events Commission (CEC) and Sigma Eta Pi.

Is LA Losing its Opportunities?

Los Angeles – the second most populous US city and the center of film and TV industry – has historically provided substantial opportunity for its inhabitants. But the concern now is a “dampening” of that promise due to increasing costs in housing. 

In this video we learn about research from the McKinsey Global Institute which estimates that approximately one million LA city homes are no longer able to afford a standard sized market rate unit in their current neighborhood without a financial stretch. That number rises to two million throughout LA county.

Encouragement of Local Female Entrepreneurs

It was recently announced by the Mayor that November 19th will from now on become a day each year to officially recognize and commend female entrepreneurs.  Women’s Entrepreneurship Day was held last month for the first time…and will now be held annually. 

The topic of this year’s event was “Together we Rise,” and women were invited by Mayor Garcetti’s Office of Economic Development to celebrate the female business owners who have had a huge impact on the LA community, economy and quality of life.  as such, women came and were inspired, encouraged and empowered, despite the tremendous obstacles they have had to overcome in reaching their success.

At the day event, female entrepreneurs – those just starting out and also those who have already enjoyed some success – spoke to the audience while others held workshops while networking with both officials and locals.

some of the attendees included representatives from Wok Star Inc., Martin & Martin, Special Needs Network, Unique Markets, Avenida Productions, NorthStar Moving Company, STartUpDTLA, and more. 

In addition, there were industry experts like coaches, authors, negotiation specialists, EI experts and financial advisors.

another company jumped on the bandwagon, using the day’s opportunity to promote the success of their own women.  Three designer bags were created by Stacy’s Pita Chips and are being sold Kroger stores in honor of this day celebrating women entrepreneurs.  On the bags are designs made by women that represent the ‘ six stages of a female entrepreneur’s journey.’ Stacy’s created a competition for the designer that would be used and the winners (Alexander Bowman, Jade Purple Brown and Nomoco) of that was announced in march – Women’s History Month. Bowman is an LA designer; Brown from New York and Nomoco is Japanese born but trained in London.

as well as promoting and encouraging the female entrepreneur, the bags commemorate Stacy’s Pita Chips first ever Rise Program – set up to support and fund women-owned businesses.

This is an important cause for Stacy’s Pita Chips given the misrepresentation of funding for female entrepreneurs.  One example of this is the fact that women own approximately 40% of businesses but are only privy to around 2 percent of private equity funding.  Stacy’s VP of Marketing, Ciara  Dilley said:

“We believe the economic empowerment of women is the single most powerful contribution we can make to advancing female equality.”

Hopefully November 19th in the future in LA will work toward facilitating this goal.