The Los Angeles Business Council works to unite the power of business with the power of government for education and advocacy to promote environmental and economic sustainability.
For over a decade, we have been recognized and applauded for our innovative advocacy and educational programs throughout the region. Our work results in targeted and influential policy recommendations as well as a deeper understanding of the most important issues facing our region.
At the heart of the LABC’s work is advocacy for important public policy initiatives that will benefit the Los Angeles region. Working in concert with both small and large businesses, as well as academics and elected officials, we aim to spur debate, forge consensus and drive progress in these areas:
- Energy & Environment
- Housing & Transportation
- Workforce Development
Below is a recap of some of the issues that the LABC has advocated for over the years. Click on each bullet point to read more in depth on LABC's accomplishments and policy advocacy efforts.
City of Los Angeles
2014 - 2015
In an unprecedented vote of our entire membership the LABC voted to support Mayor Garcetti’s proposal for a citywide increase in the minimum wage to $13.25 by 2020 as part of a greater economic agenda including: a reduction in the gross receipts tax; refueling the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund; cutting red tape at City Hall to expedite permitting for workforce and affordable housing development near public transit hubs; and, the Mayor’s goal of creating 100,000 new housing units by 2021.
In June 2015 L.A. City Council voted to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2020
As part of the broader economic strategy involving the increase in minimum wage, the LABC successfully pushed for a reduction and simplification of the City’s Gross Receipt Tax (GRT) rate.
The release of the Mayor’s Sustainable City pLAn included the goal for 100,000 new housing units by 2021, leading to 150,000 new units by 2025, in addition to beginning construction on 17,000 new units of housing within 1,500 feet of transit by 2017. Mayor Garcetti’s budget proposal for 2015/16 set aside $10 million for the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
The LABC worked with Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s office and LA County officials to have the City of Los Angeles join the County’s existing PACE financing program. City Council passed a motion in December to have the City join the existing County program with the additions of consumer protection, coordination with LADWP and permitting multiple PACE providers.
The County selected HERO and California First to offer residential PACE under administration of the County. California First began accepting applications for residential energy and water retrofits in May 2015.
2012 - 2013
In April 2012, the LA City Council and Mayor Villaraigosa, in accordance with state law, approved a Delegation of Authority authorizing the DWP General Manager to proceed forward with contracts for 150 megawatts of solar energy generated by the nation’s largest rooftop feed-in tariff program. The LA City Leadership approved the program, providing economic opportunity and a new source of clean energy for the benefit of DWP customers. UCLA research estimates that the economic impact will include 4,500 new jobs, $500 million in private investment, $300 million in federal tax credits, and the reduction of two million metric tons of carbon from the air in the City of Los Angeles. As of October 2013, 90 of the available 150 megawatts have been released by the LADWP.
LABC research and policy development on the LADWP FIT program can be found here.
As the electricity demand on LADWP continues to grow, and in support of California’s efforts to achieve the targets set forth in California’s AB 32 and AB 2021, the LADWP Board adopted in 2012 a goal of achieving 10 percent energy efficiency and a target of 15 percent energy efficiency by 2020. The LADWP will now direct an unprecedented $128 million toward energy efficiency and sets a soft target of 15% cumulative savings by 2020.
In the fall of 2012, the LA City Council voted 14-0 in favor of a package of retirement benefit reforms that will affect workers hired after July 1, 2013. The changes will not affect the retirement benefits of police officers, firefighters and employees at the Department of Water and Power. The changes will affect civilian workers such as clerks, janitors, sanitation workers and librarians and were necessary to maintain the city's fiscal health.
This proposed ballot measure would have extended a half-cent transportation sales tax in Los Angeles County for 30 years, providing critical funding to transportation improvements in the region.
Measure J would have allowed transportation officials to accelerate several transit projects by borrowing against future tax revenues. The LABC supported Measure J because it would have helped stimulate the economy by creating hundreds of thousands of local jobs. in the near future. In 2012, the measure fell short by a narrow 2 percentage points.
2006 - 2008
In November 2008, Measure R was approved by a two-thirds majority of voters, committing a projected $40 billion to traffic relief and transportation upgrades throughout the county over the next 30 years. Earlier that year, the LABC released a scorecard which examined the state of the county’s housing supply from a broad, long-term, employer-based perspective, and revealed the essential link between a strong jobs/housing balance, a vibrant transit system, and economic sustainability. The scorecard can be found here.
Measure R is already funding dozens of critical transit and highway projects, creating more than 210,000 new construction jobs and infusing an estimated $32 billion back into the local economy, according to estimates by the nonprofit Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.
This proposal would have authorized the City to issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $1 billion for the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, development and financing of safe, clean, affordable housing for the homeless and those in danger of becoming homeless; to assist first-time homebuyers; to provide low-income working families safe and affordable rental housing; and to make loans to private and nonprofit entities to develop affordable rental housing.
Bond proceeds would have been deposited into the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund and administered by the Los Angeles Housing Department with oversight from a Citizen Advisory Oversight and Accountability Committee and an Administrative Oversight Committee. Proposition H was also endorsed by elected and business leaders in Los Angeles, but failed by less than one percentage point in YEAR.
State of California
Passed by California voters in November 2012, Prop 39 did x, y and z. The LABC provided research supporting the establishment of a revolving loan fund and associated lending programs to finance the energy efficiency and clean energy projects established by the initiative. The LABC is working with leaders in the LA Unified School District to ensure that they are maximizing the opportunity offered by these funds.
Our report to maximize investments from Prop 39 can be found here.
Authored by Gov. Jerry Brown and passed in November 2012, Proposition 30 provides much-needed revenue for public education in the state. The proposition raised the state sales tax by a quarter- cent for a four-year period and increases the tax rates for individuals with incomes above $250,000 ($500,000 for a couple filing jointly) for seven years. These temporary tax increases will generate $6 billion in revenue for the state, with about 89 percent of the funds from the proposition going to K-12 public schools, and the remaining 11 percent going to community colleges. Without Prop 30, public K-12 schools would have been forced to take a $5.4 billion cut which would have triggered cuts of $250 million each to UC and CSU budgets.
Governor Brown offered Californians vision and leadership in bringing about common-sense pension reform for the state. This historic legislation, passed and signed in 2012, implements overdue reforms that will save taxpayers billions of dollars while ensuring that our public retirement system is sustainable for future generations. Among its many achievements, the new law allows Los Angeles and other municipalities to begin the process of pension reform at the local level – a critical step our cities needed to regain financial balance and adequately invest in public services. This important step toward controlling our pension costs sends a positive message to businesses throughout the nation that our state is capable of bold action to secure a more responsible future.