On his first day in office, Mayor Eric Garcetti invited a dozen chambers of commerce to his office for a roundtable discussion on economic development. Noticeably absent were the Valley Industry and Commerce Association and the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce, both of which endorsed Wendy Greuel. Neither group was invited to that event.
In an open letter to the new mayor, VICA is making its priorities known — from economic development to public transportation.
The letter from the Valley's business chamber lists seven priorities for Garcetti.
"You have at least four years – and potentially eight – to create your own legacy as the top steward of the city. What will a Garcetti tenure mean for Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley?" VICA Chair David Adelman and President Stuart Waldman wrote in their letter.
They continued: "When your mayoral tenure is complete, VICA hopes we can praise you as a leader that took tangible steps toward better connecting the Valley to the rest of the city and tackling the issues unique to this region."
Noting that 40 percent of the city's residents live in the San Fernando Valley, VICA leaders want to see two of every five commission seats go to a Valley dweller. Other priorities include:
- Senior mayoral staff dedicated to Valley interests
- A beefed-up business team
- A film czar
- Turning the Metro Orange Line from a busway to a light rail line
- Acceleration of the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor project
- Funding the Valley Council of Governments
Last week, the mayor announced former Councilwoman Jan Perry would serve as the interim general manager of the new Economic Development Department.