The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce was both surprised and disappointed by the reference to us in an article by Joel Kotkin on “Catching the Next Wave” (Opinion, Aug. 11). Our chamber leadership has never had before us any proposal from “young business leaders” for an economic development program, nor has such a proposal been presented to any members of our board of directors.
In fact, our chamber has an active and aggressive role in addressing a number of the major issues facing the attraction, as well as retention, of our commercial and industrial base here in Southern California. Here are some examples:
Our chamber was the principal coordinator in working with both Democrat and Republican leaders in the successful retention of the Los Angeles Air Force Base, the center for high-tech Air Force research. This translates out to some $4 billion to $6 billion in annual aerospace contracts for local firms and suppliers.
Our chamber sponsored a major research report by the McKinsey Co., which focused on the health of the aerospace industry. This has proved to be a catalyst for heightening the understanding, at both state and federal levels, of the critical issues facing that industry.
Our chamber is an active participant with the State Chamber of Commerce in the formation of a statewide economic development strategy, called Operation Wake-Up Call.
Our chamber served as the county co-chair for the successful passage of Props. 108, 111 and 116, which provided money for transportation infrastructure.
Our chamber is one of the founding members of the Coalition for Jobs and Clean Air, composed of business leaders, ethnic groups, California Manufacturers, the AFL-CIO and United Auto Workers.
Our chamber recently adopted one of the more progressive policy statements on the provision of health care for fully employed workers. This policy aims at reducing and controlling medical costs to business owners, while still affording a health care system to people who are fully employed.
Our chamber is a founding member of Californians for Water, a statewide coalition uniting North and South interests.
This is only a partial list of programs under way at our chamber dealing with economic development and job creation needs.
RAY REMY, President
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce