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Inglewood and Los Angeles County Rejoice – Rams are Back

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas honors the city of Inglewood and Mayor James T. Butts, Jr. at Board of Supervisors Meeting on January 19, 2016.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors honored the city of Inglewood and Mayor James T. Butts, Jr. for their successful efforts to bring the NFL Rams back to Southern California after two decades. The Rams’ return to Los Angeles County will spur economic development in the city and for the entire region, creating thousands of temporary and permanent jobs.

“We’re proud of Inglewood to be the vessel that brings so much work and prosperity back to the region,” said Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Jr.


Rams owner Stan Kroenke and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, with Inglewood Mayor James Butts

NFL owners voted overwhelmingly to let the Rams return to Los Angeles after 21 years in St. Louis, and then gave the Chargers the chance to join the Rams. If the Chargers decide to remain in San Diego, the Oakland Raiders will get the option to join the Rams instead.

The Rams are building a $2-billion dollar stadium – to be called City of Champions Stadium – near the site of the Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood over the next three years. It would be the centerpiece of a massive entertainment, retail and housing development – not to mention the largest stadium of any team in the NFL.

“The $1.8 billion, state-of-the-art sports and entertainment stadium will have a profound impact on the economy of Inglewood as well as the regional community,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.image3 (1) 

Promising to bring thousands of new construction and permanent jobs to local residents, the new stadium is but the latest example of the New Inglewood. Other notable accomplishments include:

• The complete renovation and reopening of The Forum as an internationally recognized entertainment venue operated by the Madison Square Garden Company.

• The $2 billion redevelopment of Hollywood Park into a mixed-use development with housing, open space and more than 600,000 square feet of shopping and entertainment.

• Construction of the $2 billion Crenshaw/LAX Transit line with three stations in Inglewood.

• And recently announced plans for market rate housing developments that will revitalize the City’s Market Street area to rival the Third Street Promenade.

“We know why Inglewood is known as the city of champions, because they got it done!” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.

The Rams are not expected to play at City of Champions Stadium until the 2019 NFL season. In the interim, they are expected to play at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Exposition Park, home of the USC Trojans.

Last week, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher met with Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, who serves as president of the Coliseum Commission, the governmental entity that oversees the Coliseum. Fisher, a former Trojan, told Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, “All I need is a level field and some grass and we’re ready to play.”


LA County Creates Opportunities for Small Business

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas stands with small business owners and advocates who testified before the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in support of his motion.

Los Angeles County is looking to award more contracts to small businesses, as well as businesses owned by disabled veterans, under a motion approved by the Board of Supervisors.

“Supporting small business is good business for the County as they provide half of all jobs in the region,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, lead author of the motion. “This would bring a triple-bottom line benefit: meaningful employment for the disadvantaged, reducing the demand on County services, and increasing the tax base.”

The motion noted the County is in a unique position to strengthen the local economy because of its immense purchasing and contracting spending power.

“Small businesses help our regional economy in big and small ways by meeting consumer needs and by providing local jobs,” said Board Chair Hilda Solis, who co-authored the motion. “The County needs to advocate on behalf of these entrepreneurs and this motion does exactly that.”

The motion, as amended by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Don Knabe, directs the County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) to develop an action plan to have small businesses account for 25 percent, and for businesses owned by disabled veterans to account for 3 percent, of the County’s procurement by 2020.

DCBA said awarding contracts to small businesses and business owned by disadvantaged community members not only results in the delivery of goods and services, but a “measurable social impact.” The federal government, as well as several state and local governments, have similar policies.

Bill Allen, president and CEO of the LA Economic Development Corporation, expressed support for the motion, calling it “another encouraging step in a series of enlightened motions from this Board, evidencing a clear commitment to increasing economic prosperity and opportunity, to reducing income inequality, and to raising standards of living for all County residents.”

Major League Soccer’s Newest Team Pays Homage to LA History

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Soccer fever is rising in Los Angeles as the newest Major League Soccer team unveiled its official crest and colors, paying homage to the city’s rich history. The Los Angeles Football Club is now symbolized by a black and gold shield with the monogram “LA,” embellished with a wing to represent the City of Angels.

“It is important for us to pay homage to our city’s history and to the beautiful game, while we embrace the creativity and constant evolution that Los Angeles is known for globally,” Club managing partner and owner, Henry Nguyen, said.

“We made a commitment to Los Angeles to build a winning Club, to increase a growing enthusiasm for the world’s game, and to deliver an exceptional experience to our supporters,” he added. “We look forward to sharing this journey with the people of our city.”

unnamedAside from Nugyen, the Club’s star-studded ownership group includes LA Dodgers and Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber; YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley; motivational speaker Tony Robbins; basketball, baseball and soccer legends Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Nomar Garciaparra and Mia Hamm Garciaparra.

Actor Will Ferrell was the latest addition to the ownership group. FullSizeRender (1)“I’ve never been part-owner of anything, though I’m still part-owner of an ’84 Toyota Camry with my brother,” he jokingly said during a press conference attended by a couple hundred invited guests and fans.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said the unveiling of the crest and colors are an important step in the process of fielding a team for the 2018 MLS season. “I have championed the redevelopment and revitalization of Exposition Park, in the heart of the Second District, for many years,” he said. “It is important that we have, in this ownership group, a deep commitment to our city.”

“LAFC takes its civic responsibility very seriously, and will bring community and tourism dollars, as well as a commitment hire local workers,” he added. “I look forward to watching LAFC bring home many victories to this great city of champions.”

Aside from a soccer stadium with 22,000 seats, LAFC is looking at building a football museum, restaurants, and retail and office space. It would require demolishing the LA Memorial Sports Sports Area, which opened in 1959.

Video Credit: Los Angeles Football Club




5-Year Strategic Plan for Economic Development

JobsJobsIntent on job creation, the Board of Supervisors is looking into implementing the 2016-2020 Los Angeles County Strategic Plan for Economic Development.

Crafted by the L.A. County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), the plan identifies seven goals, 30 objectives and more than 100 strategies over the next five years to increase the County’s overall prosperity and improve its residents’ standard of living.

“This is a blueprint for ensuring the long-term health and growth of our regional economy,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who coauthored a motion with Board Chair Hilda Solis to create an Economic Development Policy Committee that would analyze the plan.

“The next step is ensuring that the plan is a living document with a commitment to implementation and to measuring success,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas added. “The County looks forward to working with LAEDC to ensure that this is accomplished and that all residents reap the benefits.”

The plan was crafted with significant public input derived from public meetings and surveys. It listed the following goals for the County:

  • Invest in our people to provide greater opportunity
  • Strengthen our leading export-oriented industry clusters
  • Accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Be more business-friendly
  • Remove barriers to critical infrastructure development, financing and delivery
  • Increase global connectedness
  • Build more livable communities.

“If we want more jobs throughout the County that pay fair wages, then we all have to make concerted efforts to encourage more economic development,” Board Chair Solis said. “We must think strategically in how we use our resources and we need to also work more closely with community partners to achieve progress this year.”

“The Strategic Plan serves as a blueprint to help our region navigate the unprecedented changes in our economy, as the information age impacts the types of jobs and the job skills required,” LAEDC Chief Executive Officer Bill Allen said. “Through collaborative implementation, we have the opportunity to increase standards of living, and increase opportunity for more widely shared prosperity.”

Forging Partnerships to Make L.A. County a World Leader in Bioscience

Seeking to unlock Los Angeles County’s potential to become a world leader in bioscience research and development, the Board of Supervisors approved a motion to forge partnerships with academic institutions and scout for land that could be developed into innovation hubs.

“What Silicon Valley created for computer technology, the County can create for biotechnology,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said in his motion, which won unanimous approval. He envisioned “an innovative, thriving environment encompassing academic institutions, training centers and companies with the support of local communities.”

Board Chair Hilda Solis, who coauthored the motion, said, “With cutting-edge bioscience promising an infusion of investment and discovery, and with the Affordable Care Act more deeply rooting us in our need to offer quality medical care, it is now more important than ever to prioritize how we use our public land to support the creation of more bioscience jobs and research.”

Bioscience includes research on genes, organisms, agriculture and food processing. It can lead to innovations that cure disease, reduce world hunger, and clean the environment. Biotechnology is the fusion of bioscience and technology.

In 2014, a Battelle Memorial Institute report recommended establishing three to five innovation hubs within County-owned medical campuses, in collaboration with academic institutions and private companies. The Board, which commissioned the report, tapped the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) to craft an implementation plan.

In their motion, Supervisors Ridley-Thomas and Solis noted universities in the County produce more than 5,000 science, technology and engineering graduates every year – more than San Francisco and San Diego combined. However, the County ranks only 14th in the nation in biotechnology investment, while San Francisco and San Diego are in first and third place, respectively.

“The goal is to reverse this trend, and to make LA County synonymous with being a bioscience world leader – nothing short of that,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said.


Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, flanked by LA County Health Services director Mitch Katz and LA BioMed CEO Dr. David Meyer

He added, “The benefits will come in the form of a more diversified and local economy, higher paying jobs for County residents, and more tax revenues that can be used to address the critical issues that face the County today, such as homelessness and lack of affordable housing.”

The motion directed the County’s Chief Executive Officer to provide LAEDC with information on the County’s real estate assets, particularly those within or adjacent to medical campuses such as LAC+USC Healthcare Network in Boyle Heights and Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Campus in Willowbrook. They also directed the Community Development Commission to launch community outreach efforts.

Several representatives of academic institutions testified before the Board in support of the motion.

“This is a very exciting time in the bioscience/biotechnology realm, particularly for Los Angeles,” said Dr. David Carlisle, president and CEO of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Willowbrook. “From a big picture standpoint, technological advances are likely to transform healthcare outcomes and health in general in the coming decades.”

Dr. Laura Cantu, representing East Los Angeles College, added, “We have a commitment in creating new biotech training programs to support the industry that’s moving in, but more importantly continuing the commitment to train our community members to be prepared to step into employment opportunities that will be created by the bioscience industry moving into the area.”

LA BioMed’s Dr. Ruben Flores, USC’s David Galaviz, CalState LA’s Peter Hong and Zuhey Espinoza, LabLaunch’s Llewellyn Cox, Logan Research’s Suave Lobodzinski, LA Bioscience Hub’s Cecilia Estolano also testified.

Los Angeles is already looking at creating its first biotech hub at the campus of the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, next to LA BioMed Research Center, which recently announced plans to open a Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Program to serve patients in South LA and the South Bay. The 8-12 week program includes walking, cycling and strength exercises, as well as nutrition education, counseling, and more – all of which can decrease emergency room visits, hospitalizations and readmissions, reducing healthcare costs considerably.

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Officials of BioTech Connection LA, CalState LA, Charles R. Drew University, East LA College, LA BioMed, LabLaunch, Logan Research, USC and LA Bioscience Hub stand together in support of biotech expansion in Los Angeles.