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Ventura Chamber of Commerce

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Energy CommitteeThe Ventura Chamber’s Energy Committee continues to expand its focus on developing partnerships and relationships with stakeholders in the energy field.  Inclusive of traditional and alternative energy providers, the Committee’s priority is to be a forum where community members are able to obtain factual information on energy and the importance of reliable and affordable sources of energy.


One of the topics at the July meeting was the economic impact to Ventura County from the energy industry.  For example, the oil and gas industry employs 7,375 individuals within Ventura County.   Total tax revenues from the industry segment are $862.9 million, funding local government, health and human services and education.  In addition, millions of dollars in direct charitable contributions are provided for children and human services, education and community economic development.    It is imperative that any discussion or potential action in reducing oil and gas resources include a strategy for the replacement of jobs, economic activity and tax revenues critical to the financial well-being of the community as well as how to build the infrastructure needed to deliver those resources to the consumers.


Water, more specifically available water and affordable water, continues to be a point of discussion and concern for both residents and businesses.  The drought is having a direct impact on consumers with lower supplies and higher costs. Additionally, the current drought has also resulted in a 35% reduction in hydroelectric energy.  As one of the least expensive methods for the generation of electric power, more expensive sources have been tapped to replace the lost power.  This results in a negative impact on small business and lower income consumers, as prices rise to compensate for the higher costs. Other cost increases impacting consumers and affordability are the $6 billion needed for infrastructure upgrades to comply with new environmental and sustainability standards and the undetermined costs that will be associated with the mandated conversions necessary to meet the goal of producing 33% electric energy from renewal and alternative sources by 2020.


The State Legislature is currently in recess with hearings scheduled to recommence the first week of August.   The Chamber is joining with other strategic partners to form coalitions addressing the concerns and unintended consequences of legislative actions.  The Chamber will continue to work with local elected officials to reduce the duplication and incongruities in several of the pending bills, and to provide fact-based discourse regarding concerns related to bills in Sacramento.

Last week at the Chamber’s Legislative Committee meeting Councilmember Jim Monahan updated the committee on the City’s Emergency Water Shortage plan, as well as the proposed changes to Ventura’s general election cycle. The Council reviewed the Plan that had been approved in June 2011 and determined to expand the scope of the proposed Water Rate Citizen Advisory Committee charged with reviewing the potential impact of proposed new projects on water to include an update of the Emergency Plan. The committee will be formed before the City Council recess in August. An additional City Council item discussed was to change Ventura general elections from odd to even-numbered years, in order to save money and increase voter turnout. Placing the item on the ballot will be decided by a Council vote at the July 21st City Council meeting.

Brad Hudson from Congresswoman Julia Brownley’ s office reported on HR 4149 recently introduced by the Congresswoman providing job skill training for veterans. The committee also received information on two pending ballot initiatives from Audra Strickland, Regional Vice President of the Hospital Association of Southern California, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Proposition 45 (Insurance Companies Required to Justify Their Rates to the Public) would give one politician too much power over what treatment options your health insurance covers and creates more costly/redundant bureaucracy. Proposition 46 (Increase in Cap on Medical Malpractice Lawsuits) would be extremely costly for consumers, threaten personal privacy and jeopardize access to trusted doctors. The Chamber has joined coalitions opposing both ballot measures.

The Chamber continues to monitor legislative items of interest, vital water issues our region currently faces and the constantly evolving legislative landscape that affects our business community. The Committee discussed the desire to be increasingly proactive in working and collaborating with key industry segments to provide a united front to government on issues potentially impacting the economy and business environment. The Legislative Committee meets the second Tuesday of each month at 8:00 am at the Chamber Office. All interested members are encouraged to attend.  For more information contact Brett Matthews at: brett@ventura-chamber.org.



Please join us on Tuesday, July 8th at 8:00 a.m. in the Chamber boardroom for our monthly Legislative Committee meeting.

To see the agenda, please click here.
City Council Advanced Planning Calendar

Please join us on Tuesday, June 10th at 8:00 a.m. in the Chamber boardroom for our monthly Legislative Committee meeting.

To see the agenda, please click here.
City Council Advanced Planning Calendar

The Ventura Chamber’s Legislative Committee recently looked at several bills in process in Sacramento that would have a negative impact on our State’s and Region’s economic climate.  Opposing new fees and taxes for our already over regulated businesses,  moratoriums not supported by fact or economic need, and expanding the opportunity for costly and unfounded litigation are all issues the Chamber have followed.  On the positive side, the Chamber has joined a statewide collation to support AB1762, requiring the creation of a statewide energy plan based on realistic assessments of energy needs and include all current and future energy sources for a positive course towards low cost efficient energy, alternative clean energy sources, and energy independence.  There are also three bills currently in process to address the loss of RDA funds for economic growth and development, SB1129, AB1963, and AB1582.  All of these bills have the potential to create tools for economic growth and development lost through the elimination of RDA programs. Finally, the Chamber strongly supported AB2723, requiring that an economic impact analysis would be needed as part of the process to create future regulations.  Introduced last year, we are hoping that this will receive more traction and support this session.

Both the Energy Committee and Green Task Force have been involved in studying the current water shortage, methods of conservation and building an infrastructure that will meet Ventura’s future needs of this critical resource.

The Ventura  Chamber is engaged with both the creation of a new inclusionary housing ordinance including a possible in-lieu fee and the proposed water In-lieu fee, representing the interest of business in maintaining a strong local economy. Both are important community issues requiring creative solutions.  Workforce housing has been a top priority of business and economic growth and water, of course, is a critical resource for residents, agriculture and business alike.  We do not see that the burden should be placed entirely on new projects brining capital and jobs to the community.

SACRAMENTO, CA —The California Chamber of Commerce has named 26 local chambers of commerce to receive the President’s Circle award.

The award, first presented in 2009, recognizes chambers for excellence in business advocacy and helping their members comply with California employment laws.
Nine of the chambers have received the award all six years it has been presented.
The 2014 recipients of the President’s Circle award are as follows. Six-year recipients are marked with an *:

• Greater Bakersfield Chamber*: Cynthia Pollard, President/CEO;
• Brawley Chamber: Jason Zara, Executive Director;
• Camarillo Chamber: Gary Cushing, Interim President/CEO;
• Catalina Island Chamber & Visitors Bureau: Wayne Griffin, President/CEO;
• Greater Conejo Valley Chamber*: Jill Lederer, President/CEO;
• Corona Chamber: Bobby Spiegel, President/CEO;
• Culver City Chamber*: Steven Rose, President/CEO;
• El Centro Chamber*: Darletta Willis, CEO;
• Greater Fresno Area Chamber: Al Smith, President/CEO;
• Fullerton Chamber: Theresa Harvey, President/CEO;
• Gilroy Chamber: Mark Turner, President/CEO;
• Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber: Kim Cousins, President/CEO;
• Lodi Chamber, Pat Patrick, president/CEO;
• Long Beach Area Chamber*: Randy Gordon, President/CEO;
• Napa Chamber*: Brian Kelly, Consulting CEO;
• Oxnard Chamber: Nancy Lindholm, President/CEO;
• Palm Desert Area Chamber*: Barbara deBoom, President/CEO;
• Porterville Chamber: Donnette Silva Carter, President/CEO;
• Greater Riverside Chambers*: Cindy Roth, President/CEO;
• Roseville Chamber: Wendy Gerig, CEO;
• San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber, Matthew Mahood, President/CEO;
• Simi Valley Chamber: Leigh Nixon, President/CEO;
• Temecula Valley Chamber: Alice Sullivan, President/CEO;
• Turlock Chamber*: Sharon Silva, President/CEO;
• Ventura Chamber, Ed Summers, President/CEO; and
• Visalia Chamber, Glenn Morris, President/CEO.

President’s Circle award recipients published vote records of their state legislators on key business issues, generated letters to state elected officials on issues of interest to members and participated in the CalChamber compliance product resale program at an exemplary level.

In 2013, 27 chambers received the award; in 2012, there were 23 recipients; in 2011, 21 chambers received the recognition; in 2010, there were 22 award recipients; and in 2009, 13 local chambers received the award.

The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) is the largest broad-based business advocate to government in California. Membership represents one-quarter of the private sector jobs in California and includes firms of all sizes and companies from every industry within the state. Leveraging our front-line knowledge of laws and regulations, we provide products and services to help businesses comply with both federal and state law. CalChamber, a not-for-profit organization with roots dating to 1890, promotes international trade and investment in order to stimulate California’s economy and create jobs. Please visit our website at www.calchamber.com.


Why I am a Member of the Political Action Committee

By: Ron Bamieh, Law Offices of Bamieh & Erickson

A few weeks ago early on a Friday morning in a conference room at the Marriott hotel, I was with several accomplished people speaking to the Mayor of the City of Ventura. It was a causal setting, informal in every aspect except for the topics discussed by the Mayor and the questions asked by the people sitting around the table. The Mayor was speaking to the Chamber’s Political Action Committee, a committee I have been proud to serve for the past four years.

During my four years as a trustee of the PAC I have met, questioned, and listened to every elected City Council person; just about every City Council Candidate; and many people holding various positions within our City. I have been educated on water issues, growth issues, budget issues, and political conflicts. I have questioned aggressively (however politely) many of the people who represent the citizens of Ventura, and expressed the views of business community to all who have come before our committee.

I have been fortunate during my tenure on the PAC to listen and learn from my fellow trustees. We are a diverse group comprised of Chamber members and at various times the PAC has had managers of large businesses, bankers, dentists, small business owners, and even a vineyard owner on the Committee. All of us come from different political positions and views, but all of us respect the views of others.

Eventually my tenure on the PAC will end and when that day comes I know I will miss the access that has been afforded to me through my involvement over the years. In order to contribute to any community you need to participate, and it has been a great honor through my membership on the Chamber’s PAC to be such an active participant in my community.

The Ventura Chamber Energy Committee met for the  third time on April 2, 2014 and approved formally the following mission and purpose of the committee:

The Ventura Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee is comprised of people and companies representing a diverse group of energy sources and uses. One of the main goals of this committee will be to work towards proactively enhancing public awareness of the importance of the energy industry to the local economy and the quality of life. This committee provides a forum for identifying and acting on common issues affecting the energy industry and consumers.

The members of this group also reviewed current energy-related legislation that may negatively or positively impact the local economy. They are committed to be an “accurate source of information” for the Ventura Chamber members and community.

In addition, the Ventura Chamber Energy Committee will continue to provide educational facts and resources through several media outlets. The committee will also be hearing monthly updates from the City of Ventura Water Department, and determine the most appropriate “Tool Box” for acting on energy issues.

The Ventura Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 8:00 a.m. at the Chamber office. The meeting is open to those interested in the local energy industry. If you need additional information, please contact the Ventura Chamber at (805)643-7222.

Please join us on Tuesday, April 8th at 8:00 a.m. in the Chamber boardroom for our monthly Legislative Committee meeting.

To see the agenda, please click here.
City Council Advanced Planning Calendar

Please join us on Tuesday, March 11th at 8:00 a.m. in the Chamber boardroom for our monthly Legislative Committee meeting.

To see the agenda, please click here.
City Council Advanced Planning Calendar