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Mayor Garcetti Update: Beijing Day Two

Editors:  Photos are available at lamayor.org/photos

BEIJING, CHINA -- Mayor Garcetti spent a second day in Beijing, China, the fourth stop in his Asia trade mission.

He spoke about Los Angeles’ leadership in technology and sustainability at a Clean Technology Forum hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce and the Beijing Chaoyang District Commission of Commerce. Mayor Garcetti also spoke at an event at the Beijing office of Ernst & Young with the Mayors and Vice Mayors of the Chinese cities of Zhuhai, Linyi, Weifang, and Xuzhou – which are home to 33 million people. Those cities expect a huge influx of new residents as rural Chinese move to cities, requiring large investments in water supply, waste treatment, and other public utility infrastructure. In addition, the four cities have identified healthcare, international trade and clean tech as areas of economic opportunity. The event was intended to provide L.A. companies with direct connections to the cities’ leadership to explore business opportunities.

“These cities are facing challenges that L.A. companies have been solving for years. Making the right connections will help their cities grow and will create jobs in our city,” Mayor Garcetti said
Mayor Garcetti also met with China’s Vice minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Yesui (who was previously China’s Ambassador to the U.S.), Beijing Party Secretary Gui Jinlong, and Wanda Dalian Group CEO Wang Jianlin. Wanda Group is a $60 billion conglomate that owns hotels, movie theaters and department stores across China. It bought AMC theaters in 2012, and the company touts itself as the world’s largest cinema operator.

On his first day in Beijing, Mayor Garcetti met with the U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus. He also led a discussion on urbanization and sustainability at Peking University, in partnership with the Stanford Center, C40, and the Municipal Government of Beijing. The purpose of the discussion event was to share L.A.’s experiences with increasing sustainability, exchange thoughts with Beijing experts, and work toward reciprocal business opportunities and solutions. In addition, Mayor Garcetti hosted an event promoting L.A. tourism to Beijing's travel industry. Mayor Garcetti will spend two more days in Beijing.
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Mayor Garcetti Asia Trip Update

Editors:  Photos are available at lamayor.org/photos

BEIJING, CHINA -- Mayor Garcetti was in Beijing, China, the fourth stop in his Asia trade mission. In Beijing, Mayor Garcetti met with the U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus. He also led a discussion on urbanization and sustainability at Peking University, in partnership with the Stanford Center, C40, and the Municipal Government of Beijing. The purpose of the discussion event was to share L.A.’s experiences with increasing sustainability, exchange thoughts with Beijing experts, and work toward reciprocal business opportunities and solutions. In addition, Mayor Garcetti hosted an event promoting L.A. tourism to Beijing's travel industry. Mayor Garcetti will spend two more days in Beijing.

"China's booming economy is accompanied by enormous environmental challenges that L.A. businesses can help solve," Mayor Garcetti said. "China is already our number-one source of foreign tourists, and there is still huge room for growth."

Mayor Garcetti traveled to Beijing from Shanghai, the third stop on his trade mission.

There, he spoke at the grand opening of a clinical laboratory jointly owned by UCLA and the Chinese firm Centre Testing International (CTI).  The new lab will support clinical trials and enhance medical care for Chinese patients with cancer and other diseases.
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Mayor Garcetti: L.A. Ready to Help Angelenos With President's New Immigration Reforms

EDS: the Chief of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, Linda Lopez, PhD, is available for interviews.

LOS ANGELES -- 
Mayor Eric Garcetti today said that L.A. will be ready to help its residents navigate the President's new immigration reform initiative, which will be announced this evening.

"Common sense immigration reforms will strengthen and stabilize L.A. families and will add millions to our economy. I created my Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs to not just advocate for reform, but to help L.A. residents navigate complex federal procedures so that those reforms have a real impact on their lives. Our Office of Immigrant Affairs has already been helping Angelenos through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and California's new driver’s license process, and we have laid the groundwork to swing into action after the President's announcement."

Mayor Garcetti's Chief of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, Linda Lopez, PhD, has been in close contact with the White House and federal agencies. Today, Dr. Lopez convened at City Hall a meeting with stakeholder groups to further prepare for the President's announcement. Represented at the meeting were:

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Mayor Garcetti Announces Inspection Case Management Initiative; Will Speed 600 Construction Projects A Year

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced a new initiative that will reduce construction time and costs for 600 building projects a year.

Garcetti said that through the new Inspection Case Management (ICM) program, the Department of Building and Safety will provide a single point of contact to coordinate inspections among departments for major projects, restaurants, and charter schools from the time projects pull their first building permits through the last day of construction. Previously, builders would have to independently coordinate inspections among various city staff and facilitate problem-solving themselves. 

The new program is expected to shorten construction times by 3 to 6 months, which will also reduce costs, encouraging investment in L.A. The program is underway in its initial stages and thirteen projects with a combined valuation of $903.6 million are currently being assisted through it.

"This back to basics initiative cuts red tape and increases customer service to make L.A. more attractive to investments that create jobs," Mayor Garcetti said. "When you're investing in L.A., City Hall should be there to help you and not add delays to your work order." 

The ICM will utilize experienced inspection staff as case managers to facilitate the construction inspection process, providing a single point of contact and offering assistance in navigating through the city's regulatory procedures and policies.

ICM Case Managers will create a partnership with construction teams and utilize a series of “all-hands” meetings to streamline construction timelines and overlapping inspection disciplines, solve technical problems, and speed the issuance of a project’s Certificate of Occupancy. 
 
Major projects with valuations greater than $10 million are eligible for a full-time dedicated inspector for the duration of project construction, which would be funded by the project. Smaller projects will be evaluated and assisted based on client needs. Applicants wishing to utilize the Inspection Case Management program may call (213) 482-0464 or apply online at http://ladbs.org/LADBSWeb/icm.jsf

Since July 2013, the city has experienced a 40 percent increase in both construction valuation (from $3.8 billion to $5.3 billion) and housing units permitted (from 7,923 to 11,035 units). The accumulated construction valuation in the first quarter of FY14-15 was $1.8 billion – 55 percent higher than the same quarter of last year. Based on this quarterly statistic, year-end construction valuation for FY14-15 could be the highest in L.A. history.

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Mayor Garcetti Asia Trip Update

Additional photos are available at lamayor.org/photos

SHANGHAI -- Mayor Garcetti was in Shanghai, China, the third stop in his Asia trade mission.  

He spoke at the grand opening of a clinical laboratory jointly owned by UCLA and the Chinese firm Centre Testing International (CTI).  The new lab will support clinical trials and enhance medical care for Chinese patients with cancer and other diseases.

Mayor Garcetti also attended a press conference announcing the grand opening of the Shanghai Tower in 2015.  Los Angeles-based Gensler is the lead architect on the design of the tower, which will be the tallest building in China.  Rising to 2,073 feet and 121 stories, it will be one of the most advanced sustainable tall buildings in the world.   http://du.gensler.com/vol5/shanghai-tower/

Mayor Garcett also met with Zhang Guofa, President of China Shipping, and hosted an event to promote L.A. as a tourist destination to Chinese tourism leaders.

"The Chinese economy is booming, and I want to make sure we put L.A. companies in the best possible position to win business and create jobs back here at home," Mayor Garcetti said.

Previously, Mayor Garcetti was in Shenzen, China, the second stop on his trade mission to China, South Korea and Japan – L.A.’s number one, two and three trading partners respectively.  In Shenzen, Mayor Garcetti promoted L.A.’s greentech and financial centers and brought L.A. and Shenzen based businesses together to encourage deals.

“Making it easier for individuals and businesses alike to exchange funds and ideas between China and L.A. will increase our ability to attract foreign investment,” said Mayor Garcetti. “L.A.’s on the cutting edge when it comes to green technology and we’re using this trip to promote this sector and make sure that L.A. is well positioned for the next generation of middle class jobs.” 

Mayor Garcetti spoke at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the China headquarters of SaveSorb, a Los Angeles-based greentech company that produces a product that extracts oil from water or land for environmental clean up and wastewater management. The product can be used for oil, fuel, chemical and paint spills in industrial, oil and gas production, transportation and maritime applications. SaveSorb recently won PortTechLA’s Best Business Model at the 2014 PortTech Expo.
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LAUSD Board of Education Votes to Support Mayor Garcetti’s Minimum Wage Proposal

LOS ANGELES -- Yesterday, the members of the Board of Education of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) voted unanimously to support Mayor Eric Garcetti's proposal to raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles, which will help the more than 500,000 working Angelenos currently earning poverty-level wages.

"Raising the minimum wage in LA is about more than dollars and cents. An increased minimum wage will help parents spend less time working second and third jobs and more time helping with homework," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "I'm pleased to have the LAUSD Board's support in raising the wage here in Los Angeles for the benefit of our families and communities."

"The economic stability of families is a public education issue," said LAUSD Board Member Steve Zimmer. "The more that we can do as a City to support our families who are living on the fringes of the American Dream, the more we will find success in our classrooms. Supporting a minimum wage for all Angelenos is an important step in a multi-faceted process of lifting families out of poverty."

Below, find the text from Board Member Steve Zimmer's resolution, "Resolution in Support of Increasing the Minimum Wage in Los Angeles to Reduce Impact of Poverty on Education" (Res-026-14/15):

  • Whereas, 27% of Angelenos (approximately 1,041,660 people) currently live in poverty;
  • Whereas, Over 75% of Los Angeles Unified School District students and their families are living in poverty;
  • Whereas, Low income families often struggle to afford adequate housing, quality health care and may be forced to live in crowded or unsafe conditions that increase their children’s vulnerability to illness and stress, which often leads to poorer school performance;
  • Whereas, Low income parents also may be unable to afford educational resources or enriching activities that help prepare their children for school;
  • Whereas, Children living in poverty have been shown to have higher rates of school absenteeism, and are seven times more likely to drop out of school than children who are not living in poverty;
  • Whereas, Increasing the minimum wage is one of the most effective ways to combat poverty and stabilize families and communities; and,
  • Whereas, Mayor Eric Garcetti has also proposed an increase to the minimum wage to $13.25 an hour by 2017, when it will then be indexed to a cost of living index; now, therefore, be it
  • Resolved, That the Governing Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District supports increasing the citywide minimum wage and encourages other cities in the County to do the same; and, be it finally
  • Resolved, That by adoption of this resolution, the Board hereby encourages the Los Angeles CityCouncil to adopt Mayor Garcetti’s proposal to increase the minimum wage to $13.25 by the year 2017 tied to a cost of living index thereafter.
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Mayor Garcetti Asia Trip Update

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SHENZHEN, CHINA -- Mayor Eric Garcetti was in Shenzhen, China, the second stop on his trade mission to China, South Korea and Japan – L.A.’s number one, two and three trading partners respectively.  In Shenzhen, Mayor Garcetti promoted L.A.’s greentech and financial centers and brought L.A. and Shenzhen based businesses together to encourage deals.

“Making it easier for individuals and businesses alike to exchange funds and ideas between China and L.A. will increase our ability to attract foreign investment,” said Mayor Garcetti. “L.A.’s on the cutting edge when it comes to green technology and we’re using this trip to promote this sector and make sure that L.A. is well positioned for the next generation of middle class jobs.” 

Mayor Garcetti spoke at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the China headquarters of SaveSorb, a Los Angeles-based greentech company that produces a product that extracts oil from water or land for environmental clean up and wastewater management. The product can be used for oil, fuel, chemical and paint spills in industrial, oil and gas production, transportation and maritime applications. SaveSorb recently won PortTechLA’s Best Business Model at the 2014 PortTech Expo.

Mayor Garcetti and the City of Los Angeles co-hosted a CEO Economic Exchange Forum with Shenzhen Mayor XU Qin, the Shenzhen Municipal Economy, Trade, and Information Commission, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and the Los Angeles Economic Corporation for companies from Los Angeles and Shenzhen to learn about the business and trade opportunities in each other’s cities.

He also spoke at a ribbon cutting ceremony at East West Bank, the first Los Angeles-based bank to open a branch in China.  It will provide customers full financial service from both sides of the Pacific through one access point and will help support international business and trade transactions and facilitate investments between Los Angeles and China.

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Los Angeles Tops LGBT Equality Survey For 3rd Consecutive Year

LOS ANGELES – Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced that the Human Rights Campaign has graded the City of Los Angeles with a perfect score of 100 on its annual Municipal Equality Index, in recognition of the city's support of the LGBT people who live and work here. L.A. has nabbed top billing every year since the survey’s rollout in 2012.

“L.A. and its people know that our differences are our greatest strength. It’s a place where people can proudly live and pursue their dreams with a sense of pride enhanced by our diversity, creativity, and tolerance. We're a global example, and I’m proud of that,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Using the Municipal Equality Index (MEI), the civil rights organization rates all 50 state capitals, the 150 largest cities in the United States, the three largest cities or municipalities in each state, the city home to the state’s largest public university (including undergraduate and graduate enrollment) and 75 cities and municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples. 

According to the organization, The MEI rates cities based on 47 criteria falling under six broad categories:
  1. Non-discrimination laws

  2. Relationship recognition

  3. Municipal employment policies, including transgender-inclusive   insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors

  4. Inclusiveness of city services
  5. 
Law enforcement

  6. Municipal leadership on matters of equality
For more information visit: www.hrc.org/mei.
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Mayor Garcetti Asia Trip Update

GUANGZHOU, CHINA -- Mayor Eric Garcetti has completed two days in Guangzhou, China, the first stop on his Asia trade mission. In Guangzhou, he worked to increase trade, tourism and investment, with a particular emphasis on boosting L.A.’s healthcare sector, which is a key driver of our local economy. 

Mayor Garcetti signed a Memorandum of Understanding among the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, Cedar Sinai Medical Center, City of Hope Hospital, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, UCLA, USC, and China Southern Airlines with the goal of promoting medical travel for Chinese patients in need of medical care and surgical procedures to Los Angeles. The partners will work jointly to facilitate the identification, evaluation, diagnosis, transfer, operation, and recovery of these patients. Chinese patients may visit the following website: http://www.hellola.cn/medicalcare/.

“In our global economy, international trade cannot be left solely to national governments. Global cities like Los Angeles must engage with other major cities to attract investment and create jobs,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Our strategy to attract foreign patients stems from the fact that L.A. is home to some of the world’s greatest healthcare providers, and the healthcare sector is one of our leading employers.”

Mayor Garcetti also met with Guangzhou Mayor Jianhua Chen and Auckland Mayor Len Brown. The three mayors signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create an alliance to promote the trade of goods, services, and investment and to foster economic development, innovation, and collaboration in four key industries: trade, entertainment, tourism, and innovation. The three cities will work to develop future trade missions and other programs to expand the business opportunities in each of the cities, and each city will host a Tripartite Economic Summit over the 3-year term of the agreement.

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City of Los Angeles and Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District Reach Historic Comprehensive Agreement on Owens Lake Dust Mitigation

LOS ANGELES and BISHOP, CA – Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, LA City Attorney Mike Feuer, DWP Commission President Mel Levine and Owens Valley air pollution control representatives Ron Hames, Linda Arcularius and Matt Kingsley announced today that the City of Los Angeles and the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (Great Basin) have reached an historic agreement over the implementation of dust control measures on Owens Lake.

The successes achieved at controlling dust at Owens Lake have come at a real cost to Angelenos.  Currently, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) uses about 25 billion gallons of water annually and has spent $1.3 billion since 2000 to control dust at Owens Lake. The equivalent of nearly two months out of every Los Angeles ratepayer’s annual water bill is spent on Owens Lake dust mitigation, including the cost of replacing the water used there.

Today’s agreement will allow the LADWP to use waterless dust control methods, including tillage, at Owens Lake, resulting in significant water and monetary savings for Los Angeles. The agreement also provides Los Angeles with the certainty of knowing the full extent of its liability for dust mitigation at Owens Lake. Great Basin will also maintain its full regulatory authority with the assurance that LADWP will continue to meet its obligations to control dust on Owens Lake.

“After years of conflict, we finally have an agreement that will save billions of gallons of water and millions of dollars for LADWP ratepayers and will address environmental issues at Owens Lake,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.  “With this agreement, Los Angeles is taking its responsibility seriously at Owens Lake, while saving money and allowing more water to flow to Los Angeles to help our city respond to our record drought.  This is a significant win for ratepayers and our environment in both Los Angeles and the Owens Valley.”

"Today is a victory for LA's ratepayers and for Owens Valley residents,” said City Attorney Mike Feuer.  “By collaborating rather than fighting, we will reduce water usage, contain costs and improve air quality near Owens Lake.”

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