Southern California, Central Valley business leaders join forces

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SACRAMENTO (June 11, 2024) – Nearly 100 diverse business leaders from Southern California and the Central Valley region traveled to Sacramento this month for a two-day advocacy trip to amplify the broad business community’s priorities, presence and power in the state capital. The annual “BizFed Sacramento Days” event co-hosted by the Los Angeles County Business Federation “BizFed” and Central Valley Business Federation “BizFed CV” is now in its sixth year.

This year’s hour-long policy panels, a staple of Sacramento Days programming, focused on public safety, housing, energy and rising legislative voices. High-stakes solutions for organized retail crime, land use permitting reform and energy affordability that were advanced by BizFed members’ advocacy took center stage during the panels.

Panel speakers included Sen. Aisha Wahab (chair of the senate committee on public safety), Asm. Buffy Wicks (Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair), Sen. Steven Bradford (Senate Energy, Utilities and Communication Committee Chair), outgoing Asm. Jim Patterson and freshman Asm. Joe Patterson.

Special remarks and small-group discussions were led by Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, Assembly Democratic Caucus Chair Rick Chavez Zbur, Assembly Majority Leader Cecilia Aguiar Curry, Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher, Asm. Chris Ward, Asm. Jacqui Irwin, Asm. Mike Gipson, California State Water Resources Control Board Chair Joaquin Esquivel, California Transportation Commission Executive Director Tanisha Taylor, California Energy Commissioner Noemí Gallardo, California Chief Deputy Legislative Analyst Carolyn Chu and Little Hoover Commission Executive Director Ethan Rarick.

Sacramento Days programming also deepened relationships between job creators and news media. Journalists with an outsized role in covering the California State Capitol joined select BizFed members during the trip for an exclusive dinner panel. Guests Conan Nolan (NBC4 Los Angeles), Elex Michaelson (FOX 11 Los Angeles), Eytan Wallace (FOX 40 Sacramento) and Dave Lesher (CalMatters) discussed how they select and humanize stories, the growing role of artificial intelligence in accountability journalism and how business leaders can more effectively amplify industry insights.

The advocacy trip closed with a reception attended by Sen. Anna Caballero, Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, Sen. Melissa Hurtado, Asm. Juan Carrillo, Asm. Mike Fong, Asm. Tom Lackey, Asm. Blanca Pacheco, Asm. Freddie Rodriguez and Asm. Miguel Santiago.

“We step it up every year to ensure the voice of business is heard loud and clear in both houses of the Legislature, as well as key regulatory bodies. We broadened the scope of our programming this year and brainstormed with regulatory agency leaders involved in water, transportation and energy decisions, plus our regular roster of legislators and other policy leaders. We’re confident the asks our members made and the data-driven concerns they shared will be amplified,” said BizFed Founding CEO Tracy Hernandez.

“BizFed is laser-focused on combating organized retail theft, a critical issue impacting our businesses and communities. By uniting business leaders from Southern California and the Central Valley in Sacramento, we’re driving home the message to legislators that urgent, decisive action is needed to protect our economic vitality and public safety,” said BizFed President David Englin.

“We were proud to turn out the largest ever group of Central Valley members for Sacramento Days 2024. Partnering with our friends from Southern California bolstered individual business voices from an array of sectors and communities, reminding policymakers that business leaders have diverse needs but a shared commitment to creating better jobs and a brighter tomorrow,” said BizFed CV CEO Clint Olivier.