Weekly Report – February 15, 2016
Working Nation is a non-profit organization that seeks to galvanize the public will and mobilize critical resources to accelerate and scale solutions to structural unemployment. In partnership with corporations, NGOs and local government, Working Nation will make vivid the gravity of the threat and promise of the solutions to avert a national [and almost certainly global] economic crisis.
Working Nation- Background Information on Structural Unemployment
“Structural unemployment” is a pervasive yet largely unrecognized economic problem that is not related to the ups and downs of traditional market cycles. It is often defined as a “longer lasting mismatch between jobs and workers,” but our typical explanations oversimplify what is a more dynamic and potentially destructive combination of forces.
Many believe, for example, that the current “middle class malaise” is simply an aftershock of the 2009 financial meltdown. While that event is a contributing factor, structural unemployment is actually the result of multiple forces, building over time, that are now compounding in ways we are only beginning to understand.
Working Nation cites four main factors that are escalating the crisis:
- Increasing Lifespans and Shifting Demographics
- Inadequate Education/Job Training Programs
The first three factors advance productivity and benefit society overall, yet simultaneously destroy certain sectors or jobs – a process some have referred to as “disruptive innovation.” The fourth factor – inadequate education and training programs – further accelerates the negative impact of the others. Combined, these forces create a whirlwind of economic disruption that is now moving at speeds that make it difficult to find workable solutions. In short, we are not moving fast enough to meet requirements that keep changing at an ever-increasing rate.
Progress to address the causes and effects of structural unemployment has been made by dedicated organizations, but the U.S. public remains largely unaware of the scope of mounting problems, as well as solutions and services that already exist. Working Nation seeks to clarify the issues and create sustainable impact through an integrated series of multi-format documentary programs, partnerships and promotions. Each of these components is designed to educate, energize and move our audience—including corporations, NGOs and local leaders—into action.
L.A. Coalition Issues Update
Building a World Class Transportation System
Last week L.A. Metro received some welcome news on two key issues.
First, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced their apportionment of Federal Fiscal Year 2016 funds appropriated by Congress and they are securing $300 million for L.A. Metro’s rail projects (see attached PDF). ($100 million for the Regional Connector, $100 million for the Westside Purple Line Extension – Section 1 and $100 million for Westside Purple Line Extension – Section 2)
Second, Metro learned that President Obama – in his Federal Fiscal Year 2017 Budget – is recommending $375 million for our Metro rail projects. That is five times that annual average of New Starts funding they have received over the last two decades. ($125 million for the Regional Connector, $125 million for the Westside Purple Line Extension – Section 1 and $125 million for Westside Purple Line Extension – Section 2)
L.A. Metro’s leadership team asked me to share a note with the Coalition: “We want to personally thank you for your strong and sustained support that made news like this possible. With remarkable individuals and organizations backing Metro’s Board-approved Federal Legislative Agenda – we have been able to smartly match Measure R funds with federal transportation dollars. Without your support – this pairing of local and federal dollars would never have been possible.”
In addition, this effort had the strong backing of U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and the L.A. County Congressional Delegation.
Building a World Class City & Economy – Innovative Public/Private Partnerships – Operations Innovation Team
Last year L.A. City Council president Herb Wesson created an Ad Hoc Committee for a Comprehensive Job Creation Plan for the City of L.A. Fortuitously, this initiative was created at the same time as the L.A. Coalition’s public/private partnership – Operations Innovation Team (OIT) – with the Mayor’s Fund for L.A. and Mayor Garcetti.
Since then, L.A. Coalition Chairman Russell Goldsmith and myself have met with Council president Wesson and the committee’s chair Councilmember Paul Krekorian (2nd District) to discuss the L.A. Coalition’s work and the OIT.
Follow-on meetings occurred with myself and OIT Director Mark Thomas to align our initiatives with that of the Jobs Committee, which we did with the OIT’s plans to develop a Real Estate Portfolio for the City and advance Procurement reforms. (The three other members of the Jobs Committee are 3rd District Councilman Bob Blumenfield, 12th District Councilman Mitch Englander and 9th District Councilman Curren Price Jr.)
This week the work of the OIT will reach another milestone – three motions related to its agenda will go in front of the full City Council for a vote.
Los Angeles City Council Meeting – Tuesday February 16, 2016
Item #9: Ryu-O’Farrell motion / Comprehensive Health Plan / Wellness and Safety
Health, Mental Health, and Education Committee Report relative to a request for recommendations on the development of a comprehensive health plan that would improve the wellness and safety of City employees. This recommendation for Council action was initiated by a Motion from Councilmembers Ryu and O’Farrell and instructs the Personnel Department and other relevant departments to work with the Mayor’s Operations Innovation Team to develop reform recommendations for a comprehensive health plan that would improve the wellness and safety of City employees and to report to the Health, Mental Health, and Education Committee with an update in 60 days.
Los Angeles City Council Meeting – Wednesday February 17, 2016 (Ad Hoc on Comprehensive Job Creation Plan)
Item #25: Ad Hoc on Comprehensive Job Creation Plan Committee Report relative to a request for a report with recommendations on how to streamline the City’s procurement and contracting process.
This was recommended for Council action by a motion from Councilmembers Krekorian and Martinez) and instructs the Department of General Services, City Administrative Officer (CAO), Bureau of Contract Administration, Information Technology Agency, and any other relevant departments, to work with the Mayor’s Operations Innovation Team to develop a comprehensive plan to streamline and improve the City’s procurement and contracting practices and to prepare a report with very specific actionable recommendations, including but not limited to:
- How the City can significantly decrease the length of time to process bids, reduce paperwork for both bidders and departments, and expedite the application process by allowing for one-time entry data to a central database, among other things.
- How to expedite payments to businesses that have been awarded contracts and performed their obligations.
- The type of resources and policy changes needed to advance a plan forward and achieve measurable progress.
Item #36: Entertainment and Facilities Committee Report and Communication from Chair and Vice-Chair, Ad Hoc on Comprehensive Job Creation Plan Committee relative to the development of a City-wide asset management plan and the leveraging of City properties for economic development and job creation. This recommendation for Council action was initiated by a motion from Martinez, Krekorian and Cedillo.
- CONCUR with the recommendations of the Chair and Vice-Chair, Ad Hoc on Comprehensive Job Creation Plan Committee, relative to the development of a City- wide asset management plan and the leveraging of City properties for economic development and job creation.
- REQUEST the Mayor’s Operations Innovation Team to report with an update on the progress made in 60 days.
B.Communication from Chair and Vice-Chair, Ad Hoc on Comprehensive Job Creation Plan Committee
Recommendations for Council action, pursuant to Motion (Martinez – Krekorian – Cedillo):
- Direct the Department of General Services, Proprietary Departments, the Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD), the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), and the Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA) in consultation with the Council Offices to work with the Mayor’s Operations Innovation Team and report with recommendations on a City-wide asset management plan and improved operational recommendations regarding City assets.
- Instruct the CAO to report to the Ad Hoc Committee on Comprehensive Job Creation Plan with an update on the work done by the Asset Management and Strategic Planning Unit.
- Instruct the CLA, CAO and EWDD to report on the responsibilities of their respective asset management units and recommendations on how to better leverage City properties for economic development and job creation.
Please find attached the OIT’s presentation to the L.A. Coalition on March 2, 2016, which provides a very detailed overview of this entire effort.