Business and Labor

SPEAKER TONI ATKINS PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON WAGE THEFT IN SAN DIEGO TOWN HALL AUG. 29

 

Workers share how wage theft damages families, drives poverty; elected leaders share solutions to multi-billion annual wage heist  

August 28, 2015 (San Diego)--Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) along with California Labor Commissioner Julie Su and local leaders will host a “Fair Day’s Pay” town hall with San Diego workers on Saturday, August 29 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.  The forum will spotlight how wage theft denies workers the opportunity to participate in the American Dream and leaves families in poverty.

The forum comes after a joint study by San Diego State University and the Center on Policy Initiatives found persuasive evidence of wage theft throughout San Diego’s food industry, with more than three-quarters (77%) of workers reporting having been victims of wage theft during the past year and a third saying theft from their paychecks occurs regularly.  Wage theft plagues workers in many other low-wage industries, and adds up to billions drained from California’s economy each year.

LA MESA CHAMBER ANNOUNCES CREATION OF THE "SENIOR PANTRY PROJECT"

 

August 25, 2015 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce announces the creation of a new project designed to assist seniors in need within our community.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN SHIRLEY WEBER PARTICIPATES IN DINE AND DIALOGUE

 

By Janis Russell

August 17, 2015 (El Cajon)- On Friday August 14, the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce hosted its 2nd Dine and Dialogue with Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, who spoke on issues including education, social justice, health care,  business opportunities , the minimum wage, and the state budget.

SUMMER BASH BUSINESS EXPO: A “WINNING COMBINATION” IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery, Photos by Leon Thompson

August 18, 2015 (La Mesa) – More than 180 people attended the second annual Summer Bash Business Expo in La Mesa on August 12th at the La Mesa Community Center, where 47 La Mesa Chamber of Commerce member businesses participated to spotlight their goods and services.

Guest savored food from 11 restaurants as well as wine served up by the Riviera Supper Club and the Regal bar plus Samuel Adams beer. In addition 47 guests were winners of door prizes given away. The Chamber also welcomed 14 new members to the organization. (Photo)

“FALLFEST” IS COMING TO GROSSMONT CENTER

Singer/Songwriter Brent Payne to perform October 17th

August 14, 2015 (La Mesa) --  The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce, “FallFest” as the name of their new event being heldOctober 16th and October 17th at 5500 Grossmont Center Drive in Grossmont Center.

The Chamber partnership on this new event with the well-respected Cushman family and the management team of Grossmont Center incorporates a strong marketing collaboration that will spotlight Grossmont Center as a destination for unique entertainment activities. This new entertainment experience will be produced in the Macy’s parking lot next door to Hooleys Irish Pub.

SYCUAN CASINO ROLLS OUT NEW BRANDING INITIATIVE WITH SPOTLIGHT ON COMMUNITY TIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 13, 2015 (Sycuan) – Sycuan Casino pulled out all the stops, bringing in Hollywood talent to premier a new branding campaign this week at a VIP/media event in the Live & Up Close Theater.

“It’s  a token of pride to be partnering with a number of charitable organizations,” said Cody Martinez, Tribal Chairman for the Syucan band of the Kumeyaay nation.  The casino’s new slogan is “Play. Win. Together.”   The slogan, video and related marketing campaign highlight the many local charities and community causes that benefit from Sycuan’s charitable giving, such as Rady Children’s Hospital,  the Padres , the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the Wounded Marines Fund.

CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS PARTICIPATES IN DINE AND DIALOGUE

 

 

By Janis Russell

August 9, 2015 (El Cajon)- Last Friday, July 31, the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce hosted the first of its Dine and Dialogue series with Congresswoman Susan Davis.

THE PROPRIETOR'S RESERVE WINE BAR IS THE REAL DEAL

Photos courtesy of Sandra Small/ Photographer, Source: La Mesa Chamber of Commerce

August 11, 2015 (La Mesa) --A group of very happy and thirsty La Mesa Chamber members gathered to visit this new wine bar and be a part of the ribbon cutting to welcome Proprietor's Reserve  to La Mesa on Thursday, August 6th.  Owners, Barbara and Michael Rammelsberg were on hand and greeted members, with their warm smiles and bubbly personalities.  Barbara was there early, setting up the area to be sure that the cheeses and other delicious food items were ready as guests arrived.  

After the  ribbon cutting, guests were escorted into the restaurant and were treated to hot chicken wings and their special meatballs and other delectable items.  This is truly a family run business, as the crowd was introduced to their sons who were also on hand to meet attendees and were also reminded that their grandson works in the bar, the Turquoise Room as a bartender.  Michael spoke to the group and shared his vision, experience and goals for this new addition to the La Mesa business community. 

“WINE AND BEER GARDEN” FOUNDATION FUNDRAISER FOR EAST COUNTY PROGRAMS AUG. 20

 

 

East County Chamber of Commerce Foundation Hosts First Fundraising Event

August 11, 2015 (Rancho San Diego)--The East County Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting a first annual Wine & Beer Garden Fundraiser on Thursday, August 20 at The Water Conservation Garden from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

his premiere social event will help raise funds for some of the Foundation’s flagship business development and education programs, including the Ethics in Business Program, the East County Business Incubator Program, East County Business Resource Center, Business College Student Scholarships, and much more.   The event will feature several local restaurants, breweries and wineries, as well as Garden tours and a silent auction.

LAKESIDE CHAMBER HOSTS BUSINESS APPRECIATION EVENING AUG. 20

 

August 4, 2015 (Lakeside)--The Lakeside Chamber of Commerce will host a “Business Appreciation Evening” from 5 to 8 p.m.,Thursday, Aug. 20, at the Carter-Smith V.F.W. Post #5867, 12650 Lindo Lane, Lakeside. Admission is free. All Lakeside business owners and employees are invited to attend. Refreshments will include food samples and desserts from local eateries.

“SUMMER BASH” BUSINESS EXPO AUGUST 12 IN LA MESA

July 31, 2015  (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber invites you to attend the upcoming “Summer Bash” Business Expo on Wednesday, August 12, 2015. This unique evening provides the public, as well as other business members with the opportunity to meet and enjoy conversation with over 50 local businesses that will be there. In addition to the fun-filled evening, the majority of the businesses participating will be giving away a free raffle item to lucky winners throughout the evening.

CONDITIONS MUST BE MET BEFORE LA MESA OKTOBERFEST PERMIT WILL BE ISSUED

Concerns raised over merchants group's solvency and credibility during heated hearing

By Kristin Kjaero

August 3, 2015 (La Mesa) – Whether or not there will be an Oktoberfest 2015 is in the hands of the La Mesa Village Merchants Association (LMVMA).

On Tuesday, the Council voted 4-1 to grant conditional approval for this year’s Oktoberfest, with Council member Ruth Sterling voting against. The deal requires the LMVMA to pay all outstanding debt plus a 25% security deposit and meet a scheduled list of new requirements giving the City oversight of LMVMA’s outside contracts for the event, before an Oktoberfest permit will be issued.

If all deadlines are met, Oktoberfest 2015 will be smaller and shorter: two days instead of three, closing an hour earlier, and held only in the downtown area east side of Spring Street. However, if any deadline is not met, Oktoberfest will be automatically cancelled with no further Council action required--and no refunds.

The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce hosts "Christmas in July"

July 30, 2015 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce was proud to host a gift giving activity in partnership with the Town & Country Resort & Convention Center. "Christmas in July” allowed toys to be given to the La Mesa City Employees Association, who will distribute them to deserving children during this year’s holiday season.

JONES, VOEPEL TO SPEAK AT MEET YOUR CANDIDATES AUG. 5

 

July 28, 2015 (La Mesa) – The San Diego East County Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce will host its second Meet Your Candidates Night on Wednesday, August 5 from 6-7 pm.. at Sammy's Woodfire Pizza, 8555 Fletcher Parkway, La Mesa 91942.

Assemblyman Brian Jones, who is running for State Senate, and Randy Voepel, Santee Mayor and candidate for the Assembly seat Jones will vacate next year due to term limits, will be speaking.

NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET ASSOCIATION SUPPORTS WIDE RANGING MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE IN SAN DIEGO

 

East County News Service

July 25, 2015 (San Diego)--After discussion in the most recent Neighborhood Market Association (NMA) board meeting, a shift in the organization’s official position on minimum wage has been indicated. No longer will the NMA board support an exemption for small business.

DINE AND DIALOGUE WITH CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS: JULY 31 IN EL CAJON

 

July 22, 2015 (El Cajon) – San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce invites you to “Dine and Dialogue with Congresswoman Susan Davis” on July 31 from 12 .m. to 1:30 p.m.  The cost is $10 and lunch is provided.

SENATOR ANDERSON DEFENDS ALEC AS THOUSANDS PROTEST OUTSIDE

 

 

 

 

 

  East County News Service

 

 

July 23, 2015 (San Diego ) – While thousands of people protested yesterday outside the American Legislative Exchange Council’s national convention in San Diego, State Senator Joel Anderson (R-San Diego), California chair of ALEC, told Times of San Diego that is “proud” to have San Diego post ALEC’s national convention where legislators exchange ideas, adding, “ALEC takes on difficult, complicated issues and takes on free market solutions.” (View video, top of story)

As for the thousands of protesters, he said derisively, “There’s a naysayer in every crowd,” adding that the protesters “don’t like the free market.” As for criticisms of secret dealings behind closed doors, Anderson retorted, “We can’t respond to every wack-job” and insisted the process is not secretive, as critics claim. Reporter Ken Stone with Times of San Diego pressed Anderson, pointing out that he had been denied access to cover some key sessions.

The protesters included a  prominent local business organization as well as labor, environmental, human rights and political reform organizations. They contend that secretive actions conducted behind closed doors by ALEC result in laws that hurt small businesses in America and weaken protections for workers, the environment, and civil rights.

SDSU STUDY FINDS PUBLIC SUPPORTS WORKING MOMS

 

East County News Service

July 17, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - The American public’s attitude toward working Moms is changing. A study by San Diego State University and University of Georgia researchers published in Psychology of Women found that the overwhelming majority of Americans support working mothers.

OBAMA PROPOSED RULE TO EXTEND OVERTIME PAY WOULD AID 420,000 WORKERS IN CA

 

East County News Service

July 16, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – President Barack Obama has announced that the U.S. Department of Labor will propose extending overtime pay protections to nearly 5 million American workers, including over 400,000 Californians. This proposal would increase the current overtime protection threshold, guaranteeing overtime pay to most salaried workers earning less than $50,440 per year if they work more than 40 hours a week.

CONGRESSMAN HUNTER TO SPEAK AT LA MESA CHAMBER BREAKFAST

 

 

East County News Service

July 16, 2015 (La Mesa) -- Congressman Duncan Hunter, who represents the 50th District, will be the keynote speaker at the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Tuesday, August 25, 2015 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at Marie Callender's (6950 Alvarado Road, San Diego, CA 92120). The public is welcome to attend and have the opportunity to hear from our energetic and knowledgeable Congressman. 

CHAMBER MOVES BEER GARDEN TO GROSSMONT CENTER AMID UNCERTAINTY OVER FUTURE OF OKTOBERFEST

By Kristin Kjaero

July 14, 2015 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Grossmont Center and the Cushman family, to submit a Special Events application to the City for a beer garden event October 16 – 17.

Describing it as “family-friendly,” the application proposes live music, 4-5 food vendors and 3-4 sponsor tables, to be held in the parking area where Hooley Fest has been held in the past.

GONZALEZ BILL TO PROTECT GROCERY WORKERS AFTER MERGERS PASSES LEGISLATURE, GOES TO GOVERNOR

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2015 (Sacramento) – A bill to protect grocery workers from being fired because of changes in store ownership has been approved by the full State Senate with a 22-14 vote.  Assembly Bill 359, authored by San Diego Democratic Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez, previously passed the Assembly with a 46- to 27 vote and will now be submitted to Gov. Jerry Brown for signature.

WHAT WORKS: BUSINESSES BASED ON EMPLOYEES

 

By R. J. Hernandez

July 11, 2015 (San Diego) -- This is the inaugural  “What Works” column. And in this column, there will be stories and editorials that talk about what is working or ideas about how things could work. How things could work when people find ways to come together, even if those ways are tied together by a shoe string. This is about progress to its greatest degree, the very existence of forward motion. It isn’t even momentum that I’m talking about here. It is motion that brings people together for their mutual benefit, that engages them and inspires them and case-by-case builds them up.

FAST-TRACK OF TPP TRADE PACT PASSES SENATE BY ONE VOTE

 

East County News Service

Photo: Protest at Senator Feinstein's office, from the Citizens Trade Campaign Facebook page

June 25, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – The controversial fast-tracking of the Trans Pacific Partnership international trade pact passed the Senate by a slim one-vote margin. California’s Senator Dianne Feinstein voted for the fast-tracking, while Senator Barbara Boxer voted no.

Fast-tracking gives President Obama broad latitude to negotiate the trade pact, after which Congress will have only an up or down vote, with no opportunity to make changes.  Opponents have voiced concerns over secrecy of the proceedings. The proposed pact has not been made public, nor have members of Congress been allowed to have copies. 

Nicole “Kali” Gochmanosky,  southern California organizer for the Citizens Trade Campaign, a group opposed to fast-tracking the TPP, had this to say regarding the extensive media coverage of the vote and protests targeting Feinstein.

BILL WOULD UPDATE PROP 13: LARGE COMMERCIAL PROPERTY OWNERS WOULD PAY MARKET VALUE

By Miriam Raftery

June 10, 2015 (Sacramento)—Since 1978, Proposition 13 has frozen property taxes  for California owners until a property sells.  But now a proposed constitutional amendment would change Prop 13 to require annual assessments of large commercial and industrial properties.

The measure, Senate Constitutional Amendment 5,  exempts homeowners,  owners of rental residential properties and agricultural properties, which would not be impacted.   The measure also includes a tax break for small businesses, instead targeting larger commercial and industrial property owners for the tax hike.

The bill would exempt from taxation up to a half million dollars of personal property used exclusively for business purposes.  It also gives businesses an exemption of up to a half million for equipment and fixtures—an action that would eliminate the tax on equipment and fixtures entirely for 90% of businesses, whether they own or rent their place of business.

VILLAGE MERCHANTS BEGIN SELLING BOOTHS FOR OKTOBERFEST

No permit, no debt repayment plan yet, but the clock is ticking

By Kristin Kjaero

June 9, 2015 (La Mesa) – Although the City Council sent them back to the drawing board with a requirement that means they must come up with a repayment plan for $37,229 they owe the City before any new special event applications from them will be processed, the La Mesa Village Merchants Association yesterday evening sent e-mails to all 2014 Oktoberfest vendors soliciting applications and payments for booth rentals for a 2015 Oktoberfest.

The e-mail states, “Even though it was very hot during the day, the event was a great success. We hope that you feel the same way and will consider joining us again this year.”

The Merchants group owes the City $33,996 for Police, Fire and other support services provided for the 2014 Oktoberfest, and said at the last City Council meeting that they’d spent the revenue from it on Christmas in the Village instead of paying back the City’s General Fund.

The e-mail gives the vendors a date, time, fees for booth rental (ranging from $500 for crafters up to $2,100 for food vendors plus $100 cleaning deposit), and where to send their checks, but does not mention the debt issue or problems with their previous application which triggered a City Council policy change regarding special event applications and permits.

READER’S EDITORIAL: PRESIDENT OBAMA, IF TPP IS GOOD FOR HARD WORKING MEN AND WOMEN, WHY CAN’T WE READ IT?

 

By Mickey Kasparian, President, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135

Mickey Kasparian, President of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 135 released the following statement after President Obama’s local news interview regarding Fast Track Authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

June 7, 2015 (San Diego) --Instead of talking into a satellite camera, President Obama should listen to the hard-working families of California who overwhelmingly oppose fast track. He says that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is different than past trade agreements that failed a majority of Americans, but thanks to leaked drafts and a negotiation process that included 600 corporate lawyers, it’s apparent that this deal will be a disaster for everyone but the wealthiest corporations.

The level of secrecy that surrounds TPP is deeply troubling. If this deal is truly good for hard-working men and women, then why can’t we read it? If the President believes this is a great deal, why can’t he prove it to us? American workers deserve to see the uncensored truth of this agreement.

JONES BILL TO REVAMP "MADE IN AMERICA" LABELING LAW IN CA PASSES ASSEMBLY

 

East County News Service

June 5, 2015 (Sacramento)--Assemblyman Brian Jones’ (R-Santee) legislation to conform California law to the federal “Made in America” standard, which is used by every other state in the country, passed the Assembly on May 26th.

29 RESTAURANTS JOIN IN TASTE OF LA MESA JUNE 8

 

May 28, 2015 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to “eat your heart out” at the 7th annual Taste of La Mesa, featuring tastings from 29 local restaurants.  This year’s event will be held on Monday, June 8 from 6-8 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center (4975 Community Drive).

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD FOR LA MESA OKTOBERFEST 2015

Debt from 2014 leaves future wide open

 

Photo: Councilmember Ruth Sterling states, "I feel for the Merchants, I feel for the situation, believe me I do, but when you have the money and you know you owe the money, you’ve got to get your priorities straight. I would say the same thing to my children, if they got the rent to pay and they’ve got other things to pay. You get your priorities straight and pay the rent, or you’re going to be out on the street."

 

By Kristin Kjaero

May 30, 2015 (La Mesa) – The operation of this year’s Oktoberfest is up in the air, with the door open for a new organizer to potentially take over. Last week, the city of La Mesa received an application from the La Mesa Village Merchants Association for the 2015 Oktoberfest, but the Merchants’ group still owes the city $37,229 for past events including last year’s Oktoberfest.  Without ruling on the application directly, the city added a phrase to its special event application policy that empowers the City Manager with discretion to pre-qualify and negotiate with applicants.

 The Merchants Association proposed to pay both its past debts and future costs by taking over the entire event without the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s participation, combined with a request asking the Council  to roll back cost recovery to 50%. The Merchants group also promised to place future proceeds from 2015 into an escrow account so the City would be the first paid from future event revenues. 2015 Car Show series, funded annually by Oktoberfest profits, was also cancelled last week by the Merchants.

This isn’t the first time that the Merchants Association’s finances have led to a change in the way the City processes applications for special events.

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