Jessica Lall, CCA’s President & CEO, at CCA’s “Innovation in Industry: Retail” event. October 2018.
Thank you for being a part of our dynamic and diverse coalition of 400 businesses, trade associations and nonprofits that are working together to enhance the vibrancy of Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA).
In 2017, we focused on redefining our advocacy priorities, broadening our membership and activating members to help us realize our vision. We grew our traditional base of real estate firms and large employers, but also brought in new members in the emerging technology and creative industries and increased our engagement with small businesses and our nonprofit partners in DTLA. We continued these efforts this year, helping us build a broad membership base and exceed our budget goals to provide our members with an elevated level of service.
This coalition-building helped us achieve meaningful results in 2018, which are reflected in our policy accomplishments. Because of your active engagement, we were able to increase our effectiveness in advocating for a thriving DTLA. For example, our broad coalition of social service providers and business and civic leaders was more powerful when advocating for our joint position in the Mitchell v. City of Los Angeles case because of the diverse voices that reflected the complexities of homelessness issues. This case is still ongoing, but we are proud of the progress made and how we stood together to urge that Downtown not be treated differently than other neighborhoods in the city.
By consulting with many of you at our policy committee meetings and working groups, we were able to expand our thought leadership efforts and proactively push creative policy ideas, like the work we did on micro-units, building efficiency standards, rent control and many others. Our micro-unit white paper received a significant amount of attention, with media stories in KCRW, Downtown News and Urbanize LA. Next year we will put that white paper into action by advocating for policies that encourage the building of micro-units, and also publish other white papers with innovative recommendations for how to move our city forward. Additionally, we shared our viewpoint on important issues in DTLA and the region in several opinion pieces in the media and in our newly created series called CCA Reflects, which was positively received and became a channel to proactively share our insights.
We also strengthened our civic engagement efforts by working with Loyola Marymount University on polling to understand how residents are feeling, updating our Political Action Committee and partnering with other organizations to engage with political candidates. We know how important our civic fabric is when advocating for issues, especially as we gear up for the City Council District 14 race in 2020.
In addition, we added new board members to reflect the diversity of Downtown, enhanced the level of service our organization provides with a full team in place including the addition of a new Director of Economic Development position, and continued to refresh the content and feel of our events.
We were able to do this because of our incredible members, Board of Directors and staff. I’ll be providing a snapshot of 2018 and discussing what we have planned for next year at our first Executive Committee meeting of the new year at Convene on January 10. I’m grateful to work with all of you and look forward to seeing you at our events and policy committee meetings next year!
President & CEO