CCA Reflects - Thank You from Jessica Lall

CCA Reflects - Thank You from Jessica Lall

Published Thursday, December 19, 2019


It was a challenging year for Downtown and the City of Los Angeles, but thanks to our members, we have a lot to celebrate. We continued to broaden our strong coalition, used our collaborative mindset to solve problems and increased our civic engagement. These efforts were important for CCA to remain consistent and powerful in our drive to fulfill our mission and achieve meaningful policy results.

We convened key policymakers and broadened our coalition to comprehensively address the housing and homelessness crises.

Homelessness: Activating our Coalition to Shift the Narrative
Our diverse coalition helped shape a dynamic legal framework surrounding homelessness, which influenced the City, County and many organizations to support the appeal of the Martin v. City of Boise case. Civic and business leaders -- including service providers -- advocated for our position on Mitchell v. City of Los Angeles. Although we were disappointed by the outcomes of these cases, we know our coalition's efforts shifted the narrative on the legal framework and how it affects solving homelessness. We will continue to hold elected officials accountable and educate decision-makers about the perils of addressing homelessness through settlements and advise against the long-standing cycle of litigation. We are proud of our members who also put homelessness at the forefront of their conversations. For example, Bank of America sponsored our Summit on Homelessness, and many of our members continued to address the issue through media engagement, collaborating with policymakers and publishing important research.

DTLA 2040 Community Plan: Future of DTLA
In order to address our region's housing crisis, we dove deep into one of the most important issues that will guide the future of Downtown for the next decades. We collaborated with Department of City Planning even before DTLA 2040 was released, but when it was published, we quickly convened member working groups to evaluate the plan and achieved results around affordable housing requirements. Our coalition has been working with City Hall officials and will continue to push for a plan that allows for the greatest growth and flexibility.

Prioritizing Civic Engagement to Prepare for Elections
With a critical election year around the corner, we prioritized our civic engagement efforts and held our leaders accountable in our advocacy and when endorsing candidates. We did this through hosting forums, committee meetings and PAC meetings to meet with candidates and bring attention to our most pressing issues. Our polling with Loyola Marymount University helped us understand how DTLA residents feel about the region, and with this knowledge, we hosted a CD 14 candidate forum and our PAC endorsed Kevin de León for the seat. We endorsed early to be proactive in shaping his policy agenda, especially as we advocate for a council representative that will stand for a united Downtown in the next redistricting process. In addition, we are working to register Downtown residents to vote to help increase DTLA's efficacy as a voting bloc.

Proactive Thought Leadership to Solve our Housing Crisis
Our white papers and proactive research were meaningful for our advocacy. To fulfill the need for policy innovation necessary to face next year's challenges, we successfully set our micro-unit white paper in action that led to Councilmember Cedillo submitting a motion enabling micro-unit construction. We successfully increased the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) from 400,000 to 1.3 million units that are allocated to areas rich with jobs and transit. Additionally, our mass timber white paper gained significant traction, catching the eyes of industry leaders nationwide. Next year, we will publish a white paper outlining creative policy recommendations to increase childcare and educational facilities in Downtown.

Elevating Your Membership
To elevate the level of service for our members, we continued to find ways to be an effective voice for the region. We added new board members to bring new opinions and reflect the diversity of our community. We launched DTLA Insights, a place to house a variety of important data that we know is valuable to our members. Lastly, our team continually innovates to refresh the content and feel of our events to engage members and proactively share our insights.

Despite the complex environment and tough issues, we will continue to engage all of you to ensure a better Los Angeles. I'm grateful to work with you and look forward to seeing you at our events and policy committee meetings next year. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!

Jessica Lall
President & CEO