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Busy Week in Sacramento for Enterprise Zones Advocates

April 26, 2013
Enterprise Zones (EZs) were a focus of League advocacy efforts this week. The League has long promoted EZs as a key tool to help cities with local economic development; in this year’s political climate cities must advocate for their survival.
 
It appears that Gov. Jerry Brown will pursue both regulatory and legislative changes, possibly proposing to reinvest the $700 million spent on EZs on other types of economic development. In light of the Governor’s position, the League focused this week on educating new legislators about the importance of EZs in local communities.   
 
Those efforts ramped up Tuesday morning as the League and coalition partners appeared before the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy in support of AB 28 (V. Manuel Perez). 
 
The League welcomes the opportunity to reform and improve the EZ program while preserving its essential economic and community development benefits. AB 28 promotes a number of such statutory reforms. Along with coalition partners including the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Manufacturers and Technology Association and the California Retailers Association, the League testified that cities overwhelmingly support the program. To date, cities have submitted 65 letters and resolutions in support.
 
AB 28 passed the committee by a unanimous vote of 8–0 and will be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
 
Wednesday’s Legislative Action Day also highlighted EZs. The morning session included a special presentation on by Yolanda Benson with the California Association of Enterprise Zones in Action. Briefed with this update, attendees visited with their legislators to speak about the importance of the program in their communities and to share the message that EZs revitalize local communities, attract business and create jobs. 
 
These messages will also be shared through a unique League effort. Throughout the day attendees were invited to tell their stories to a videographer, and 11 did so. The edited version of this effort will be a powerful tool to continue education and advocacy for EZs. The videos will be available for viewing once they have been edited by going to the California Association of Enterprise Zones website. Elected officials can also sign a form in support of EZs is available on the League website.
 
Please either email the completed form to Kristin Kolpitcke or fax it to the League at League at (916) 658-8240.
 
The League wishes to thank all the cities that participated in Legislative Action Day. Sharing stories about EZ successes in your cities will continue to be critically important in fighting for their survival.


 
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