The event was the second in a series of press conferences throughout California in recent weeks held to elevate the public’s understanding of the state’s only remaining program to help stimulate growth and attract and retain jobs. The press conference speakers discussed their opposition to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to shift $750 million from the Enterprise Zone program. They explained how the proposal will take money and jobs away from minority and disadvantaged communities in favor of a new and untested statewide program.
The news conference was held at Plenums Plus, a Chula Vista-based company in the Enterprise Zone that supplies sheet metal fabrication for HVAC systems. Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, National City Mayor Ron Morrison and San Diego City Council Member Mark Kersey addressed reporters along with Cindy Compper-Graves, CEO of the South County Economic Development Council and a representative from the Port of San Diego.
San Diego's Enterprise Zones are making a significant impact in the region. Last year more than 2,500 new jobs were created locally with an additional 8,400 existing jobs protected. A total of $1.7 billion worth of investment has been made in the San Diego area Enterprise Zones. Statewide in a single year, California’s 40 Enterprise Zones led to the creation of new jobs for more than 25,000 and kept another 115,000 employed. Unemployment in California still remains close to 10 percent and the Enterprise Zone program is a powerful tool to generate employment.
Thursday’s news conference was well attended by the local media including:
The UT San Diego;
San Diego Daily Transcript;
News 10 TV (ABC); and
Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox highlighted how critical the Enterprise Zone is for her city because the companies in the Zone hire local residents. “The Enterprise Zones in San Diego have helped bring new businesses to our city and those new businesses have helped bring new jobs to our city.”
National City Mayor Ron Morrison commented on the Governor’s proposal by urging lawmakers to work together to develop effective reform
s that ensure continued support to California businesses willing to invest in economically depressed areas, hire local residents and help underserved communities. “I understand the need to make legitimate improvements to the program. But as someone who has seen first-hand the good Enterprise Zones can achieve in disadvantaged communities, I can’t accept the proposal from the Governor and Legislature.”
San Diego City Council Member Mark Kersey spoke about the region’s high unemployment, which is higher than the statewide average. Chula Vista has an unemployment rate of 11 percent and in National City it’s even higher at more than 18 percent.
“As a council member I am looking for ways to stimulate economic growth and attract and retain jobs. Enterprise Zones are one of the few tools proven to do just that, which is why I am urging the Governor and our legislators to consider the city of San Diego, Chula Vista and National City when they are proposing to effectively eliminate Enterprise Zones,” said Council Member Kersey.
For more information about just released FY 2013–14 budget trailer bill language on the Governor’s proposal to shift $750 million used for Enterprise Zone tax credits into three other programs please see, “Governor’s Budget Bill Language on Economic Development/Enterprise Zones Released
,” CA Cities Advocate
, June 4, 2013.
Additional news conferences are being scheduled throughout California in the coming weeks by Californians for Improving Enterprise, Employment and the Economy. The League is a member of the coalition. For more information, please visit www.enterpriseCA.org