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Sunday, Jun 4, 2023

So Far So Good, But It Needs a Touch of Vision

So Far So Good, But It Needs a Touch of Vision FROM THE NEWSROOM By Jason Schaff You don’t usually see it in the Business Journal the entire publication devoted to one issue. But that’s what you’re getting this time with all the pages (except for a few standard features) filled with a detailed look at economic development in the Valley. It may be an overdose for some, but hopefully what you’re reading in these pages is informative, enlightening, interesting and worthwhile enough that you’ll like what we did. We decided to do the whole issue on economic development because I think our publication excels in taking a close look at local business issues putting them in their proper context and sifting through them to better interpret them. Economic development is a perfect issue that needs to be fleshed out. And this takes a while and some extra editorial space. But I didn’t want to make this a series that was published over several issues. That would be too disjointed. In one issue, we could explain what’s happening on the economic development front with in-depth stories as well as have the opportunity to provide a commentary section that would give another perspective from some of our economic development leaders. These leaders make excellent points about where we stand concerning our Valley economy, its infrastructure and its future. Looking at what we’ve found out about the current state of economic development in the Valley I feel that this report gives everybody a better sense of where we stand and where we need to go as far as making our Valley the best it can be to live and to work. Looking at our stories in this issue, obvious themes have cropped up. The first one: There’s been major progress in recent years. Throughout the once overlooked areas of the Valley, there are things happening. Pacoima, for example, has always been saddled with image problems. But a multitude of forces, both public and private have made things better in that community. It’s got a long way to go as far as social things such as education levels and economic things such as unemployment but the people involved in making things better there really care about their community. That goes a long way. I believe Pacoima will be an area of the Valley that will show other communities how to take care of things the right way. The same can be said for San Fernando. That little city has made phenomenal progress with young ideas and a great community spirit driving things. The City of Los Angeles needs to get advice from the leaders there about how to make things work. Another thing obvious about what we’ve found out about economic development in the Valley is that we’re all wanting better leadership from officials in the City of Los Angeles. Leaders need to watch what officials such as City Councilpeople Alex Padilla and Wendy Greuel are doing in their districts. They’re working it and trying to improve things if only taking small steps along the way. City Council members can make things work but they also need leadership from the mayor’s office where the real vision is set. Over the years, Los Angeles has not always had a clear idea of where it wants to go with development. This has begun to change as we run out of space to build and are forced to think things through in a more organized fashion. It’s crucial that we always think 10-20 years down the road. Business Journal Editor Jason Schaff can be reached at (818) 316-3125.

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