CLSA Wire

CLSA Hosts Roundtable with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

June 26, 2017

On June 13, CLSA hosted a roundtable with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, CLSA Board Members and other life sciences sector executives from the region to discuss life sciences innovation, investment and job creation.

CLSA’s Board Chairman Don Bobo, Corporate Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Development, Edwards Lifesciences, and Members Shlomo Melmed, EVP for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Medical Faculty, Cedars-Sinai Health System and Wade Ackerman, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP, were part of a group of 15 C-suite executives to share their thoughts with the Mayor and his staff inside his City Hall offices.

As part of the dialogue, Dr. Melmed alerted the Mayor to the fact that he has an overwhelming number of applicants who want to be part of Cedar Sanai’s Accelerator program. However, this positive news is shaded by the reality that many of these applicants simply cannot afford to live in Los Angeles with the lack of affordable housing options and long commutes due to traffic congestion.

Mayor Garcetti responded with a few updates on public infrastructure development, including a note on recent electoral support for public transportation funding through Measure M on the November ballot in which he took the lead in spearheading for passage. He also listed a few proposals of his own at the roundtable, including:

  • Preparing for the workforce needed in the region. Los Angeles leaders are concerned that while many bright students graduate from UCLA and other colleges in the region, seventy percent of these graduates leave Los Angeles to work in the Bay Area or San Diego for life science opportunities.
  • Supporting changes to local taxes seen as punitive to life science companies. Los Angeles has a gross receipts tax system on which San Francisco based its current transition plan.
  • Bringing forward a regional conversation among the County’s eighty-eight city mayors on public infrastructure, investment, and education.
  • Creating a ‘Biotech Park’ in Los Angeles to help build a life sciences cluster in the region. Los Angeles has land which could be developed for specific use by the life sciences.

CLSA was proud to host this roundtable with the Mayor of Los Angeles and another such event in 2016 with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. For more information on CLSA’s local advocacy programs, please contact Reese Isbell, Director of Local Government and Community Relations (Risbell@califesciences.org).