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Last night, the Anaheim City Council voted 4-1 against Mayor Tom Tait’s motion to cancel the city’s contract with the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce to administer the Anaheim Enterprise Zone.

The consensus opinion among the four “no” votes was since staff was already working with the Chamber on revising the contract’s scope in light of legislation ending the California Enterprise Zone program, which could entail the agreement evolving into an economic development partnership of the sort the Chamber has historically had with the city – then it made sense to wait for staff to come back to the council with a finished product for consideration.


The Anaheim City Council hasn’t yet taken up Mayor Tait’s proposal to cancel the Anaheim Chamber’s Enterprise Zone contract (a premature move in the minds of many since the EZ is in operation until the end of the year).

Anaheim Police Association President Kerry Condon has sent a letter to the Anaheim City Council in opposition to this move. Among other things, the APA  states that “a healthy and growing economy in which every Anaheim resident who wants a job and can find one is a big part of a comprehensive plan to reduce crime in the city.”

As Ronald Reagan said, “I believe the best social program is a job.”

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Anaheim_Chamber_LogoThis “Action Alert” went out yesterday from the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce regarding an item on today’s City Council agenda, namely a move by Mayor Tom Tait to immediately kill the city’s Enterprise Zone contract with the Chamber:

ACTION ALERT: Support Needed for Chamber at Anaheim City Council Meeting

Dear members of the Board of Directors,

In case you have not seen the following linked article, Mayor Tait intends to introduce a motion tomorrow night to immediately terminate the city’s Enterprise Zone contract with the Chamber on the position that it is not needed since the enactment of AB 93 – legislation to eliminate Enterprise Zones beginning January 1, 2014.

“Anaheim Chamber’s deal for doomed program up in the air”

The reality is there is still much work to be done for the remainder of 2013, before AB 93 takes effect, and cancelling the contract would be premature and deprive Anaheim businesses of the opportunity to utilize EZ incentives for the rest of the year. Additionally, we need to work with the City to market and help companies utilize the new $3.75 billion in tax incentives created under AB 93 over the next five years and Chamber leadership has already met with the Governor’s office last week to begin the process.

Here is why the Chamber’s partnership is vital to the Anaheim Community:

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The Anaheim Chamber of Commerce issued a statement last week from CEO Todd Ament blasting Governor Jerry Brown for signing AB 93 and SB 90:

“Today, Governor Jerry Brown is signing AB 93, which abolishes the last real economic development tool available to California cities: the California Enterprise Zone program. Despite countless success stories and the creation of jobs for hundreds of thousands of people with barriers to employment, the Governor and many of our state legislators have been swayed by the unions to eliminate an effective tool that creates, retains and attracts jobs in California.”

“In 2009 Anaheim was suffering from double-digit unemployment rates. The City of Anaheim, with support from the Anaheim Chamber, took the initiative to apply for an Enterprise Zone designation, which was granted in 2011 and became active in February 2012. Since that time, the Chamber has processed nearly 3,000 vouchers, each representing a new job created in Anaheim, provided 28,414 businesses with assistance that has protected thousands of jobs, and met with more than 200 businesses from a variety of industry types that were interested in locating to the Anaheim Enterprise Zone.”

“We were pleased to learn from many high ranking officials in Sacramento, including in the Governor’s office, that the Anaheim Enterprise Zone exemplified the very best of what was expected from Enterprise Zones to successfully provide employment and was widely considered the very best of the state’s 42 zones.”

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State Senator Bob Huff, the Senate Republican Leader who represents much of Anaheim in the legislature, released this video commentary on the state legislature’s passage last week of a bill to gut California’s Enterprise Zone program:

Kudos to Senator Huff to standing up for what had been one of the few remaining economic development tools, which has now been gutted to feed the Sacramento spending beast.

Tom Daly

Tom Daly

Sharon Quirk-Silva

Sharon Quirk-Silva

Don Wagner

Don Wagner

The Assembly is voting on AB 93, which would gut the California Enterprise Zone program — including Anaheim’s and Santa Ana’s Enterprise Zones. The Assembly GOP Caucus asked for a recess and the vote hasn’t been completed — standing now at 49 “yes” votes. 54 votes are needed to pass the bill and kill the Anaheim and Santa Ana EZs.

Assemblyman Tom Daly – the former Anaheim mayor who represents Santa Ana and much of Anaheim — has surprisingly cast a “yes” vote to gut the two EZs in his district. Still getting my head around that one.

Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, who also represents part of Anaheim, hasn’t voted yet.

Assemblyman Don Wagner, who represents Anaheim Hills, voted “no.” Kudos to Don to standing up for private sector job creation.

If Quirk-Silva votes “no” and Daly switches his vote to “no,” then this job-killer bill will die. This is a bright line vote, and will say much about commitment to real economic growth.

UPDATE: The Assembly is back from recess. Sharon Quirk-Silva has voted “yes” on AB 93 – i.e., in favor of killing the Anaheim Enterprise Zone. That brings it to 50 of the 54 votes necessary to pass.

AB 93 passed the Senate yesterday on a 39-0 vote – Senator Lou Correa among the “yes” votes.

UPDATE: AB 93 hit the necessary 54 votes to pass. Unbelievably, several members of the GOP Caucus joined the Democrats.

GOP Assemblymembers Curt Hagman, Marie Waldron, Jeff Gorrell and Katcho Achadjian voted with the Democrats to kill the Enterprise Zone program. Hagman and Waldron switched from “no” to “yes” votes!

By putting up their “yes” votes, these Republicans allowed three Assembly Democrats take a pass on casting an anti-business vote. Effectively, those Assembly Republicans cast anti-business votes so those Democrats wouldn’t have to! How are Republicans supposed to have any hope of taking out Democrats when they can’t master the basics like forcing Democrats to cast bad votes?

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