Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Hybrid Meeting In-Person and via ZOOM
Present: Megan Barajas, Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick, Mike Burrows, Rachelle Bussell, Ken Coate, Michelle Decker, Louis Goodwin, Fran Inman, Wolde-Ab Isaac, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Pam Langford, Bill Lemann, Darcy McNaboe, Miguel Mendoza, Jaquelyn Mercado, John Mirau, Catherine Pritchett, Thomas Rice, Karen Richmond, Michael Rivera, Elizabeth Romero, Kristine Scott, Jose Torres, Eric Ustation, Lupe Valdez, Marisa Yeager, and Frank Zabateta.
Guests: Robert Nava
Announcements: 1) California Chamber of Commerce is hosting a virtual event today, Tuesday, July 13th at 2:00 p.m. with California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot. The Secretary will provide an update on California’s worsening drought crisis. Secretary Crowfoot will address current impacts and outline action steps needed over the next several months. Once registered, you will be sent a zoom link to participate. Here is a link to register for the webinar: https://calchamber.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_M5UO-GalTVSLfDQQj4Ev2g 2) A workforce conference will be held in Riverside on September 30, 2022. The California Secretary of Labor will be the keynote speaker. More information will be provided by Riverside Community College District. 3) Staff is proceeding with the planning of Inland Action’s 60th Anniversary Celebration to be held on Wednesday, October 12, 2022. Please respond to Carole’s July 11, 2022, e-mail if you would like to invite guests.
Lowell King, Chair presiding.
Motion by K. Scott/Second/Passed: Minutes from June 28, 2022.
John Mirau made the first announcement of prospective new member Ontario International Airport. Atif Elkadi, CEO would serve as their primary representative and Steve Lambert, Media Information would serve as their alternate. Inland Action will expedite the membership process due to the group not meeting in the month of August. Members will be asked to vote next Tuesday at our off-site meeting at SBCTA.
California State University, San Bernardino’s alternate representative, Pam Langford is retiring. The membership thanked Pam for her effective work and wished her well in retirement. CSUSB has requested that Robert Nava, Vice President for Advancement & Executive Director for CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation serve as their new alternate representative.
Motion by L. Goodwin/Second/Passed: Robert Nava will serve as the alternate for CSUSB.
Fran Inman gave an update on the status of the supply chain. The system remains stressed but is improved with the voluntary implementation of “slow steaming” which slows container ships easing the congestion at the ports and results in reduction of engine power and fuel consumption. There are only 2-3 ships at anchor while others were being worked at the docks. There are increased times however for the rail containers due to equipment imbalances and labor shortages. International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are currently in negotiations and at this time no walk-outs are planned but this could become very challenging if an agreement is not reached. Class 1 railroads are also in negotiations, adding the potential for further rail delays. Trucking, our most fragile sector, is challenged by the federal Supreme Court’s decision that denied a California Trucking Association request to review its lawsuit challenging AB5. There are 70,000 independent trucking contractors, many of whom are minority owned, that will be challenged by the decision and will need to figure something out or go out of business. There is also the truck and bus regulation, now in its final phase, that has a January 1, 2023, deadline to replace/upgrade to 2010 or newer model year engines. This will also prove a hardship as some 28% of our current drayage trucks will no longer be eligible to work at the ports. Even if funding for newer vehicles was available there are shortages with semiconductors causing a lack of available vehicles. Warehouses remain full and the California transportation funding budget has increased substantially. Union Pacific has had to implement rail embargos from California to Chicago due to backups and congestion in the Midwest. This has happened due to multiple causes such as a labor shortage and issues with availability of chassis which went from a 3-4 day turn-around to 7 days. We are currently in the height of the busy season for agriculture and will soon face back-to-school and the Christmas volumes to manage.
Michelle Decker gave an update on the Inland Empire Community Foundation’s Community Economic Resilience Fund Program (CERF) meetings and pending application due July 25 and the July 21 Policy Summit. The CERF program is $5M in planning funding over some 18 months that will open the door for individual organizations and entities to apply for project money. It will likely be a comprehensive economic development survey for the whole region. This grant funding will likely be on a first-come first-served basis. Since IEGO began to pull this together 8 weeks ago, they have some 170 people engaged with this new process both for the State and region. Many open meetings have been held and further information and new meeting dates are available at their new website with their new logo at https://iegocollab.com/ under the Regional Collaboration area. Business participation at the CERF meetings is challenging as these meetings have been predominantly open-ending planning. Increased business engagement is strategically planned when better focus is obtained with feasibility work, market studies, and labor force work are addressed. There is a good deal of competition in our region and in most others. Competition here is from the IE Labor Institute which is the non-profit arm of the IE Labor Council. The decision making on the CERF program is with the Office of Planning & Research, labor, and GO-Biz.
Ken Coate, Thomas Rice and Kristine Scott reported on the status of AB 2840 (Reyes) which was voted down in committee. Some form of this legislation will likely resurface as this was a campaign promise by Majority Leader Reyes when she ran for office. Once fully informed of the bill, IE cities joined and cooperated with industry and non-profits to defeat it as it was poorly written and contained a great many of vague details.
Successful congressional funding was itemized by representatives from CSUSB, UCR, U of R, SBCTA, SBIA, RCC, and SB Valley Muni Water.
Court and jury assembly space continues to a challenge in the Riverside federal courthouse.
Meeting adjourned at 8:32 a.m.