Monday, May 10, 2010

PUBLIC PENSION Alert - your action needed

BizFed leaders,


The voices of MANY are making an impact as we are seeing lately the volume and diversity of opinion leaders who are becoming relentless in their drive to shed light on Crippling PUBLIC PENSION CRISIS. But we have only just begun to hold the Public Officials' feet to the fire as you'll see by the Media Statement we have issued today (attached).


As BizFed Founding Chair David Fleming notes in his attached hard-hitting Op-Ed, published today in the Los Angeles Business Journal: The city of Vallejo was just the canary in the municipal public-pension coal mines. If we have another recession in the next decade, without fundamental public pension restructuring, scores of more governmental entities will be pushed into bankruptcy. And make no mistake: The fallout will touch us all through reduced city services, reduced jobs and pay, lowered quality of life, investment losses, job losses and an ever greater economic contraction.


Attached also for your review is an Op-Ed that recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal by former LA City Mayor Richard Riordan and Alex Rubalcava, Rubalcava Capital Management. As you know, Alex also has been working with BizFed on this issue, and was one of our key presenters at BizFed's special presentation on the pension crisis in February.


Our BizFed Board members have ramped up efforts to lead the conversation past lip service by seeking public positions on the issue from more than 100 state and local elected and public officials directly affecting LA County- and we also want to hear from YOU on whether you are working on pension reform and what your positions are.


  • While BizFed team gathers responses from lawmakers, we need YOU, as a BizFed member, to answer these few questions at on your interest/position/or lack thereof on public pension reform. All individual comments will be kept strictly confidential. This intel will help guide our collective actions on this topic over the next several months.


Also see below for the request that has been sent to our targeted elected state and local officials directly affecting LA County, including those running for Governor.


·         Pass it along, under your signature, to those elected officials with whom you have relationships with. The more they hear from a variety of business leaders the better!


Initial results and trends will be shared with all BizFed members at the May 25th Board meeting to help in YOUR OWN member/company actions' strategy.


More and more public leaders are speaking out on this issue – and it's time you do, too!  Every single voice matters – before it's too late!




Tracy Rafter, CEO

BizFed, Los Angeles County Business Federation 

818.429.0862 ~

Grassroots alliance of 70 top LA County business groups

Mobilizing over 100,000 business owners



5/4/10 Lawmaker Email /Letter

BizFed: On-the-Record Public Pension Reform Position


The Los Angeles County Business Federation, representing more than 70 organizations with more than 100,000 businesses across LA County, is calling for renewed efforts to reform California's public pension system - and is issuing a call to all top elected officials and state candidates for office to publicly state their positions on the issue.


As you know, billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities for promised public employee pension plans are pushing dozens of municipalities toward the same fate as the city of Vallejo, which filed for bankruptcy two years ago, overwhelmed by massive public debt in unfunded pension and employee healthcare obligations.


The need for reform has been recently reinforced by a Stanford University School of Public Policy report that estimates the unfunded status of California's public-employee pension funds at over $500 billion.


BizFed believes the immensity of the crisis has grown beyond manageability and public employee retirement benefits now need to be aligned with those available in the private sector, including 401(k)-style defined-contribution plans for new hires rather than the current defined-benefit plans.


As a key public official, your position on reform of the public pension system is a matter of public interest and accountability. BizFed's Board of Directors seeks your position on the matter by responding to the few, quick questions at the following link:


Responses are requested by May 15, 2010 and BizFed's Board thanks you for your committed attention to this significant issue. We look forward to reviewing your responses, and to working with you to ensure a prosperous future for all of us.






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