2022 Public Policy Priorities
Going into 2022, the CalAsian Chamber has considerable momentum to make influential impact and changes when it comes to Equity across a spectrum of issues. Much of this momentum was earned through our proactive advocacy and action on a variety of issues, some of which include: AB 915 (Chiu) which would have codified the State’s 25% small business procurement goal, API Equity Budget of $166m, our work in the appointment of Rob Bonta to Attorney General, and aggressive advocacy on behalf of the Small Business Technical Assistance Expansion Program (SB-TAEP).
The first and premier policy priority of the Chamber in 2022 will be the introduction of the next version of AB 915. While our bill earned unanimous, bipartisan support at every committee and Floor vote, it was ultimately held in the Senate Appropriations. Despite that setback, we have an author and coalition ready to take this issue up again with much earnest and we have successfully elevated the importance of this matter to Leadership and the Administration. Now is the time to capitalize on our credentials and goodwill to get this bill across the finish line and to the Governor’s Desk.
“The Equity in Energy Project” is a nexus of conversations that have taken place this past year, both internally and externally, on how to address the ambition of a just transition for small businesses to convert to clean energy. Legislatively, we are in talks with the State Treasurer’s Office about ways to leverage her investment portfolio to bridge the financing gap, in an equitable way, for small businesses to access capital for clean energy transition. This could pair with other Chamber programming with technical assistance on the matter as well.
The next priority of the Chamber will be working with the Legislature and the Administration on the funding and extension of the SB-TAEP. While a tricky issue, CalAsian has the most political capital and relationships, within the TAEP network, to effectively lobby for the program. We are already in talks with the Assembly JEDE Committee and GO-Biz to find a way forward. One vehicle is AB 1072, authored by Majority Leader Reyes, which addresses the both the scope and length of the SB-TAEP. We are working side-by-side with the Majority Leader and her staff to effectively use her bill to make this issue a priority for the Legislature and the Governor.
Tech and Privacy
Additionally, we continue to monitor the issues of technology and privacy, especially as it relates to the implementation of the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA). It recently hired its first Executive Director and Strategies360 is following the CPPA, and any relevant legislation, to ensure that privacy concerns are appropriately addressed from a legislative and regulatory perspective.
Finally, as always, we will have issues that we “protect and defend”. These can be “me too” letters and committee support, sign-ons to coalitions, legislation co-sponsorship, and more, all relative to the overall mission and values of the Chamber. In keeping with the goals of 2021, we intend to keep our support streamlined to supporters and investors in the Chamber, as opposed to saying “yes” just because an organization has asked. Those decisions are generally vetted between the Director of Public Policy and the CEO.
As a reminder from last year’s 2021 public policy priority presentation, the following criteria are used when determining whether to engage around a policy issue:
The proposed policy has an impact on California’s API community
The proposed policy has an impact on California’s business community
The proposed policy relates to CalAsian and its partners’ program initiatives and Regions Rising
CalAsian’s voice, credibility, and resources will make a difference on the issue
With all of that, and more, 2022 has every opportunity to be another banner year for the CalAsian Chamber. We our deep bench of experience both internally and externally, we can and will continue to make strides for Equity as it relates to the overall mission and values of the Chamber. We are very much looking forward to hitting the ground running come January, and we have never been more prepared for a Legislative Session than right now.