Reorder our priorities by converting the state's high technology into applications that will help modernize our country's infrastructure. Stop blaming others for problems that we have created.
JUSTIN OSTRO, General vice president, International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
Rebuild the state's infrastructure using California companies, workers manufacturing products and services. With California's educational, technological and aerospace talent, such transportation innovations as high-speed rail, electric vehicles and mass-transit systems can be developed.
HAROLD CHUANG, President, American International Bank
Too much attention is given to large corporations when small- and medium-size businesses make up the backbone of our economy and are the creators of most new jobs. Laid-off employees of large corporations, who constitute a highly educated and skilled work force, should be helped to start their own businesses. State and local governments should work closely with local trade associations to provide an economic environment conducive to small businesses.
WILLIAM C. W. MOW, Chairman, CEO of Bugle Boy Industries
It's important to become more pro-business. This implies attacking unnecessary procedures and unnecessary regulations and shorten the permit cycles. Presently, California is not competitive, nor it is is conducive to business, thus not conducive to good employment.
JERRY L. JORDAN, Senior vice president and chief economist, First Interstate Bancorp
Resources should be shifted to heavy construction/infrastructure projects such as water, waste disposal and intracity transportation. In addition, we should privatize and develop more educational, health-care and correctional facilities.
SERGIO MUNOZ, Executive news director, KMEX, Channel 34
The proposed free-trade agreement with Mexico represents not only an opening for job creation but a window of opportunity to upgrade the skills of our labor force. From 1987 to 1990, the strong performance of the U.S. export sector increased trade with Mexico from $12.5 billion to $30 billion. This increase in exports meant the creation of 400,000 jobs in the United States. Mexican-Americans should become the natural link for business on both sides of the border, and Mexican-American managers and technicians ought to be the first choice for entrepreneurs in the two nations.
Our job now is to ensure that the trade pact is signed and, at the same time, to demand better schooling for our youngsters and retraining for our low-skill labor force.
MAUREEN O'CONNOR, Mayor of San Diego
Jump-start all public projects funded but not built. Bond existing cash to create new monies for more capital projects. Help businesses breathe by slowing tax collections or provide flexible payment schedules. Avoid lay-offs--use voluntary furloughs or early retirement. Avoid unnecessary budget increases by freezing government employees' salaries. Avoid new taxes, fees, back-door rate hikes that evaporate discretionary disposable income. And pray that President Bush provides more direct aid to the cities.
TOM HAYDEN, Assemblyman (D-Santa Monica)
Those who promise jobs are usually, well, lying. With no policy of maximizing good long-term jobs, we blindly trust the very wealthy to invest in jobs rather than in antique art or corporate takeovers. So economic growth is disconnected with creating meaningful jobs for most Americans. There's plenty of work to do on affordable housing, energy efficiency and environmental cleanup. If only the private sector or government cared to.
MIKE RILEY, President, Joint Council of Teamsters No. 42
Spend money rebuilding the state's infrastructure--freeways, highways, sewers, bridges and streets. Eliminate unnecessary delays in permitting for major construction, thereby allowing work to be done now, not three years down the road. Seek more federal money to complete subway and other transit programs.
KEVIN STARR, Professor of urban and regional planning, USC
In the late 1940s, greater Los Angeles experienced an employment-related shock. The war was over. Where were the new jobs to come from? The rest, as they say, is history. A combination of the Cold War and a building boom unprecedented in history kept metropolitan Los Angeles busy at work for the next three decades.
Nick Patsaouras has already pointed the way to the future as far as the next generation of jobs in greater Los Angeles is concerned. Los Angeles County is committed to spending billions of dollars over the next decade on its Metro system. Patsaouras has suggested that, whether the contracts go to Boise or Tokyo, the construction and assembly be done here. Once in place, moreover--and that means by the end of the decade!--the Metro system will encourage some three to four decades of retro-fitting and reurbanization, as Los Angeles doubles back on its center and reurbanizes properties made valuable by the public transit system. The Cold War is over, but transportation has replaced defense; and connected to transportation is a construction boom that will see Los Angeles County well into the 21st Century.