Coalition Reviews Crime, Retail Theft Issues

Big City Chamber CoalitionCrime and retail theft were key topics earlier this week when the Big City Chambers Coalition (BCCC) met to discuss key issues affecting California’s business community.

The BCCC unites and amplifies the advocacy efforts of the chambers of commerce in California’s 13 largest cities.

BCCC members heard from California Retailers Association President and CEO Rachel Michelin on the association’s work to reduce organized retail theft.

Michelin provided updates on how the association is working to curb retail theft in conjunction with the Newsom administration, district attorneys and sheriffs across the state, and the Legislature.

Michelin also discussed ways the BCCC and its memberships can be active in discussions to address an issue that is top of mind in every community in California. Michelin also previewed the recently announced Assembly Select Committee on Retail Theft.

In addition, Loren Kaye, president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, reviewed findings from the recently released annual CalChamber poll, The People’s Voice, 2023, showing the mood of voters and the issues that are top of mind. Crime, safety and policing were big priorities for voters, according to the poll.

Key issues for voters included concerns about fentanyl, a desire for violent offenders to serve their full sentences, a desire for more police presence in their communities, and the perception that the state’s homelessness crisis is driving petty crime.

Finally, BCCC member Scott Miller, president/CEO of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, shared their organization’s new initiative — Petty Crimes, Big Impact — a public information campaign designed to highlight the impact of crime against businesses and galvanize their community’s support for change.

Staff Contact: Nick Ortiz

Previous articleLively Exchanges Help Shed Light on Policy Challenges, Potential Solutions
Next articleConsiderations for Back-to-Back Pregnancy, Family Leaves
Nick Ortiz, who joined the California Chamber of Commerce in February 2023, was promoted in October 2023 to head the newly created CalChamber Small Business Policy Center, assuming the role of vice president of small business advocacy. In addition to enhancing the efforts of small business employers to let policy makers know how government requirements affect the day-to-day workings and profitability of small companies, Ortiz continues to serve as an information resource for and CalChamber liaison with local chambers of commerce. Before joining the CalChamber team, Ortiz was president and CEO of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce from April 2015 to February 2023. Ortiz’s previous experience includes positions with the Western States Petroleum Association, PG&E, Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, United Way and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz. See full bio