NFIB California Main Street Minute

Date: December 06, 2021

For the legislative and political week December 6-10

Welcome to the December 6-10 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.

Big Election Year Ahead

  • The Leadership Council of NFIB California met in San Diego, December 2, to begin planning for one of the busiest election years in a long time. Up for voters’ decisions are:
    • 9 constitutional offices, including governor down to Board of Equalization
    • 80 State Assembly seats
    • 20 State Senate seats
    • 52 Congressional seats (one less after reapportionment)
    • A U.S. Senate seat (recently appointed Senator Alex Padilla looking to fill out the full term of Vice President Kamala Harris)
    • Numerous ballot initiatives (four have already qualified, many more are in circulation).

  • Marva Diaz, an editor for the California Target Book, the political industry’s insider publication, and an invited guest of NFIB, told Leadership Council members that reapportionment will play a major factor for those facing re-election. Some will have to run in districts they partially represent or move to a new address to find a district, or run for another office, or choose to retire—100 of the 120 legislative districts will be up in 2022.

  • Here is a snapshot of the current legislature:
    • 7 Senators termed out in 2022
    • 7 Senators running for re-election in Nov 2022 for their final term
    • 10 Senators termed out in 2024
    • No Assembly Members are termed out in 2022, but some are running for another office
    • 3 special elections will be held in 2022 to fill vacancies
    • 23 Assembly Members are termed out in 2024, assuming their re-election in 2022.

  • New legislative lines are to be released on December 27, after which, the universe of who does what and where will be known.
    • The initial maps have eight new legislative seats that piece together parts of current districts
    • There will be at least 3 districts that are brand new with no incumbent
    • There is more disruption in the Assembly than in the Senate.

  • But wait! We’re not quite done with the old lines, yet. There are currently three vacancies in the Assembly and special elections will be held during 2022. Assembly Member Jim Frasier (D-Contra Costa) is resigning on December 31, 2021, to pursue private-sector opportunities. Assembly Members Ed Chau (D- Arcadia) was recently appointed to a LA County judgeship and David Chiu (D- San Francisco) was appointed City Attorney of San Francisco.

  • Also at the Leadership Council meeting:
    • Tim Goodrich, NFIB’s executive director for state government affairs, discussed the impressive membership gains NFIB is experiencing across the county, gave a report on congressional activities, and introduced Noor Adhoob, NFIB’s new legislative program manager

    • Kevin Pedrotti, NFIB California’s chief legislative advocate, told members what to expect when the Legislature returns for business next month

    • Leadership Council Chairman Sunder Ramani and State Director John Kabateck spoke of the importance of member involvement in both campaigns and legislative lobbying

    • Taylor Criddle, NFIB California’s grassroots manager, discussed some of the ways greater member involvement could be channeled, including recruitment of more NFIB Activists. When Criddle took over the program, NFIB California had 463 activists, today it has 732. For a list of what activists are asked to do and how to become one, click here.

The Hot-Button Issue of 2022

  • Unless California’s elected leaders get a grip on the problem – real fast – columnist Dan Walters, who’s been observing state politics for 50 years, predicts crime – particularly retail theft — could be the hot-button issue of the 2022 election.
  • A big part of the problem is public policy, writes Walters in CalMatters, who quotes Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, a former police officer, to offer supporting evidence. “The public needs to know that there is a direct correlation between rampant serial theft and voters being duped by proponents of Proposition 47. We are watching an epidemic of theft caused by Proposition 47 that over promised and under delivered, which has quite literally, turned California into the Wild Wild West.”

How did Small Business Saturday do?

  • Shopping Small on November 27 paid big for retail. A joint poll conducted by American Express and NFIB found $23.3 billion spent on Main Street, besting last year’s record of $19.8 billion by 18%.

  • Here are the key takeaways from the poll:
    • Online shopping at a small business on Small Business Saturday was up slightly, with 58% of shoppers reporting that they made a purchase online, compared to 56% in 2020 and 43% in 2019.
    • More shoppers were eager to support independent restaurants with 54% reporting that they dined or ordered takeout from a small restaurant, bar, or café, up from 48% in 2020.
    • 70% of respondents reported Small Business Saturday makes them want to encourage others to shop at small, independently owned retailers.

From NFIB’s D.C. Office

  • Last week, Congress passed legislation to fund the government into February of 2022.
  • The Build Back Better Act may be considered in the Senate as soon as the week of December 13, but it is looking increasingly likely that consideration of the bill could slip into early next year.

  • What is NFIB’s gripe with the Build Back Better Act and other Biden administration policies? Kevin Kuhlman, NFIB’s vice president for federal government relations, discusses them on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, which you can watch here.
  • Speaking of the airwaves, NFIB Research Center Executive Director Holly Wade, executive director of NFIB’s Research Center was on NBC’s Nightly News talking about supply chain disruptions. Watch here.

  • Did you catch last week’s NFIB webinar, Small Business Reset and Recovery Part 4: Digital Advertising for Small Businesses? If not, you can watch it here.
  • Last Thursday, December 2, NFIB released its monthly Jobs Report, showing 48% percent (seasonally adjusted) of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period. The number of unfilled job openings far exceeds the 48-year historical average of 22%. Small business owners continue to struggle to increase their workforce with 29% of owners reporting labor quality as their top business problem in November, a 48-year record high.

This Main Street Minute can also be read on the NFIB California webpage here. Next Main Street Minute December 13.

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