Rep. Mike Levin Leads Roundtable with San Diego Business Leaders to Support Local Tourism Economy

January 27, 2020
Press Release

Carlsbad, CA – U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) led a roundtable with San Diego-area business leaders at LEGOLAND on Friday to discuss their efforts to help the local tourism economy grow and thrive. Rep. Levin was joined by San Diego North Economic Development Council (SDNEDC) CEO Erik Bruvold, LEGOLAND California Resort Acting General Manger Kurt Stocks, San Diego Tourism Authority COO Kerri Verbeke Kapich, and other local business leaders.

“With over 50 miles of beautiful coastline, pristine beaches, and attractions like Legoland in my district, it is critically important that we foster the local tourism economy,” said Rep. Levin. “I was grateful for the opportunity to bring together business leaders to discuss how we can support thousands of jobs in the region that depend on tourism. I was proud to help pass the USMCA trade agreement – including funding to address pollution from the Tijuana River Valley - and reauthorize the Brand USA program, and I’ll continue to work with local businesses and elected officials to build on that progress.”

“The hospitality industry is one of the largest in the 49th Congressional district. There are over 10,000 hotel rooms in the district that generate tens of millions in taxes for North County cities and support well over 40,000 jobs,” said SDNEDC CEO Erik Bruvold. “Congressman Levin’s interest and attention to the needs of this industry are extremely appreciated and I know that private sector leaders were excited to share how federal priorities such as infrastructure spending, comprehensive immigration reform, and coastal protection can ensure the industry continues to grow and create prosperity in North County.”

Last year, Rep. Levin cosponsored the Brand USA Extension Act, which reauthorizes the Brand USA public-private partnership to support jobs and small businesses in Southern California that depend on tourism. That bill was included in appropriations legislation that was signed into law last month. He also supported the Investing in Main Street Act to increase the percentage that a bank can invest in Small Business Investment Companies, the Expanding Contracting Opportunities for Small Business Act to give small businesses more opportunities to compete for federal contracts, and the Small Business Development Centers Improvement Act, which would reauthorize the Small Business Development Center Program through fiscal year 2023.

Rep. Levin also secured $300 million in the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) to address pollution in the Tijuana River Valley (TRV). Businesses throughout San Diego have suffered for generations from health and ecological challenges as a result of TRV pollution, and this federal investment will improve the quality of life for everyone in the region.