Los Angeles Harbor Department Issues Government Relations RFP

Los Angeles Harbor Department Issues Government Relations RFP

The City of Los Angeles Harbor Department has issued an RFP for a government affairs and lobbying firm. The Harbor Department, given its national economic importance and role as industry leader, has a strong and compelling need for outside funding and policy support from the federal government. The Harbor Department is seeking comprehensive federal  advocacy  services to help expand, improve, and supplement the advocacy work of its in-house Government Affairs staff as well as staff in the Mayor’s Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Relations (LIGR).

With the changes in Congress and the Administration in 2016, as well as the on- going implementation of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015, reauthorization of government needs of Water Resources Development Act, and growing awareness of supply chain issues of the federal level, the Harbor Department have never been greater. The Harbor Department is seeking an advocate or team of advocates uniquely poised to assist the Harbor Department in taking advantage of the numerous opportunities while furthering the Harbor Department’s overall strategic agenda.

The Port of Los Angeles Background

The Port of Los Angeles, Southern California’s gateway to international commerce, is located in San Pedro Bay, 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles. This thriving seaport not only sustains its competitive edge with record-setting cargo operations, but is also known for its groundbreaking environmental initiatives, progressive security measures and diverse recreational and educational facilities.

The Port of Los Angeles encompasses 7500 acres, covers 43 miles of waterfront and features 27 cargo terminals, including container, dry and liquid bulk, breakbulk, warehouse and automobile facilities. Combined, these terminals handle approximately 176 million metric revenue tons of cargo annually. In 2015, the Port moved 8.2 million TEUs, maintaining its rank as the number one container port in the United States.

The Port of Los Angeles has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy and the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 954,000 regional jobs and $35 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars. It is part of one of the world’s most sophisticated logistics centers – the Southern California regional trade gateway – which includes the Alameda Corridor, intermodal rail yards, the regional highway system, and warehouse clusters throughout the region. The Port of Los Angeles and its neighbor, the Port of Long Beach (collectively known as the San Pedro Bay Port Complex, or SPBPC), handles 40% of the nation’s containerized imports and 26% of containerized exports. This trade has a $310 billion per year economic impact on the national economy; contributes to three million direct, indirect, and induced jobs nationally; and supports $31 billion in local, state, and federal tax revenue annually.

In 2012, the Port of Los Angeles adopted its 2012-2017 Strategic Plan (Plan) aimed at achieving its mission: “We are America’s Port – the nation’s #1 container port and the global model for sustainability, security, and social responsibility.” The Plan responds to the changing competitive landscape faced by the Port. Competition for Trans-Pacific cargo will intensify with the expansion of the Panama Canal and the growth of ports in Canada and Mexico. The Port grew to become the nation’s leading port by offering a unique value proposition based on infrastructure  supporting economies  of  scale  and fast,   consistent access to national markets. Maintaining our position as the nation’s premiere trade gateway to the Pacific Rim requires a renewed and revitalized commitment to our key factors for success.

The Plan includes three focus areas which are aimed at supporting its’ mission:

  • Competitive Operations: With a focus on facilitating an efficient, clean, and  reliable flow of goods, infrastructure development will continue to be a key variable differentiating the Port of Los Angeles from other ports.
  • Strong Relations: Places greater emphasis on building stronger relationships with current and future customers, with critical strategic partners, such as railroads and transportation agencies, and with communities.
  • Financial Strength: A new era of fiscal and financial realities requires a more disciplined and efficient operation.

The alignment of the many Port of Los Angeles activities is of central importance to the overall sustained growth and improvement of our facilities and the ability to adapt to the new economic climate.

Along with sustained growth, job creation is a strategic focus of the Port of Los Angeles. The job clusters in the Los Angeles Harbor area have evolved from being diversified in the first half of the 1900s to being predominantly focused on cargo handling. Today, we recognize the need to expand the job clusters to support a more balanced and sustainable work force. As the Port of Los Angeles moves forward, a more diversified job cluster will focus not only on cargo handling, but other activities, such as clean technology development, academic research, commercial fishing, and recreation and tourism.

The City Dock No. 1 Project represents this shift towards more diversified job creation effort. City Dock No. 1 site lies within the San Pedro Waterfront Plan area, which rests along the west side of the Los Angeles Harbor’s Main Channel, from the Vincent Thomas Bridge to Cabrillo Beach, adjacent to the City of Los Angeles community of San Pedro. City Dock No. 1 will provide direct waterside access to some of the deepest water in the harbor. Facilities at this site will include academic marine research laboratories, government laboratories and support activities for at-sea programs, a research and development park and business incubator for emerging marine environmental companies, and educational support facilities creating outreach opportunities for K-12 students engaged in marine science studies.

The Port of Los Angeles – also known as the Los Angeles Harbor Department (Harbor Department) – is a proprietary (self-funded) department of the City of Los Angeles charged with the operation and protection of the Port of Los Angeles. The Harbor Department is a landlord that leases properties to private sector terminal, tug, and marine cargo and cruise industry transportation entities. Unlike many Departments that can take policy positions by action of their governing boards and advocate for those positions, the Harbor Department must, by City Charter, work with the policy positions taken by the City Council of the City of Los Angeles, and advocate those positions via the Office of the Mayor.

Scope of Work

Consultant shall work primarily with the Harbor Department’s Senior Director of Government Affairs, Director of Legislative Affairs, and the Mayor’s LIGR office to develop and implement a legislative and governmental advocacy strategy related to Harbor Department issues, including, but not limited to the following specific action items:

  • Develop and implement strategies to obtain federal funding for the Harbor Department’s projects and programs, including, but not limited to major civil works projects, dredging, transportation infrastructure, homeland security enhancements, and environmental initiatives. This could include grant monitoring and assistance in grant preparation and/or review;
  • Develop and implement strategy to engage the federal government to achieve changes to laws and regulations to further Harbor Department goals, including drafting and supporting the adoption of legislative language;
  • Secure sponsors and co-sponsors on specific legislative and advocacy initiatives, build support among both House and Senate leadership, and cultivate additional bipartisan support from Congressional Members and Committees of jurisdiction in both Chambers of the U.S. Congress;
  • Garner support from the President and Executive Administration, including federal departments, commissions, boards and their staffs to advance the Harbor Department’s priorities;
  • Engage in the development of coalition building to support the Harbor Department’s advocacy objectives, including working with industry, environmental groups, and other interest groups to garner support for specific legislative initiatives and related issues of importance to the Harbor Department;
  • Consult in the development and assist in the implementation of additional strategies supporting the Harbor Department’s advocacy objectives through message development, strategic planning, and outreach support;
  • Assist in the preparation and communication of supporting legislative materials, including briefing memos, talking points, letters, memoranda, bill lists, testimony, and interpretation of legislative language and analysis on its impacts on the Harbor Department;
  • Coordinate meetings with the Administration, members of Congress, committee staff, federal departments, regulatory agencies, boards, commissions and their staffs to advance the Harbor Department’s priorities, and serve as liaison to federal agencies;
  • When appropriate, coordinate advocacy strategy with other consultants and lobbyists under contract with the City of Los Angeles; and
  • Proactively monitor and advise Harbor Department staff on opportunities of interest that would support the Harbor Department’s Strategic Plan.

Proposal due by November 16 to:

Contracts and Purchasing Division
ATTN:  Tricia Carey
REF: Federal Legislative Advocacy Services 500 Pier ‘A’ Street
Wilmington, CA 90744

Major LA PR firms include PMK*BNC, Coyne PR and Edelman PR.

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