Living Wages Would Boost Long Beach’s Economy

long beach shoreline“Hi. I’m a volunteer with the We Buy Local campaign here in Long Beach.”

So begins the conversation with undecided voters about the Long Beach living wage measure on the November ballot.

Most Long Beach hotel workers live, work and shop in the city. And if the hotel living wage passes, they’ll have more money to put into the Long Beach economy.

More than 100 volunteers and supporters gathered last Saturday to pick up information packets and start knocking on local doors. It was hot in the church classroom where they assembled, but the mood was electric.

the frying panMore than 140 small business owners are supporting Measure N, as are local religious leaders and city council members Suja Lowenthal and Steve Neal.

College students and retired folks, LGBT activists, Cambodian youth organizers, religious leaders and politicians were all excited to be working together to change conditions for the city’s 2,000 hotel workers and to shake up the political environment in Long Beach.

Measure N would provide a minimum wage of $2,000 a month and five sick days for people working in the city’s largest hotels. The city has provided more than $100 million in taxpayer subsidies to the hotel industry to make downtown Long Beach attractive for tourists. We want the hotel jobs to be good, living wage jobs. Can we count on you to support Measure N?

vivian rothsteinVolunteers will be walking and calling voters Monday and Wednesday afternoons, and all day on Saturday through the November 6 election. If you’d like to be part of this game-changing campaign, emailGoodJobsLongBeach@gmail.com or call (562) 396-4552.

Vivian Rothstein
The Frying Pan

Published: Friday, 14 September 2012

Published by the LA Progressive on September 14, 2012
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About Vivian Rothstein

Vivian Rothstein has been employed at LAANE since January 2003 after many years of working with LAANE as an ally. She has a long history as a community organizer, beginning with her work in the Mississippi Freedom Summer project of 1965. Her experience includes organizing in low-income communities around welfare and housing rights, involving citizens in issues related to U.S. foreign policy, and reproductive rights campaigns. Vivian founded one of the first independent women’s liberation organizations in the 1970s. For ten years she served as executive director of the Ocean Park Community Center, one of the largest Southern California nonprofits serving homeless adults and families and battered women and their children. She directed the union/community-led Respect at LAX project (in which LAANE was a lead partner), aimed at raising wages for service workers at the airport. Vivian later directed Santa Monicans for Responsible Tourism, the LAANE project that worked to lift wages in the booming Santa Monica tourism industry. In addition to her role as deputy director she oversees LAANE’s development team and Century Blvd and Long Beach Hospitality Projects and works closely with LAANE’s interfaith partner, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Development (CLUE). Vivian attended UC Berkeley and holds a master’s degree in administration from Antioch University.