How the One Percent Spends Its Money

hotel maidsAccording to filings from the Long Beach City Clerk, hotels and hotel corporations are the only donors to the campaign against Measure N, the Long Beach hotel worker living wage initiative on the November 6 ballot. The hotels have contributed $376,180 so far — an estimated $188 per affected employee — to keep their workers from having a minimum wage of $13 an hour and five paid sick days a year.

That $188 could go a long way toward buying new shoes, school clothes or backpacks for the kids of hotel workers. If given to hotel workers, most of the $376,180 would be spent in Long Beach, stimulating the local economy. Small business owners understand this, which is why more than 130 of them have pledged their support for Measure N.

Instead, the hotels are spending their money on consultants, lawyers and pollsters to fight the modest minimum wage measure.

While the No on Measure N campaign charges that the living wage measure is backed by outsiders from Los Angeles, 66 percent of its money has come from hotel corporate centers in Oklahoma and Kentucky.

the frying panBut isn’t it great that Measure N gives us a chance to engage in a head-to-head against the One Percent on the specifics of how working people should be treated? In arguing against the measure, the No on N website lists some of the measure’s provisions, including requirements that hotels disburse 100 percent of service charges and gratuities to non-management staff, provide each worker with five sick days per year and give a benefits package to all full-time employees.

vivian rothstein

M]/dc]easure N opponents decided to highlight these requirements because they think voters won’t support them. But aren’t these the building blocks of stable employment?

If you support these reasonable standards and want to help draw a line in the sand for working families in Long Beach, visit and join the campaign for Measure N. You’ll be glad you did.

Vivian Rothstein
The Frying Pan

Published: Wednesday, 3 October 2012

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.

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