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Labor & Economy

Living Wages Would Boost Long Beach's Economy




“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.

More 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?

Volunteers 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, email or call (562) 396-4552.

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