Letters to the Editor

Tax & Spend

The California and Long Beach politicos are at it again, attempting to dupe the public into voting for their ludicrous schemes. Measure RW – purported to create a minimum wage increase to almost $30/hour for hotel workers – and California Proposition 1 – yet another tax and spend proposal.

First, notice the word “qualifying” in the RW Measure. What this translates to is that only certain workers will be covered. The rest are left to be sold out by fat-cat union bosses who in turn line the pockets of politicians.

Secondly, this is an extremely expensive proposal. Just to keep afloat, hotels will be forced into measures that will cost even more jobs in an already diminishing workforce.

Third, this mayor and City Council cannot even handle and resolve the problems in this city; namely homelessness, crime, street maintenance, housing, pollution, lawsuits and a myriad of other concerns. And what about other workers? Is the council going to be tasked with setting wages for every profession? So, the elephant in the room is: Why aren’t they doing their “real” jobs instead of taking on issues that are not in their purview?

And last, but even more importantly, is the fine print that gives the City Council authority to make future changes to the measure without voter approval. They, in essence, are attempting to steal your right to vote.

As for Proposition 1, this sitting governor bragged about a substantial budget surplus of $97.5 billion in 2022. California is currently facing a projected deficit of $68 billion in 2024. So now, the governor wants even more of your hard-earned money. The “tax, spend, repeat” mentality of Newsom’s reign can only be curtailed with your NO vote.

Enough is enough of politico shenanigans and unbridled spending, vote NO on Long Beach Measure RW and California Proposition 1.

Diana Lejins, Greater Long Beach Taxpayers Union

 

Yes on Measure RW

Every day in our city, hundreds of our neighbors wake up, get their families ready for the day, and head to work at one of Long Beach’s hotels. Thanks in large part to their hard work and dedication, our local hospitality industry not only survived through the pandemic but rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. But while business booms, wages are kept alarmingly low for the very workforce responsible for its success. Workers are left to scramble each month to make ends meet and provide for their families. Many are barely getting by at all.

This disparity is a moral and spiritual failure.

On March 5, Long Beach voters will have the opportunity to increase the minimum wage for hotel workers, our neighbors, by voting Yes on Measure RW. This measure will ensure that hardworking hotel workers will no longer have to decide whether to pay rent or buy food today, help their children with schoolwork, or take on second and third jobs for survival. Instead, this measure will allow the hotel workers to have fair wages to live in our city where they work and support their families and communities.

Measure RW will increase the minimum wage for hotel workers (serving at large hotels with at least 100 rooms) to $23 per hour on July 1, 2024, with gradual annual increases to $29.50 per hour by the 2028 Olympics.

Camila, a Hotel Maya worker, came to the U.S. with her small daughter seeking refuge from her home country’s political unrest. Even though she works full-time at one of the leading hotels in our city, she worries constantly about paying her basic bills. Camila’s story is unfortunately no exception among her colleagues. Not only are they fighting for their family’s futures, but they are also fighting for the future of our great city to ensure that Long Beach is hospitable and inclusive to all people who contribute to its prosperity.

In the Christian tradition, we look to Jesus’ “Good Samaritan” parable as a guide for our life together. The story is about how two religious leaders walked away from a dying person on the road while a person from Samaria, who was the least one expected to offer care, went out of his way to save that person with his compassion and resources. Similarly, we can choose to be good neighbors, who recognize the humanity of the hotel workers and use our voting power to affirm their dignity.

For decades, the faith community in Long Beach has been a source of justice and power in ensuring marginalized communities, immigrants, refugees, and low-wage workers, are treated with dignity and respect as people created in the image of God. In 2012, faith leaders of various faith traditions connected with Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) and endorsed Measure N to raise the minimum wage for hotel workers to $13/hour.

The clergy invited the workers to their worship services and made space in their pulpits for the workers to share their stories of struggles with congregation members. They prayed with the workers and accompanied them knocking on the doors of Long Beach voters. Their sacred accompaniment with these audacious hotel workers contributed to the great victory of Measure N that year.

This is about putting into action our commitment and faith-rooted value of loving our neighbors. Hotel workers are our neighbors. They are part of our Long Beach community. All spiritual traditions remind us that we are all connected as a human family, and therefore we are called to be each other’s keepers. On March 5, let’s answer that call by voting Yes on Measure RW.

Rev. Dr. O. Leon Wood, Jr. & Rev. Melinda Teter Dodge

 

Border Bill

The Democrats are trying to deceive Americans on the border bill. They’re leaving out important information that the public should know. They’re trying to shift the blame on the Republicans when actually it’s the Democrat’s fault.

The bill would allow 4,999 migrants to enter the U.S. every day. Illegals from Mexico and Canada won’t be counted toward total encounters. Also, unaccompanied minors won’t be counted either.

Aliens from noncontiguous countries shall not be included in calculating the sum of aliens encountered. WOW! The bill also lets Biden override limits on migrants.

Most people know or won’t admit that the Democrats want them to come here knowing that they will eventually become voters for the Democratic party and cause a one party rule!

That’s how dictatorships get started.

There is more “comedy” to this bill. You can read more by going to your computer and writing “Border Bill” on “search.”

Most if not all of the news media should report this to the American public. By not doing this it shows they are also guilty of hiding this charade.

Leo Mitchell

 

Review: Drownings

Thank you so much for reviewing “Freezing Embrace” by Mikko Kuparinen. [Jan 12 movie review by John Thomas] Without your review, I would not have watched this program or have known of its existence, let alone that I could actually stream it thru Roku app.

It really was quite a riveting series to watch even though I had to read it, which for some, is a reason to not watch this series. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to watching “Enemy of the People” and then on to other foreign language programming.

I have missed watching foreign films with the loss of video stores where I could shop for the next movies to watch. Thank you for opening the world once again. Respectfully and gratefully, LMA in Long Beach, CA (btw this really is the first time I have reached out to a newspaper).

Lori Anttila

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