West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore Sepi Shyne, Councilmember Lindsey P. Horvath and Councilmember John M. Erickson, joined representatives from worker’s union UNITE HERE Local 11 for a press conference to discuss and celebrate West Hollywood City Council’s vote to unanimously establish a citywide minimum wage of $17.64, including 96 hours of paid sick leave and other benefits.
“I’ve had other conversations with council members that said businesses have called and said they really support this.” said Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne to an audience of mostly members of the press. “I’m so proud of all of my colleagues for the this unanimous decision to be a support for workers so they are respected, they are valued, and they have the dignity that they deserve. Si se suede.”
“We all know individuals who are struggling to get by,” said council member John Erickson, “People who work, two, three and I’ve even heard four jobs jobs to make the minimum payments on their rent, car insurance, to put food on their table. This is a start. A challenge that West Hollywood, 1.89 square miles is saying to the rest of the country: You’re next. Tell them West Hollywood sent you. Tell them to focus your recovery efforts on everyone and to make sure that West Hollywood isn’t the only one. I’m speaking to legislators in Washington, doing what we can in our power to do for our businesses and for our workers and our residents.”
Erickson said he knew that if he made what was proposed in the minimum wage raise last that he would not be able to afford his rent in West Hollywood. “Debt, food and the cost of living is only increasing, so we have to do more. And we will continue to do more to ensure that West Hollywood leads the way on raising the minimum wage.”
“West Hollywood has raised the wage and once again we are leading a national conversation,” said Lindsey Horvath. “The cost of living is arising everywhere and our minimum wage should reflect that reality. This is not a new conversation here in our city or anywhere in our country. What’s new is seeing unanimous support to make meaningful change for the lowest wage workers in our city. Many of whom have been without work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister and council member John D’Amico were not able to attend the press conference. D’Amico is traveling overseas, but he relayed a message via Council member Horvath saying that “our optimism and fearlessness is always inspiring.”
Representatives of workers union UNITE HERE Local 11 like Norma Hernandez spoke about working at the Mondrian for 13 years and how as a single mother, she was worried how she would maintain a roof over her head during the pandemic. She said this new raise in the minimum wage will change her life. She called it a dignified salary that would not only help her and her co-workers, but all the workers in the city of West Hollywood.
Small business owner Jake Mason applauded the city for making a small stride in the fight between capitalism and humanity. “Our system is broken and we need businesses to direct their frustrations on that system and not the people who are working for them, who can’t afford to live or even go out in West Hollywood. We need to do more. this is a first step and I really applaud everyone here for taking that step and pushing for it.”
To view the entire speeches, visit @LGBTHollywood on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/p/CV397evIbBx/
The City Council of the City of West Hollywood has unanimously approved a draft Ordinance to establish a citywide minimum wage and guaranteed leave provisions.
The draft Ordinance will create a hotel worker minimum wage of $17.64 per hour starting on January 1, 2022, and will create a phased approach for minimum wage increases for large businesses and small businesses starting on January 1, 2022 with adjustments every six months to create consistency in the minimum wage citywide by July 1, 2023. Starting on July 1, 2023, the citywide minimum wage for all businesses will be $17.64 (plus two cost of living adjustments as part of the phased schedule for increases). Following that, the citywide minimum wage for all businesses will be increased each July 1 by the Annual Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) Adjustment. The City Council approved a revised version of the draft Ordinance at its Adjourned City Council Meeting, which took place on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, via teleconference.