The second annual minimum wage increase kicked in on July 1, bringing the minimum wage for Los Angeles workers up to $12 an hour. The increase helps 482,000 workers who got lifted to $10.50 when the first increase went into effect July 1, 2016, and another 84,000 workers who were earning between $10.51 and $11.99.
Yesterday, at Clockshop’s counter-inaugural workshop, I joined Rudy Espinoza from LURN in talking about income inequality in Los Angeles and strategies to close the income gap. The story I told began with the end of the cold war and the collapse of LA’s aerospace industry in 1989.
Thoughtful and timely insights from the Roundtable’s 25th anniversary symposium about how we move forward through troubled times are now available online. We need more services that are better targeted to fit individual needs to make headway on reducing homelessness, which is why Measure H is needed.
Reflections From Economic Roundtable’s 25th Anniversary Symposium By: Economic Roundtable Staff Since the November 2016 election, pundits, activists, and others have wondered: What just happened and what’s the most effective thing we can do? Some of us may have lost sleep or gotten angry. Others have felt despair over living in such a divided nation.
The disruptive outcome of the presidential election was determined by just 107,000 voters in pivotal states who were disproportionately working class European Americans. Many voted out of the pain of their economic misfortune as decent jobs dwindle along with prospects for material security and dignity. In most parts of the U.S., including Los Angeles, labor unions are the only organizations listening to these workers, helping them find common cause with other workers, and helping them fight for economic equity.
Los Angeles has one affordable housing unit for every six households that need affordable housing. The subset of affordable housing that is deeply subsidized to make it affordable for high-need chronically homeless residents is less than a third of what is needed. In the November 8 election, Los Angeles voters approved the first steps for making headway on these shortfalls.
Cities that have come of age are able to make decisions that shape their own future and safeguard their own well-being. One critical measure of Los Angeles’ standing is its capability to taking actions that influence the economy in ways that help residents earn sustaining livelihoods.
The number of jobs in L.A.’s formal economy has stagnated since 1990, while the population has grown 15 percent. One of the consequences is that L.A. had a poverty rate of 16.6 percent in 2015, compared to the national average of 14.7 percent. Creating jobs is different than redistributing existing jobs, as when one restaurant closes and another opens, or providing more equitable access to existing jobs – an important objective, but different than job growth.
The Silicon Valley cost study, Home Not Found, that was carried out by the Economic Roundtable in collaboration with Santa Clara County and under the auspices of Destination: Home provides the evidence supporting Measure A, a $950 million affordable housing bond measure that will be on the November ballot.
Mollie Lowery, a friend whose dignity, insight, decency and truthfulness helped make us better people, died on Monday, July 25, 2016. We worked with Mollie on housing 10th decile hospital patients. She was deeply idealistic and pragmatic, taking responsibility for finding housing and providing long-term support for patients with severe psychoses and acute medical and substance abuse problems, despite knowing how hard the job would be with unpredictable mental health and housing support.
The Roundtable’s triage tools address the most acute dimension of homelessness – the small number of high-cost individuals who account for the majority of public costs. Other tools are needed to target earlier interventions for individuals with less acute needs who are on the path toward chronic homelessness.
Even with ramped-up investments in affordable housing called for by the new city and county homeless plans, affordable housing will still be is in scarce supply for many years. We need an objective system for prioritizing who gets to be housed. The Silicon Valley Triage Tool uses data held by local government agencies to prioritize homeless individuals based on their public costs.
San Gabriel Valley ranks in the lowest tier, in terms of sustainability measures, emitting less greenhouse gases per job than the County but compensating workers at lower wages.
San Fernando Valley ranks in the middle tier, in terms of sustainability measures, emitting less greenhouse gases per job than Los Angeles County but compensating workers at lower wages.
A new report by the Economic Roundtable, Industry Greenhouse Gas and Wage Sustainability released on Mother’s Day in honor of Mother Earth, identifies the climate change effects as well as the wage sustainability of jobs in each industry. The report is available here: http://economicrt.org/publication/sustain-los-angeles/
Twenty-three years ago, Los Angeles exploded with outrage and indignation. Will the city keep its commitments to South LA?
One out of four restaurant workers in Los Angeles lives in poverty. A raise in minimum wage that includes tipped workers will save taxpayers on public assistance programs.
A raise to $15.25 by 2019 is an investment in Los Angeles. Dollars earned by minimum wage workers will be spent locally, thereby growing our city.
Economic Roundtable mapped the locations of street vendors and brick and mortar retail and restaurants in Los Angeles. What we found was surprising.
We at Economic Roundtable are excited to launch our new blog, Seeds of Change, alongside our redesigned website. The title is a reference to the tree of knowledge in our logo, symbolized in Los Angeles by the Wisdom Tree atop Cahuenga Peak. The lone pine tree sits on its perch overlooking the city from its vantage point close to the Hollywood sign.