In August 1965, Los Angeles experienced its first biggest urban uprising when the Black community in Watts rose up to resist police brutality and economic injustice. In the aftermath, the McCone Report commissioned under Governor Pat Brown found that the underlying causes of the riots were due to lack of job opportunities, poorly funded schools, and poor conditions that Black folks were forced to live in Watts. To address these issues, the report recommended investments in education, public transportation, and police reform. However, most of these recommendations were never implemented.
In 1992, nearly 30 years later, Los Angeles experienced an urban uprising once again. After the police beating of Rodney King, the killing of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins, and the lack of justice that followed, Black, Latino, and working-class residents from all across Los Angeles rose up to protest the systemic injustice prevalent in the city. It became the largest civil unrest in LA’s history.
Another study this time under the California Legislature investigated the root causes of the protests. The result was similar to the conditions residents experienced in 1965: lack of economic opportunity, police abuse of minorities, lack of investment in the community, and racial segregation.
Today, the city of Los Angeles has a poverty rate of 18% which is much higher than the national poverty rate of 10.5%.
It's Time We Make the Minimum Wage a Living Wage
Los Angeles is the second richest city in the richest country in the world, yet a worker making minimum wage can't afford a 2-bedroom apartment, feed their families, and have enough to take care of themselves. If the minimum wage caught up with workers' productivity since 1968, the inflation-adjusted minimum wage would be $24 an hour.
We made this economy as productive as it it is, therefore we should have a greater share in the wealth we create.
Being paid a living wage means that workers wouldn't need to work multiple jobs or 7 days a week to make ends meet. We wouldn't need to take on debt or ask family or friends for financial assistance.
A living wage also enables workers to have more money to purchase goods and services which helps small businesses and further grows the economy. Employers who pay a living wage have lower turnover rates (which saves money), increased worker morale and improved quality of service.
A living wage makes an economy that works for everyone.
We do the work and play by the rules and we are still struggling to get by. It's time to make our economy work for working people. The working and middle-class families of Los Angeles can’t wait any longer for the justice we need. We must make our demands a reality ourselves by fighting for economic justice.
READ TIME OVERVIEW: 1 MIN | FULL: 2 MINS
As your Council Member I will:
Not accept money from corporations
Support a Public Banking System for Los Angeles
Support a Guaranteed Income program
Support a $25 minimum wage pegged to inflation for all workers, including tipped workers
Support a Green New Deal which will create thousands of good-paying jobs with benefits to rebuild our infrastructure, make our communities more environmentally sustainable and resilient, and make our energy grid system 100% renewable
These jobs will be made accessible to marginalized and working class communities