Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Mayoral candidates seek to clarify stances on living wage for hotel workers

County Fed Mailer

Ethics Commission

A political action committee supported by the County Federation of Labor sent out this mailer, telling voters Wendy Greuel would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour if elected mayor. What the candidate actually supports is increasing hourly wages for hotel workers throughout the city.

Can two candidates disagree even when they agree? Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti certainly make it seem that way. 

The latest disagreement comes over a proposal to increase wages for hotel workers in Los Angeles. Over the weekend, Wendy Greuel told KPCC and the Los Angeles Times she supports a $15 an hour wage for employees at hotels throughout the city.

The city already has a "living wage" for hotels near LAX. City leaders made the case that because those hotels benefit from the city-owned airport, they should be required to pay their workers $10.70 an hour plus health care benefits, or $11.95 an hour if no benefits are offered. The wage ordinance does not apply to hotels that have a collective bargaining agreement. 

In the past, Garcetti has supported the wage ordinance. He told reporters he supports expanding the wage ordinance to other hotels, but declined to commit to the $15 figure. 


Medi-Cal expansion mired in money fight

Gov. Jerry Brown

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

California Governor Jerry Brown will release his revised state budget Tuesday morning, which will likely have ramifications for the expansion of Medi-Cal.

When Governor Jerry Brown unveils his revised state budget Tuesday morning, healthcare advocates will be looking for a more detailed Medi-Cal expansion plan. 

The Governor has committed to extend the healthcare coverage for low-income families to one million more residents, as part of federal healthcare reform, but he’s yet to produce a detailed plan.

Brown has said California needs to find a “sustainable” way to expand Medi-Cal, “so we don’t find ourselves in a big hole in a couple of years.”

The federal government will pay all the costs to expand Medi-Cal for the first three years, but that only includes residents who will be newly-eligible.

Hundreds of thousands of Californians who are currently eligible but haven’t signed up for the program, or have fallen off the roles temporarily,  are expected to join when the state eases eligibility rules and simplifies enrollment.  


He said, she said: Garcetti, Greuel bicker in final televised debate


Maya Sugarman/KPCC

City Councilman Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greuel, seen here in a previous debate, participated in their final televised debate Monday morning. It will air at 7 p.m. on KCAL.

Monday morning at the CBS studios in Culver City, Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti met for their final televised debate of the campaign. The format was different from previous encounters — instead of a panel of questioners, KCBS/KCAL political reporter Dave Bryan alone tried to engage the candidates.

But despite Bryan's best efforts, the candidates mainly repeated themes from their mailers and TV ads — hammering each other on integrity and perceived conflicts of interest.

On the issue of the Department of Water and Power, Garcetti continued to talk about how much money the utility’s union has spent in support of Greuel. The Working Californians political action committee has raised more than $3.3 million for its own efforts on Greuel's behalf. Garcetti maintained that, as mayor, Greuel would not stand up to the union when its contract is up for renewal next year.


Maven's Morning Coffee: Wendy Greuel supports hotel workers, money pours into South LA race, controller candidates debate


Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Wendy Greuel said this weekend that she supports $15 an hour wages for hotel workers in LA. The city already requires a "living wage" of $12 per hour at hotels near LAX.

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Today is Monday, May 13, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, voter turnout could hit 25 percent, Kevin James and Jan Perry debut on the airwaves, and there's life after City Hall.

Mayor candidate Wendy Greuel says she supports paying all hotel workers in Los Angeles $15 an hour, reports KPCC. The city already requires hotels near LAX to pay a "living wage" of $12 an hour. Eric Garcetti also supports a higher wage for hotel employees, but would not commit a specific figure.


LA mayor’s race: Greuel wants $15 'living wage' for hotel workers; Garcetti won't commit on amount

Eric Garcetti Campaigning

Frank Stoltze

Eric Garcetti speaks with voters after a forum sponsored by the South LA Alliance of Neighborhood Councils.

Wendy Greuel Campaigns

Frank Stoltze

Wendy Greuel talks with a voter outside Grant A.M.E. Church in Watts Sunday (05-13-12)

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013As Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel crisscrossed Los Angeles in search of support, many voters wrestled to decide between the two Democrats in this non-partisan race for mayor.

Los Angeles mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel said over the weekend that she wants the city to impose a $15-an-hour minimum wage for all hotel workers in L.A.

“We want to make sure that all boats rise in the city, that people have the opportunity to afford housing and to be able to afford amenities,” Greuel said at a campaign stop in South L.A.

The city already requires hotels along Century Boulevard near LAX to pay workers a “living wage” of nearly $12 an hour. Greuel wants to expand that.

The public commitment appeared to be a new one, and came 10 days before Election Day in a tight race where labor union activists could play a deciding role. In fact, those activists over the weekend handed out a Greuel flyer saying she would increase the minimum wage for those workers.