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Council Passes 'Living Wage' Law

March 23, 1997

Congratulations to the L.A. City Council (March 19). A "living wage" ordinance, imagine that. They've now said that it is a good thing for people who work to make enough money to be able to--maybe--get ahead, to be able to afford an extra pair of shoes, or find a better place to live. They might be able to buy health insurance!

And the business community finds this "unfriendly"? For shame. I can't tell you how sorry I am that the mayor's CEO friends may have to take less pay--say, $900,000 per year rather than $1 million. Or that big investors may not make the kinds of profits they are used to making. Truly, it makes me weep.

So, Mr. Mayor, you who sought the endorsement of organized labor, are you now going to veto this action?

MARCIA D. KELLOTAT

Los Angeles

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Any job at which a person must labor all day, yet earns less money than the minimum amount any citizen needs to survive in this city, is not a job at all, but serfdom.

Bravo to Jackie Goldberg and the rest of the City Council for passing this ordinance. It's no real loss if such jobs go elsewhere than Los Angeles, perhaps to locales where rents and bus fares are reasonable enough that a person can actually survive, and even live, on minimum wage earnings.

I know that I wouldn't be able to survive on $5 an hour, not here in Los Angeles. I doubt that Richard Riordan could either. If Riordan chooses to oppose the City Council in voting a living wage to city-contract workers, he should have the guts to live like one for at least a month or two, so that he fully understands the kind of miserable existence to which he would consign so many of his own city workers and fellow human beings.

ALICE RAMIREZ

Los Angeles

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