|The LookOut Letters to the Editor|
|Speak Out! E-mail us at : Editor@surfsantamonica.com|
March 22, 2000
Tom Larmore's letter to the Lookout is full of blatant misrepresentations.
Is this the level of veracity the community can expect from proponents
of some businesses' Trojan Horse ballot measure? If so, I feel fully justified
in having called their deceptive proposal
To take the false claims regarding Council actions one at a time:
"First, they misappropriated the phrase "living wage" by attempting to apply it to a measure which would more than double the minimum wage."
The proposal brought to the community by Santa Monicans Allied for Responsible Tourism (SMART) called for a full-time worker to get just over $21,000 a year. That would barely take his or her family off food stamps. Under federal housing guidelines, it would enable rent of about $535 a month. Do the luxury hotels think that's too much wealth to bestow on struggling workers?
"Second, this extreme measure was prepared by a small group meeting in secret with absolutely no attempt to meet with the Chamber of Commerce or any other employer group before bringing it forward."
The SMART plan was developed over many months, with interactive presentations to neighborhood groups, the Bayside District Board, and an offer of a Chamber presentation that was declined. The lying wage ballot initiative is the one forged in secrecy. The big-money arrogance of bringing in a hired gun consultant from San Francisco to hoodwink Santa Monica voters is matched only by the Jonathan Club's sudden firing of loyal poverty-level workers who "happened" to be true living wage activists. Still a Jonathan Club member, Mr. Larmore, and do you support this apparently retaliatory firing?
"Third, the Council then voted to study the proposal with no attempt to seriously listen to these concerns."
Oh, please! The City Council held a long and very public hearing at which
many businesses made their case. At the end of that meeting I took great
pains to read into the record a list of the eleven major concerns businesses
expressed, so that they would be sure to be studied thoroughly before
an ordinance was crafted. A "scoping" workshop introducing the
consultant to research the impacts drew still more business input, all
"The Chamber has consistently supported true "living wage" measures such as the one we are proposing."
Somehow Mr. Larmore must have missed -- or forgotten? -- the Chamber meeting at which the formation of his own committee was announced, along with the raising of significant funds to fight a living wage. The minutes indicate a Chamber position opposing inalterably any city attempt to increase minimum wages in Santa Monica.
Beware the silver spoon and forked tongue.
"It is disgusting to watch wealthy people step on hard-working, poor people -- especially during such prosperous times.
This (the Jonathan Club's) ruthless display of power shows why so many workers need unions to protect them."
March 23, 2000
I simply do not care if Mr. Rubin will have pants, long or short, at the council meeting... should he be elected, but I know he is an activist, and even an activist must eat from time to time, so my question is: "What does he do for a living?"
How about posting a phone number since he wants the voters to call and ask questions?
Everyone who seeks office, usually, says that he or she can do better than the other person. Mr. Rubin's statement is that he is just like the other candidates, so why should I vote for him? I can vote for anyone and I would have the same mentality, right? There just must be someone a bit different than Mr. Rubin so I hope!