Wages & Economic Development
Led by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, the Raise The Wage coalition is spearheading the movement to increase the prosperity and health of working families in Los Angeles County. LAANE is a leading member of the coalition, and together we have established a pathway to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Pasadena, lifting up nearly one million workers in the process.
Los Angeles is one of the wealthiest regions in the nation, however our $700 billion economy depends on poverty jobs and exploited labor. As a result, millions of workers with full-time jobs are unable to afford sky-high rents and the basic necessities of life needed to raise a family.
This is why Raise the Wage is fighting for the core American value of an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.
Fortunately, we’ve won.
In 2015, we saw the historic Los Angeles Minimum Wage Increase in the City and County of Los Angeles, both of which raised their minimum wage to $15 by 2020. In 2016, other neighboring cities voted to establish a pathway for a $15 minimum wage in Santa Monica, and Pasadena. Also in 2016, the state of California followed suit when Governor Brown signed legislation raising California’s mandatory minimum to $15 an hour by 2022.
Raising the minimum wage was our first step. We are now working to ensure that the new wages are properly enforced by making sure workers are properly informed about increased wages, and establishing and fully funding local enforcement agencies.
We are also working with diverse coalitions throughout Los Angeles to combat wage theft, which is an issue that undermines workers, businesses, and the overall viability of our regional economy.
Additionally, we are pushing for paid sick days and family leave policies to improve the lives of working families.
Repower LA is a citywide coalition of community groups, environmentalists, and small businesses anchored by LAANE, SCOPE, and IBEW Local 18 that advocates for equitable environmental programs and career-path jobs at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), the nation’s largest municipally-owned utility.
Repower LA formed in 2011 in response to high unemployment in many of LA’s neighborhoods and our city’s unsustainable reliance on dirty energy. Our goal is to help make clean energy and good jobs at DWP accessible to all Angelenos while helping them lower their bills.
A cornerstone of RePower LA’s work is our support for the Utility Pre-Craft Trainee (UPCT) program, which was developed by IBEW Local 18, in partnership with DWP. The pre-apprenticeship program has partnered with our coalition to recruit women and communities of color, including the re-entry population. Participants learn various electrical and water utility skills while earning $16/hour with benefits, and get on the path to a career at the DWP.
Our coalition also works to increase investment in clean energy and energy efficiency programs to help the DWP become greener. As part of our vision of progressive systemic change at the DWP, RePower LA successfully pushed for the DWP to institute the new “Equity Metrics Data Initiative” (EMDI). The EMDI will track and publically release semi-annual data on how well the DWP is serving customers across programs, jobs, and services in low-income communities.
In expanding sustainability and good jobs, our coalition campaigned for the new Community Solar pilot recently approved by the DWP Board in November 2016. The pilot program, called “Solar Rooftops,” will utilize UPCTs to install solar panels on customers’ properties across Los Angeles. This will diversify DWP’s renewable energy sources, benefitting customers who will receive fixed payments in exchange for leasing their roofs, while creating more sustainable jobs.
Ports & Goods Movement
The Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports works to create good jobs, healthy communities, and a clean environment at the Ports of L.A. and Long Beach. We seek to raise up community and worker voices about the economic and environmental impacts of the twin Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Over 43% of the goods entering the United States come through these ports. Over fifteen million container units move through our communities each year by trucks, trains, and other machinery, creating massive environmental impacts on nearby communities.
The over 12,000 trucks that do business at the ports had historically been among the oldest, most polluting fleet in the nation, resulting in negative impacts for harbor-area communities. In 2008, we helped pass the Clean Trucks Program in Los Angeles and Long Beach, which mandated that old, dirty trucks must be phased out and replaced with new vehicles.
There is no doubt that the Clean Trucks Program has cleaned the air: the newer trucks mandated by the program have resulted in a 90 percent reduction in diesel emissions. Cargo is being hauled more cleanly, and communities near the port are breathing easier.
Since the passage of the Clean Trucks Program, the Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports has continued to work with partners in the environmental, community, and labor movements to ensure that truck drivers are provided with good jobs and that the industry’s effects on local communities are mitigated. In partnership with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, we do this by assisting drivers in challenging misclassification through administrative claims, litigation and direct action.
As the sector rapidly changes, we have established PortInnovations.com as a source of information about the latest findings and rulings from state administrative and legal bodies, as well as the innovations that the transportation and warehousing sectors use to deal with issues of competition and compliance. We envision that this will become a place for industry, legal and regulatory players to keep up on the latest litigation, rulings, legislation, and innovations, with an eye to a future where the sector benefits everybody — community members, business interests, and all who work at the Ports.
Reclaim Our Schools LA is a coalition of parents, educators, students, school staff, and community members working to improve access and advance opportunities in public education for all students in Los Angeles.
Our existing educational system does not consistently deliver on the promise of a comprehensive, free, innovative, and sustainable public education for every student. This is why Reclaim Our Schools LA’s priority is to strengthen neighborhood public schools in Los Angeles and work with communities across LAUSD to push for policies that support every student. We believe that every student deserves equally excellent educational opportunities and access, regardless of their race, socioeconomic background, geography, or special needs.
Reclaim Our Schools LA believes that a community schools model is an effective approach to transform opportunities for every student in Los Angeles. A community school is a center for community services housed at a neighborhood school that uses community partnerships and expanded educational opportunities to better support students, parents, educators, and community members. First students, parents, educators, and community members collaborate to create a vision of what their school should look like to meet their community’s unique needs. Then they collaborate with nonprofit organizations and public agencies to provide services at the school site.
Reclaim Our Schools LA is working to have LAUSD designate itself as a community schools district and for the LAUSD Board to allocate funds to roll out this model.
Grocery & Retail
Shop Well LA strives to improve the lives of grocery and retail workers in Los Angeles. Our vision of a prosperous Los Angeles for all includes a strong and vibrant grocery and retail sector that provides high-quality jobs and high-quality food for all communities. We hold companies accountable to our standards of good jobs, responsible grocers, and food access for all.
Our coalition works to ensure that retailers act as responsible businesses in the communities where they operate by creating and maintaining good jobs in the industry. We collaborate with and support the efforts of grocery workers fighting for good jobs including the Justice for El Super Workers campaign, Our Walmart workers, and members of UFCW Local 770.
We also believe retailers have a duty to all communities of Los Angeles. Unequal access to food faced by some communities is not only unethical, but also has long-term consequences on the health and welfare of these communities. Shop Well LA advocates for policies and programs that encourage the expansion of healthy food options in food deserts across Los Angeles.
It is problematic when the practices of multi-national corporations do not take into account their impact on local businesses, residents, and workers. To this end, the Shop Well LA works to hold these retailers accountable by advocating for protections and community benefits that raise the standards in the grocery and retail industry.