LAUREN MEISTER | Unite Here is having a memory lapse

Like many of you reading this, I too received the “John Duran & Lauren Meister voted against raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.” The hit piece was paid for by UNITE HERE Local 11 PAC. In the mailer, they reference a Council vote that was taken on March 21, 2016.

Interestingly, when I ran for re-election in March of 2019, UNITE HERE 11 asked me to come in for an interview. Even though I was honest with them that I would not be influenced by special interests, they still endorsed me — three years after the vote referenced in the hit piece.

Certainly they had done their homework. Certainly, Councilmember Horvath would have told them about the minimum wage vote (they also endorsed her in 2019 as well as Sepi Shyne). Perhaps they weren’t bothered by my vote in 2016 because they knew I had sound reasons for voting the way I voted.

Decide for yourself.

You can access the Minimum Wage Staff Report from March 21, 2016 here: https://weho.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=22&clip_id=2822&meta_id=110939

You can access the Minutes of the March 21, 2016 Council meeting here: https://docs.google.com/gview?url=https%3A%2F%2Fweho.granicus.com%2FDocumentViewer.php%3Ffile%3Dweho_3e180044f84cf4ae69934cac5e1c014e.pdf%26view%3D1&embedded=true

Here are some excerpts from the Minutes:

“Mayor Pro Tempore Meister requested clarification on what city would be comparable with West Hollywood as it relates to studying this issue. Maribel Louie responded that Santa Monica would be the comparable city. Mayor Pro Tempore Meister also asked if there was any outreach to the Russian business community, and Staff stated that Outreach had not been conducted as of yet, as it is one of the recommendations in staff report but stated that the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has had meetings with the business community. Staff also confirmed that over 70% of businesses in West Hollywood have 25 or fewer employees.”

“Mayor Pro Tempore Meister thanked everyone who came out to speak. She stated that there needs to be outreach to the businesses in the Russian-speaking community. She agreed that the issue of how this will affect tipped employees needs further research and discussion. She stated that our City cannot be compared to other cities, especially Los Angeles. She spoke in support of an increase but in favor of moving forward with a starting point of $12/hour and then reviewing the impacts and also seeing what recommendations come from the County’s Small Business Initiative in May and the ballot measure in November.”

The motion that was approved by three of the five councilmembers (D’Amico, Duran, and Meister) was as follows:

“Councilmember D’Amico made a Substitute Motion to: 1) Receive the report providing an overview of wages paid by West Hollywood businesses; 2) Direct City Attorney to prepare an ordinance establishing a City of West Hollywood minimum wage within 60 days and requiring the payment of a city-wide minimum wage of $12.00/hour as of July 1, 2017 for business with 26 or more employees; and require the payment of a city-wide minimum wage of $12.00/hour as of July 1, 2018 for businesses with 25 or less employees and non-profits of any size; 3) Include a Learner’s Exemption; 4) Direct staff to conduct outreach meetings during a 60-day discussion period with the business community, including small businesses, to present the framework of the ordinance and solicit their input and study the issue of workers between the ages of 16-17 who have a work-permit, as well as tipped workers, prior to returning to Council with the draft ordinance; 5) Follow-up on the Los Angeles County small business initiative and the result of the 2016 Election. Councilmember Duran seconded the Substitute motion and it passed, with Councilmember Heilman and Mayor Horvath voting No.”

Unlike one of my colleagues, I am a life-long Democrat. But being a Councilmember on a non-partisan board for a small city is not about political party. It’s about implementing sensible policies, studying the impacts of those policies on the city overall, and making adjustments where needed.

In this case, my two colleagues and I were being cautious. The state minimum wage had just been raised to $10/hour. We agreed that $12/hour was a more appropriate starting point. We also understood that nearly three-quarters of our city’s businesses were small businesses and that small businesses are what make our city unique.

Why would Council risk hurting our small businesses when we could offer a compromise to accommodate both workers and businesses as well as a commitment to continue the conversation?

Making policy for a small city like West Hollywood requires smart decision-making. We should not be a petri dish for outside influencers. Being an idealogue is easy; being a thoughtful policymaker is much more complicated and, frankly, requires a lot of work and attention to detail.

You may agree or disagree with my decisions but I will always tell you why I voted the way I voted. I will always have the best interests of the City at heart. UNITE HERE LOCAL 11 apparently recognized that in 2019. Their memory lapse makes me wonder who’s running their campaign.

I’m sure there will be more hit pieces to come because when candidates don’t have a lot of positives, their supporters tend to go negative. If you have questions about how I voted on any issue, just call me. I’m always happy to discuss. 310-801-9839.

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[…] her September 16th op-ed, Mayor Lauren Meister defends the vote she and Councilmember John Duran took on March 21, 2016 […]

Commenter
Commenter
8 days ago

Speaking from experience, an organization will involve themselves negatively in an effort, political, social, etc, for the right amount of ‘donation.’

Don Jones
Don Jones
11 days ago

Who is funding the Unite Here PAC?

voter
voter
10 days ago
Reply to  Don Jones

I also want to know the names and faces behind this union. They seem determined to continue their campaign to destroy the City of West Hollywood. I would like to know who they are.

Serial whiners
Serial whiners
10 days ago
Reply to  voter

Serial whiners & complainers.

Jason Smith
Jason Smith
6 days ago
Reply to  voter

I would like to know this too. Who are they and why are they so committed to seeing crime and violence skyrocket in West Hollywood. Is there some kind of anti-gay agenda here?

Michael on Havenhurst Drive
Michael on Havenhurst Drive
12 days ago

Horvath, Erickson, and Shyne are the enemies of West Hollywood. They have ruined the city. It is time to sue them in a Breach of Public Trust Lawsuit and start to investigate which three of these political hacks are getting kickbacks from the Block by Block racket. Also, it is time to check on Horvath and the 800 dollars a call scam she was probably part of with Sheila and her close girlfriend. I wonder how much the revolting SHE got under the table from the corrupt Union.

carleton cronin
12 days ago

Those who have nothing good to bring to the conversation resort to innuendo and worse. I firmly believe that unions have a place in our commercial and institutional segments of our society but not in our cultural arena. The last person to exhibit a sensible presence in both was Eric Hoffer. But, politics is a crazy game with no real rules. Thus, even idiots and those with no methane a loud voice are admitted on the playing fields. Judge with facts not emotions. Still, I think that a city must tread lightly when attempting to dictate conditions in the commercial… Read more »

Tom
Tom
12 days ago

These attacks are being promulgated by other Council people, who seem to delight in waspish, unprofessional sniping at Mayor Meister. It tells us far more about them, and the people they endorse. I look at this mailer as a good voter guide- no on the three SHE mini-mes and yes on the flip side.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
12 days ago
Reply to  Tom

They play clique-ish games through their incestuous clubs and special interest groups and demand fealty for endorsements and support. They don’t give a rat’s toosh about critical thinking on any issue other than party-line loyalty. Professional politicians treat it like it’s a parlor game; a mean-spirited, bitchy and vindictive party game. The SHE have dispensed with any comity that once attended professional relationships among members of council, and indeed commissions and boards. They have ushered in a divisiveness unlike any period in the city’s history. Shame on their petulance, immaturity and irresponsible self-centeredness. Cloaked anger is not a virtue.

Ian
Ian
12 days ago

What exactly is “like Democrats”?
Like the train wrecks of Chicago, LA, SF, NYC, SEA, Portland, D.C, and every other FAR LEFT urban crime ridden, homeless slum, Illegal Aliens First sewer current Democrat leaders have created across the country?

Last edited 12 days ago by Ian
Michael on Havenhurst Drive
Michael on Havenhurst Drive
12 days ago
Reply to  Ian

Recall the slimy Sepi Shyne was sworn into office by a big league California Democrat. Sepi’s close friend. Who ended up being investigated by the FBI, under inditement and forced out of office. As for Unions, why does the City of West Hollywood have one? Who else is going to hire them? And why would they ever have the dreadful loathsome John Erickson as their president. Then of course the “civil servants” endorsed this dyed hair and nail clown. And I’m sure they endorsed the former GOP “lady’ from East Cleveland aka Lindsey Horvath.

Eric
Eric
12 days ago

Hopefully people have common sense to trash it for the garbage that it is, and rid themselves of the lies and negativity it promotes.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
12 days ago

Does anyone think a burger flipper at a fast food joint works any harder with an absurdly high $15 an hour requirement, than with no mimimum wage? The free market will pay what they need to voluntarily get people to show up for work. Communism didn’t work, folks.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
12 days ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Minimum wage is communism now?

Should we let the bridges and roads rot then? Isn’t that communism too?

And the argument is not that a fast food worker will worker “harder” (they already work very hard). The point is that they have more money to survive in an expensive county to live in.

I can’t believe this has to be explained to you.

Michael on Havenhurst Drive
Michael on Havenhurst Drive
12 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

I totally agree on unions. All the major hotels should be unionized. They are run by white males CEOs making 20 to 50 million dollars a year. Also, all DEVELOPERS must be unionized. Or they don’t build in West Hollywood. Any hotel that won’t unionize should be barred from any events in connection with the film industry. As for Democrats and unions. A neighbor, former exec at Paramount and loud mouth Democrat was against unions. She lives in $500,000 unit. I informed her I was a member of the WGA and the Dramatist Union and then flipped her the finger.… Read more »

Joe Bologna
Joe Bologna
12 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Let me explain something to you, sir: Burger flipper jobs are not intended to be careers for 40-year-olds. These jobs are intended to be after-school, part-time gigs for high schoolers and college kids. Burger King should not be a career choice and it’s not intended to help the worker “survive.” You’re welcome.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
11 days ago
Reply to  Joe Bologna

These jobs are intended to be after-school, part-time gigs for high schoolers and college kids”

Who said these jobs are intended for that purpose?

Thankfully, the majority of people living here in California have a different opinion of worker’s rights.

High Earner :)
High Earner :)
11 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Study after study has shown minimum wage increases actually have no effect to detrimental effects to the low income earners. Burger flippers are not careers and the business model determines the payment not government. If you don’t think it is enough then get a better job. Get educated. Pro tip: there are no guarantees in life. I can’t believe I have to explain this to you! In addition, your living conditions are a direct correlation to your education and negotiating skills. If you are a high school graduate then you earn high school graduation rates. Exceptions do occur but again… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by High Earner :)
greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
11 days ago
Reply to  High Earner :)

Honey, you haven’t explained anything.

Study after study has shown minimum wage increases actually have no effect to detrimental effects to the low income earners”

This isn’t true at all lol.

Honestly, people do not tolerate stupid and Will leave for a better place.”

Please, by all means LEAVE. This state is overcrowded from decades of people moving here.

High Earner :)
High Earner :)
10 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Typically during an argument with knowledgeable people saying things such as ‘this isn’t true at all’ is reserved for grammar school arguments and not used here. But I guess that places you in the grade school category. I’ll leave it to you to research it out and gain the knowledge about minimum wage increases mandated by government (they have a detrimental affect). As for leaving. That is your response? The state is a mess. Blackouts. Crime. High taxes. Communist ideas that are parroted by the likes of you. What makes you think I haven’t made plans to leave or have… Read more »

Last edited 10 days ago by High Earner :)
greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
10 days ago
Reply to  High Earner :)

I will take my dough with me which happens to measure in 8 figures”

LOL this is too good. The adult version of “she goes to another school” 😂
The state had a $97 Billion dollar surplus but sure California is a mess according to you 🙂

Have a great trip! We will miss your “dough” so dearly!

High Earner +. ;)
High Earner +. ;)
9 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

FYI. Tax receipts for August are down 11%. And the surplus does not take into account of the unfunded liabilities. All you do is insult, name call and fake laugh. You really have no facts, no argument and seeming no intellectual honesty. Trust me, no one will miss you or what you represent! Ask yourself why are so many people leaving? Why? If you’re honest you will come to the conclusion that 300k+ came too. CA is over. Alas, you are a horrible representation of weho and CA in general. Shameful is another word that come to mind when I… Read more »

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
12 days ago

We can always count on Lauren Meister to do her homework, study issues, ask questions (a lot of questions!), listen to people and cast thoughtful and tough votes that are in the best interest of sound municipal governance for the people of West Hollywood. I know from experience that one can disagree with Lauren without being disagreeable, or finding oneself on the receiving end of anger, vitriol or bullying from the council dais. Instead, Lauren will always take the time to explain her position. That’s the nuts and bolts of what we elect councilmembers to do. The performances, the lies,… Read more »

alex
alex
11 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

I agree with Mr. Strasburg … Lauren Meister is what the WeHo City Council needs. My concerns are the Council Members too closely affiliated with the Union mentioned. This disinformation campaign – did the United Here leadership and their President Taylor actually dig into the details before launching this disinformation.
Meister is the Best Candidate.

Leslie Karliss
Leslie Karliss
10 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Well said as always, Alan.

supporter
supporter
12 days ago

Unite Here has become the enemy of the residents and taxpayers of West Hollywood. The minimum wage is too high in West Hollywood. It hurts all residents and taxpayers and lines the pockets of Unite Here members and their mind-blowingly corrupt leadership.

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