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Tipsheet

Los Angeles' Latest Initiative Will Destroy Its Hotel Industry

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Do liberals guide all facets of public policy based on feelings? They do. You probably already know this, but for those in the back—here’s a classic case of people putting feelings before facts and rationale. Here’s a scenario: you’re enjoying a nice vacation to Los Angeles and wake up to find hobos everywhere in the hotel. How did they get there? A new voter initiative will force hotels to post the number of vacancies available, which will then be occupied by the homeless. It's been called “the dumbest measure” to ever come before the city’s council on the matter. There were two options for the governing body: adopt the ordinance or leave it up to the voters to decide. The council opted for the latter, with the vote to be held on March 5, 2024 (via LA Mag):

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The Los Angeles City Council rejected a proposal Friday morning that would force hotels to report vacant rooms, by 2 p.m. daily, so homeless people can use government vouchers to stay in them.

The ordinance was proposed by UNITE HERE Local 11, a union representing over 32,000 workers in California’s hospitality industry—perhaps most famously at Chateau Marmont and Dodger Stadium—which secured enough signatures for the council to vote on the measure.

According to a document released by the Office of the City Clerk last February, “The ordinance would create a program, subject to funding availability, to place unhoused individuals in vacant hotel rooms. A hotel would be prohibited from refusing lodging to program participants.”

The City Council was tasked today with voting either to adopt the proposed initiative ordinance, without alteration or to adopt the ballot resolution to submit the proposed initiative ordinance, without alteration, for a public vote in the March 5, 2024 election.

The City Council voted 11-1 in favor of the latter.

Councilman Joe Buscaino told KTLA in a report that aired Thursday night ahead of the vote that he thought the plan was “the dumbest measure” he’s seen in his decade on the City Council. He described the idea as “the worst of all options” in L.A.’s struggle to solve the homeless crisis, only exacerbated by the pandemic.

“What the measure does is hurts our tourism industry, which we heavily rely on, in a time when we are getting ready for the Olympics,” Buscaino said. “It puts hotel workers in a position where they will become social workers.”

Leaders from the hotel industry also stood in opposition. 

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If passed, the hospitality industry in the city will be destroyed. Like the rest of the country, these establishments have been torpedoed by the COVID pandemic. What better way to deliver the final cut to the jugular than pack hotels filled with families and the like with the homeless? California is a blue state hellhole, but hopefully most voters will see this as just another way to destroy business in the city. 

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