LONG BEACH, CA – UNITE HERE Local 11 has filed paperwork with the Long Beach City Clerk to begin collecting voter signatures for the Ordinance to Protect Women From Abuse. With the filing now complete, coalition members hope to place the measure on the ballot for the November 2018 election.This step has been taken after Long Beach City Council voted against enacting a similar policy in September of 2017. The plight of Long Beach hotel workers gained national press attention when Juana Melara, a Long Beach hotel housekeeper was recognized as part of a group of women from across the country known as the Silence Breakers, TIME Magazine’s Person of The Year.
Amelia Carillo, a local Long Beach resident and hotel worker stated, “Today, we are sending a strong message that the fight to protect working women is not over. We will not be kept silenced by a lack of leadership by our city leaders. I know deep down in my heart that Long Beach residents care about the women who live in their neighborhoods and contribute so much to the local economy.”
The empowerment of working women against abuse has become a rallying cry for many voters, particularly since the launch of the#MeToo movement. Women from all walks of life have publicized their stories highlighting the prevalence of sexual harassment in industries like hotels; in which women are the majority of the workforce.
Lorena Lopez Masoumi, Organizing Director at UNITE HERE Local 11, the union which represents workers in the Long Beach hotel industry stated, “Women in the hospitality industry broke the silence about physical and sexual abuse. Women spoke up and pleaded city officials to listen, but were ignored. It is now time for people in the city to take charge and use their vote to stand with women against abuse.”