Lowenthal and Labor Leaders Join for Roundtable on Livable-Wages

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Lowenthal to convene her Select Committee on Ports for a public conversation about the promises and challenges of an organized work force.

Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal will convene a hearing of her Select Committee on Ports next Friday, bringing together an impromptu think-tank of labor leaders and scholars to discuss labor’s role in a competitive goods-movement industry.

“Much of our city grew up during a period of high unionization,” said Lowenthal, D-Long Beach. “We don’t have those high rates anymore, and we need to see how that affects your chances of making a decent living.” 

Lowenthal, who also chairs the powerful Assembly Transportation Committee, chose an unusual format for the hearing. Unlike typical legislative meetings, in which participants take turns sitting at a table across the room from the elected official, who is often looking down from a dais, Thursday’s hearing will bring all participants and the committee chair to the same table, and all will remain there, together, throughout the hearing.

“People feel alienated enough from their government,” said Lowenthal. “I don’t need to be sitting on some big chair looking down at people across the room. I want to sit with them. After all, we’re all in this together.”

The informational hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m., Nov. 18, in the Port of Long Beach Boardroom.

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