Measure B Proposition Fails at the Ballot Box

Sierra Namvari, Reporter

Measure B has sparked a lot of controversy on the Palos Verdes Peninsula hill. Supporters of Measure B said that it could help hospitality workers by preventing assault with panic buttons. After the general municipal election on Nov. 5, 2019, the measure was overwhelmingly defeated, with 78% voting no, and 22% voting yes.

 Many people in the months of October and November have knocked on doors, attempting to persuade Rancho Palos Verdes residents to vote either yes or no on the measure. If the measure were to pass, the law would have given hospitality workers panic buttons, as well as a higher wage of $15 an hour and an increase of $1 an hour every year until 2022.

 Another feature of this measure was that hotels would cover the cost of all transportation for work purposes for employees. The measure would have also protected workers if they’ve been fired due to retaliation by demanding any right that has been described by this measure. 

The real issue started in 2016, but it wasn’t until 2018 when Sandra Pezqueda spoke out in the news about her and other women who work at the Terranea Resort being sexually assaulted.

Some in support of Measure B argued that updated panic buttons are vital, especially for workers who are in isolated areas such as restrooms or guestrooms. This makes them more vulnerable to crimes and assault. Freshman Scarlett Martz said that she “would like to understand why so many people voted against Measure B, because the hospitality workers’ safety should always be the number one priority.” 

Individuals that oppose Measure B state that it imposes wages well beyond the state laws, which is bad for business. The main reason opponents stated they are against this measure is because of an outside organized labor union strongly encouraging all Terranea workers to unionize, as well as it limiting overtime for employees even for workers that want it. 

Those that opposed it also state that Terranea already has panic buttons; the only change that would need to be made is updating them. Rancho Palos Verdes City Council member and Spanish teacher Barbara Ferraro commented, “I was definitely against it and I’m thrilled that it went down to defeat.They already have panic buttons – it was just an outside union; the people were not from here.”