AHLA statement on defeat of LA homeless-in-hotels ballot initiative

LA Homeless

WASHINGTON (Dec. 5, 2023) – American Hotel & Lodging Association President & CEO Chip Rogers released the below statement today after the Los Angeles City Council voted to withdraw from the March 2024 ballot a union-backed measure that would have required all hotels in the city to house homeless people next to paying guests.

The ballot measure was proposed by Unite Here Local 11, a union representing Los Angeles hospitality workers. Unite Here agreed to remove the ballot measure under pressure from hoteliers and the LA City Council.

“For nearly two years, Unite Here created an atmosphere of dangerous uncertainty for hotel employees, hoteliers, and the City of Los Angeles by clinging to a proposal virtually everyone thinks is outrageous – forcing hotels to house homeless people next to paying guests. Today’s vote by the council removes Unite Here’s ridiculous homeless-in-hotels proposal from the ballot, and the union’s consent to this vote makes clear that its irresponsible demand was just a bargaining chip, rather than a serious attempt to address the homelessness crisis gripping LA,” said AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers. “We thank the LA City Council for brokering a compromise to get the homeless-in-hotels measure off the ballot. With its actions in LA, Unite Here showed that even the safety and security of its own members is up for negotiation. We urge leaders in LA and other cities to use this episode to inform their future interactions with Unite Here and to put hotel employee and guest safety first, even when Unite Here refuses to do so.”

Last week, Unite Here formally requested that LA city officials remove the union’s homeless-in-hotels measure from the March 2024 ballot. The LA City Council made that decision official today by voting to approve that request.

The LA Council last week approved a compromise ordinance that was part of a deal to avert Unite Here’s homeless-in-hotels ballot measure. The ordinance, among other things, creates a voluntary homeless-in-hotels program.