Cross-posted from OC Daily
A militant, politically left-wing union that for years has denounced tax subsidies for luxury hotel development in Anaheim is embracing just such subsidy program in Santa Ana due to the city council’s inclusion of mandatory “labor peace agreements” for participating hotels.
For the last four years, leaders of the militant hotel workers union UNITE-HERE Local 11 have attacked members of the Anaheim City Council for their support for subsidizing four-diamond hotel development using a portion of the transient occupancy tax (TOT) generated by those hotels. Lambasting them as corporate “giveaways” to “rich developers” has been a staple of their political campaigns and an organizing tool for their successful drive to push Anaheim into adopting by-district elections.
“While UNITE-HERE Local 11 supports the creation of jobs, it should not be done at the expense of taxpayers,” UNITE-HERE official Martin Lopez told the Anaheim City Council during a 2009 vote on an early version of the subsidy for the GardenWalk Hotels project. Lopez is now running against Anaheim Councilwoman Lucille Kring in newly-created District 4.
After the Anaheim City Council approved a revised economic assistance agreement with the GardenWalk developers in May 2013, the union’s satellite advocacy group OCCORD (Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development) filed a lawsuit to invalidate the agreement – litigation that has help up the project ever since.
Bad in Anaheim, Good in Santa Ana
Next door in Santa Ana, however, UNITE-HERE believes “strongly” in the city using TOT taxes to subsidize four-diamond hotel development. The difference?
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