Archived: Ordinance Would Require Shelters For Day Laborers

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Companies that open large home-improvement stores in Los Angeles would have to set aside space for day laborers under an ordinance unanimously approved Tuesday by the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

The proposed ordinance, which must still be approved by the full council, would require new home improvement stores that are 100,000 square feet or larger, or any building or structure where 250,000 square feet or more of warehouse floor area is added, to set aside space for day laborers seeking employment from customers.

The shelters would have to be easily accessible and equipped with drinking water, bathrooms, tables with seating and trash facilities.

Home-improvement stores would also be required to develop a security plan in consultation with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Bethany Leal with the Multi-Ethnic Immigrant Worker Organizing Network, which supports the ordinance, called it an example of “immigration integration.”

“By having public and private entities work together to create facilities used primarily by immigrants, individual residents, as well as the whole city, benefit,” Leal said.

A representative of Home Depot urged the committee to include an amendment that would make the city responsible for operating the shelters.

“The Home Depot looks forward to continuing to work with you and other important stakeholders to develop an ordinance that comprehensively provides guidelines to the various entities that must be involved to address this issue,” said Francisco Uribe, senior manager of government relations for The Home Depot. “Unfortunately, the current draft ordinance leaves many unanswered questions that should be addressed.”

The Community Development Department already operates eight day laborer sites in the city. Grant funding is used to maintain the facilities at an annual cost of $150,000 to $180,000.

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