April 25, 2019 

By Lauren Floyd 

Contributing Writer 


The #LocalEnforcementNow movement organized by the Los Angeles Black Worker Center (LABWC) celebrated a victory in their push to pass a historic civil and human rights ordinance.  This new ordinance enables the City of Los Angeles to oversee claims of employment discrimination that occurred within the city’s boundaries, thus enabling Black workers and other workers in the city to pursue justice.


Last Wednesday, L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson, who co-authored the ordinance, addressed LABWC members at City Hall immediately following the vote.


"Today's vote brings us one step closer to making sure our city's rich diversity is represented in the workplace. With this vote, we are prioritizing vital protections for L.A.'s Black and Brown workers, including women, immigrants, those who identify as LGBTQ, and Muslims. Employment should be based on a person's merit, experience, and character, not the color of their skin, where they're from, or who they love. A big thank you to the Los Angeles Black Worker Center for their work in getting us to this point."


According to LABWC, the unemployment rate for Black workers in Los Angeles is 16 ­percent – three times the national average. In California, African Americans comprise only six percent of the population, yet nearly 70 percent of the state’s workforce discrimination claims are based on race and disability. This disparity and disproportionate unemployment is what triggered the #LocalEnforcementNow movement to begin.


In press release prior to the passing of the ordinance, LABWC said:


“This is the second time in L.A.’s history that a civil rights ordinance was up for vote by the City Council. The city’s first civil rights ordinance was originally presented in 1955, but was voted down due in part to the conservative climate of that era. In the coming weeks, the Los Angeles City Council is poised to strengthen civil rights protections of all its workers by approving this unprecedented ordinance. If approved, the City of Los Angeles will join the ranks of other major U.S. cities that enforce discrimination protections at the city and county level.”

Category: News