Staying Safe During the Holidays
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we’re reminded to pause and reflect on all that for which we are thankful. I’m grateful for the unwavering commitment of our hospitals to keep Southern California residents healthy and safe, and I’m hopeful that their dedicated staff will spend much-needed time with loved ones this season.
As winter ushers in its festivities, we’re also seeing an increased circulation of multiple respiratory illnesses. Following a mild couple of years for flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), we’re now seeing increases in transmission, along with an expected wave of COVID-19 cases.
With little reprieve for our hospitals, this triple wave holds potential for yet another challenging season for our hospitals. While this news threatens to dampen the holiday spirit, I encourage you all to enjoy the upcoming holidays while taking steps to stay safe as much as possible.
Ballot Initiatives Update
Following the Nov. 8 election, voters in the city of Duarte are on track to overwhelmingly reject a local ballot measure that would have instituted a $25 per hour minimum wage for some health care workers. Measure J is currently being defeated with 63.2% NO votes to 36.5% YES.
In Inglewood, a similar measure (Measure HC) is likely to win passage by only a narrow margin — 53.1% YES to 46.49% NO. It’s important to note that Inglewood is one of the most progressive cities in the state, with a voter registration that is 76% Democrat and only 5% Republican. The fact that Measure HC is barely passing indicates that many voters recognized the serious flaws in this initiative.
HASC, CHA and our coordinated campaign team have aggressively fought both these measures, as they unfairly apply only to some health care workers at some facilities, while excluding a majority of others doing the exact same job. To date, our team has prevented similar ordinances from passing in nine cities. We anticipate labor unions will continue proposing such measures, possibly statewide, and we will continue serving as the voice of hospitals, keeping a vigilant eye out for activity that could impact our members.
In this moment, however, let us toast to our health, our families, our communities and the fine work we have accomplished together.
Stay safe, and Happy Thanksgiving.