Hotel project push back could forge new political alliance

PASADENA
– A hotel project that has drawn the ire of Pasadena community
members and organized labor will head to the Pasadena Planning
Commission
at 6:15 p.m., on Wednesday, in the Hale Building, 175 N.
Garfield Avenue, according to city documents.

The
Residence Inn
planned for a vacant lot on Fair Oaks Avenue has been
criticized by Unite Here Local 11 due to the plan to erect an
extended-stay hotel on the site.

Such
properties, according to Unite Here Local 11 officials, employ fewer
workers than traditional hotels and those employees are seldom
represented by unions.

Occidental
Professor Peter Dreier
has criticized the project saying that the
hotel will pay “poverty wages.”

The
battle over the Residence Inn could be the next front in the battle for local jobs in Pasadena, as Ishmael Trone,
chairman of the Fair Oaks Project Area Committee, has weighed in on
the issue.

The
project could also merge two disparate movements - Dreier’s
Pasadena Coalition for Responsible Development
and Trone’s efforts to bring jobs to Northwest Pasadena, which lacks the benefit of a catchy name or acronym. 

Both
groups have lambasted the city for its inability – or some would call
reluctance – to marry development with living wage employment for
Pasadena residents.

Trone
blasted city and Rose Bowl Operating Company officials during a job
fair
at the stadium.

Dreier
was mired in a fight with the city over the New Constance Hotel.

On the surface the two seemingly have little in common, but they do have a common gripe: City Hall has offered little in the way of effective policy to help Pasadena’s working class find jobs while pressing forward with multi-million dollar construction projects. 

Those are some of the same frustrations bubbling across the country in the Occupy movement. And that movement is full of markedly distinct agendas.  

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