Gutsy Move! Irvine Republicans vote against Hero Pay, shaft Essential Workers.


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Irvine scrooges Carroll and Kuo give a big F-U to our grocery heroes.

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Some cynics out there, many of whom may be reading this sentence at this moment, regularly insist that there are no differences between Republicans and Democrats. No meaningful differences between the two major Parties in America. And many feel local politics is too unimportant to spend their time and energy on it.

Well, OC friends, if you happen to share any of these opinions, I respectfully urge a contrary view.

Case in point:

At the federal level, at the time of writing, we are on track to receive: 1) $1,400 checks, 2) child tax credits, 3) extended unemployment benefits, and 4) rent relief. All these items come courtesy of Democratic votes ONLY, without the support of a single Republican vote in the House or Senate…

WHAT’S WRONG HOUSE AND SENATE REPUBLICANS? Don’t American families deserve some relief? Or is it just business as normal at the U.S. Capitol building?

So yeah, there’s kind of a major difference between the modern-day Democratic Party and the Grand Ole Anti-Humane Party.

Switching gears to recent local events, in my city of Irvine, kudos go to our City Council for being the first in Orange County to vote in a $4 per hour hazard pay increase above base pay for workers at local large-chain grocery stores and pharmacies, who have been most at-risk since the start of the pandemic 12 months ago. This so-called “hero-pay” has been pushed by UFCW as well as Democratic establishments, while being vehemently attacked by business organizations (e.g. Chamber of Commerce) and organizations funded exclusively by massive grocery store chains.

Well, SPOILER alert: 3 Democratic members of the Council voted YES, while Republican Council members Mike Carroll and Anthony Kuo told thousands of members of our community, most making $14 minimum wage at our local Ralphs and Albertsons, to SHUT UP and go back to work. The Kroger Company needs to maintain all their record-breaking profits for the corporate headquarters.

REPUBLICANS CARROLL and KUO, when presented with the ordinance sponsored by Democratic Mayor Farrah Khan to honor and respect the contributions of so many essential workers, chose to SAY NO!

Now who cares, you might be asking? Didn’t it pass 3-2 anyhow? Well, let me answer that.

If either Kuo or Carroll had cast a Yes vote, then the 4-1 City Council vote would have been enough to make the hazard pay ordinance go into immediate effect, shortly after the initial Feb 9th City Council meeting. Instead, with the 3-2 vote, our brave men and women (and non-binary) grocers had to wait an additional 45 days… until the ordinance becomes active goes into effect at the end of MARCH?!?!

Voters of Irvine elected Mike Carroll last November. Voters of Irvine elected Anthony Kuo on November 6th, 2018 and his term will expire in 2022, where Kuo would have to face re-election. Does your voice matter? Do local elections matter? Feel free to ask the friendly essential workers at your next grocery trip.

Luis Huang
Community Activist
luismhuang@gmail.com


About Luis Huang in Irvine

Raised in the suburbs of San Francisco, UCSD 2009 Alumni, Electrical Engineer, Solar Energy and Clean Energy Advocate, community activist, IG enthusiast, boba drink lover, and former candidate for Irvine mayor.