Rally and Historic Sit-In

The fight for the fundamental right to housing is a worthy cause.

On June 22, Clue and Unite Here Local 11 came together at a rally and made history with a sit-in, demanding affordable housing for working Angelenos. It was a powerful moment of solidarity, standing up for the well-being of our community and leading the charge for all of us to “live where we work!”

Thousands of hotel and hospitality workers in Southern California held a legally authorized protest on a major boulevard that leads to Los Angeles International Airport. The demonstration resulted in almost 200 arrests, including multiple Clergy and two Los Angeles City Council members.

Sister Diane at Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet— “On June 22, I celebrated my 85th birthday by participating in civil disobedience with hundreds of leaders from CLUE (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice) and other organizers to accompany and support hospitality workers. Participation in this event was not an easy decision. The invitation to join this rally came months ago, and I had all kinds of excuses for not participating: I am too old; it was my birthday after all; I don’t walk well; etc. The Spirit kept calling me to step out of my comfort zone, and there I was. It was the best birthday ever!”

Words from Rev. Melinda Dodge, of Being the Church LB

I follow the prophetic teaching of the Hebrew Bible to seek justice, and I wear the yoke of Christ. And in that – through that – with that, I bear a responsibility to use my voice and privileged space of ordained leadership to speak for God’s justice.

So, it was on a rather warm June afternoon that I lined up alongside hundred’s of other faith leaders, union organizers, and supporters, to call for fair labor practices in the hotel industry. Occupying an entire block of Century Boulevard in the shadow of LAX, we stood and chanted for hours. And then, our permit to occupy the boulevard ended, and we were asked to disperse.

I disobeyed, and instead I sat down.

I sat DOWN to stand UP for fair labor practices in the massive and expanding hotel/tourist industry of Los Angeles.

I sat DOWN to stand UP to those who are profiting – at workers’ expense – by the upturn in tourism in our “post” COVID world.

I sat DOWN to stand UP to those in power – those who hold the purse strings – to those will reap the massive benefits of the next World Cup and the 2028 Olympics.

I sat DOWN to stand UP in solidarity with hospitality workers leading the charge for all of us to “live where we work!”

I sat DOWN to stand UP in support of 30,000+ hospitality workers in LA County who are asking for a livable hourly wage and healthy work practices.

Read more from Rev. Melinda Dodge’s blog, my-open-heart.org

The hospitality workers of UNITE HERE Local 11 have made their intentions clear. With an overwhelming majority (96%), they have voted to approve the strike. These workers will take their important work to the picket lines.

At CLUE, we are fully committed to supporting these courageous workers who are leading the charge to transform the tourism industry in our state. We are present on those same picket lines, providing prayer, songs, water, and words of encouragement. Additionally, we are actively participating in the mutual aid committee established by the union to help striking workers and their families. We stand alongside the fearless worker leaders as they boldly challenge their employers to negotiate fairly.