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The Anaheim Living Wage Initiative and other Disneyland Resort issues that deal with Anaheim Politics

Old Mouseketeer

Premium Member
I've got good news for you and Dr. Moreno! :)

The two (2) Anaheim tax incentives Disneyland was potentially allowed to benefit from, the 4 Star Hotel bed tax rebate and a non-existent but potentially future ticket tax rebate, have been cancelled. Several months ago Disneyland's president Mr. Damaro sent a registered letter to Anaheim City Hall asking to cancel the agreement for that bed tax rebate and the non-existent ticket tax rebate.

Then Disneyland cancelled the 4th hotel they had announced to be built on Disneyland Drive. Disney's 4th hotel land now sits largely vacant, except for some food trucks and a sandwich shop.

All tax incentives that benefit Disneyland, neither of which had been activated nor had yet paid a dime in tax rebates to Disney, are gone now. Anaheim tax incentives for Disneyland Resort don't exist. Marriott and Westin are lined up to receive those bed tax incentives when their new 4 Star hotels are completed, but not the Walt Disney Company.

But for discussion board purposes in late 2018 and into the 2020's, there's no "massive tax incentives" that exist between the City of Anaheim and the Walt Disney Company.
So strike the term "tax incentives" and substitute "corporate welfare". Some, like me, think the Mickey and Friends deal went too far in Disney's favor. Granted, Disney played Anaheim off Long Beach brilliantly. There are so many layers to what has gone on between all the players, including SOAR, UNITEHERE, the Master Services Unions, and others. And many of us have nuanced positions on some of the issues. I'm in favor of a higher wage for Disney workers. UNITEHERE's ALWI was a tactic, as was the Union Coalition's survey and resulting publicity. They needed a sledgehammer to make Disney budge after several decades of systematic wage suppression. Now thousands of Disney workers will have a little easier time surviving. I like the 4-star hotel incentive, but Disney's plan was a dog that no one loved. I'm not totally opposed to the ALWI in principle, but I'm uncomfortable with the retroactive nature of it. But I don't lament the loss of Disney's dog of a hotel. So all of this is a mixed bag AFAIC.

There's more to this than Anaheim good/Disney bad (or vice-versa). And I appreciate Darkbeer's knowledge and expertise, but his unrelenting partisanship exceeds the boundaries of a Disney fan site.

Bottom line, I want Disney and Anaheim to have a more productive and equal relationship going forward. But vilifying the unions or people who want Anaheim to stand up to Disney is not productive. These issues are more complex than that.
 

Old Mouseketeer

Premium Member
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I read it the first time. darkbeer's patronizing attitude is rubbing off on you. The assumptions you made about me are way off. Hilariously off. It's possible to know about a situation, even have first hand experience with an issue and not come to the same conclusion as you.

You single them out only because that is only who darkbeer talks about and he clearly has an agenda. Your copy and paste statement of the month about Moreno is not saying Disney is evil. It's part of a larger statement about why he believes Disney should not receive massive tax incentives. Do I think Disney is evil for also believing that?

I applaud Disney continuing to give to the community. It's come to the point that we expect it, which is a massive compliment. I also believe they should pay their CM's a higher wage and should not receive massive tax incentives. If you'll notice that Disney is getting better in those two areas. Why? In response to public pressure including those you are are singling out.

As I said, I don't agree with that unions tactics or even some of their demands, but they have gotten results. Moreno has done plenty for the community. It sounds like you won't be happy until they make a PR donation. As you said why don't they throw a few bucks to a charity. Throwing money at the problem won't fix it and your statements concluding as such show how little you know about homelessness. The city of Anaheim has let the problem fester for too long and now has gotten out of hand. As a member of the city council, criticize Moreno AND his fellow members for that, instead failing to send a few bucks to a charity that shows up in a google search.
Well said. I have said before that there are issues and details here that reasonable people can disagree about. But Darkbeer's conservative, pro-corporate cheerleading wears thin on a Disney fan site. I appreciate the timeliness of his inside information, but I'd be happy to wait a little if it would allow him to step back and reduce the level of partisanship. We're not all Republicans here--has he not noticed that Orange County has an incoming Congressional delegation that is all Democratic?

I don't want to increase the level of partisanship here--quite the opposite. Can we please discuss these very salient issues on their substance with more subtlety and nuance and less good/bad, black/white?

I don't like all the consequences of recent events--but I'll trade a lot for the increased financial security and peace of mind that thousands of CMs will have during the holiday season and beginning the new year. I'm happy to see Anaheim moving forward on Homelessness and hope for a new, more productive relationship between Disney and Anaheim. Oh yeah, and Star Wars Land. Woo hoo!
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Interesting article in today's OCR - Note, selected paragraphs only.

https://www.ocregister.com/2018/12/07/hospitality-workers-at-24-southern-california-hotels-poised-to-strike/

>>A week after union contracts expired at 24 Southern California hotels, 7,500 cooks, dishwashers, housekeepers and janitors are poised to strike over a list of demands that includes boosting their pay to $25 an hour.

In a vote Thursday, 96 percent of employees represented by UNITE HERE Local 11 voted in favor of striking. It comes on the heels of 20 other hotel strikes across the nation this year in a build-up to what has already become the largest series of hotel strikes in U.S. history.<<

>>Workers are also asking for more affordable healthcare, the implementation of panic buttons, increases to pensions and stronger protections for immigrants. Negotiations began Aug. 20, but the two sides have yet to reach an agreement, according to Unite Here spokesman Andrew Cohen.

“The negotiations are different at each hotel, but the bottom line is what we are proposing is not unreasonable,” he said. “It’s not beyond what the companies can afford to pay. It’s clear that the workers are underpaid. Many of them are making between $16 to $18 an hour. What we’re asking for is fair and just.”<<

>>Stanford earns a base salary of $11 an hour, which lands below the city’s minimum wage of $13.25 for businesses with 26 or more employees. But she gets supplemental funding through a 25 percent service charge the hotels charge clients for banquet events and that typically boosts her pay above $25 an hour.

But others, she said, aren’t as lucky.

“Some of the food runners and support staff work 40 hours a week, but they only make $19 an hour,” Stanford said. “We want them to earn $25 an hour, too.”<<

>>The workers also hope to get stronger protections for immigrants.

“If a hotel changes ownership we want to make sure employees won’t be asked to have their work permits checked again,” Cohen said. “We don’t want them to have to provide that documentation all over again. We also want to make sure the hotels aren’t working with immigration authorities.”<<

And check out the averages for other jobs in the area.

https://www.payscale.com/research/US/State=California/Hourly_Rate

>>
Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN
$22.41<<
 

Travel Junkie

Well-Known Member
I've got good news for you and Dr. Moreno! :)

The two (2) Anaheim tax incentives Disneyland was potentially allowed to benefit from, the 4 Star Hotel bed tax rebate and a non-existent but potentially future ticket tax rebate, have been cancelled. Several months ago Disneyland's president Mr. Damaro sent a registered letter to Anaheim City Hall asking to cancel the agreement for that bed tax rebate and the non-existent ticket tax rebate.

Then Disneyland cancelled the 4th hotel they had announced to be built on Disneyland Drive. Disney's 4th hotel land now sits largely vacant, except for some food trucks and a sandwich shop.

All tax incentives that benefit Disneyland, neither of which had been activated nor had yet paid a dime in tax rebates to Disney, are gone now. Anaheim tax incentives for Disneyland Resort don't exist. Marriott and Westin are lined up to receive those bed tax incentives when their new 4 Star hotels are completed, but not the Walt Disney Company.

But for discussion board purposes in late 2018 and into the 2020's, there's no "massive tax incentives" that exist between the City of Anaheim and the Walt Disney Company.

And I referenced that when I mentioned that public pressure had caused Disney to react and improve on that issue. They also agreed to begin paying CM's more. Do you think they would have taken those steps on their own? By the way I am on record saying that Anaheim was wrong to challenge the "address change" of the 4th hotel as a way to get out of the tax incentive. It is possible to dislike the decision to the approve the tax incentive but also call out the city for not honoring it.

Since darkbeer chose to ignore my question about why he was mad that him and his associates were not mentioned in an OC Register article, I will assume my hunch was correct. I genuinely would like more details as to what upset him so much.

I will say this. Virtually every major religion teaches about doing good deeds in secret and not for attention. Further saying it is actually a negative to do good deeds for the approval and admiration of others. There is a place for drawing attention to a cause by using fame and/or money to make a statement. In this case the the problem I have (if I am correct) is that the issue did draw attention and someone was mad that they did not get credit for it. Honestly who cares as long as the issue received the attention?
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So it is now Sunday night, or early Monday morning, shortly after Midnight. The trash is at the Curb, the wife is asleep in bed, hopefully she put down the Gardenscapes game she is addicted to.

So if figured I would go back and really read recent responses. Folks, I hope you understand that my life has been extremely busy, and another major change is coming, not sure where the path will lead me, but for someone whose body completely shut down less than 2 years ago, spent 2 weeks in a coma, and had to learn how to do a lot of basic things all over, and had major nerve damage (well, the nerves shut down and need to repair themselves, but they do it very slowly), so still trying to become closer to normal. I know I have been blessed in many ways, especially finding my wife.

FYI, I tend to write here just to share with a few folks who have been on the boards for many years, or should I say decades. I write for myself, and if you don't like my posts (and I do appreciate all the likes I get, so Thanks), anyways if you don't like it, you can always move to the next post. If you disagree with me, that is also fine, post your point of view. I might be a bit blunt on this post, and if I offend anyway, sorry in advance.

So to the Mur, great idea, and as you can see, I did edit the Thread title.

As to why I was so upset about the Oc Register article, well look at the UNITE HERE 11 Hotel Strike article, a long detailed one, verses the three paragraph Anaheim city one. I think that is it in a nutshell. Not enough detail.

A group of businesses donate Hundreds of Thousands of dollars to help get the Interim shelter open very quickly. It was those folks that deserved the credit. And as NobodyElse pointed out, for the last few months, all you heard was how evil the Resort Businesses are, all they want to do is raid the city's budget and take from it. Here is about $1 Million go INTO the budget from a new source, one above the almost half of the city's budget they already put into it.

Tell the story, explain what happened, and HOW it happened. The LA Times/Daily Pilot did a much better job, but still miss one important segment.

https://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-wknd-et-anaheim-shelter-20181205-story.html

19 paragraph, not bad. Let me share my public comment to the reporter.

>>
There is one important component missing. While the city paying Visit Anaheim, the marketing arm for the Resort Area businesses the $600,000, it is expected to be returned to the city in full. So far over $300,000 has been raised from companies like The Angels, Ducks, Republic Services and the Disneyland Resort to cover the amount the city fronted for legal reasons.

Bill Taormina, owner of Republic Services also indemnified the city against zoning lawsuits, and to return the $600,00 if the shelter fails to open.

Also LT Global donated the use of the building and land, so about $400,00 value. The building has sat vacant for 4 years, and scheduled to be torn down for the new LT Platinum Center. The building was stripped of electrical and plumbing for scrap, plus it has a leaky roof.

The $600,00 is to prepare the building for shelter use, including repairing the roof, installing electrical, making ADA needed changes, etc. The restrooms and showers will be brought in as portable buildings for the three months of use.

The Illuminations Foundation is planning to move the furniture and equipment to the Piano Store location when the facility is ready to open in early 2019.<<

So what happened lately, well the last few weeks have become a blur. I thought my workload would become lighter, but due to many reasons, it actually increased.

So this week, there were 3 Council meetings in 4 days, and commitments to attend 2 Christmas Tree Lightings as invited guests. One councilmember told me that on Saturday, he enjoy the day, and spent it in his pajamas, until 4:30 PM when he got dressed for the event. I was jealous of him, I spent the morning at the LA Live Ice Rink. I actually did 3 "laps" around the rink, no skates, but I had my walker for stability. Dropped of Toys for "No Place like Home". which became another photo op. I am no stranger to being in front of the camera, but prefer to be behind it. But I will do what I need to do for good causes.

As for being in the spotlight, that is something I have been it many times, but is hard on Lisa, but she is taking it in stride, though I am trying to make it as easy as possible for her. Between all the events, she had Councilmember Barnes come to her, and started to talk about me (we have a good civil relationship, but she was groomed by Mayor Tait, which IMHO is a bad thing. I think she might bloom a bit without him in charge any more, she might become more vocal and part of the debates, and stand up for what is important for her District.). Saturday night was the Anaheim Tree Lighting at Ctr City (aka Downtown). We were seated in the front row, on the other side of the elected folks, and had all the members stop by and say hello and a quick chat. Since they didn't do it to the other invited guests, it created a bit of a stir, and Lisa felt the eyes on her.

After the event, we were a couple of blocks away, I was talking to someone, and Lisa was window shopping, and Councilmember Brandman came up from behind her, and grabbed her. (Jordan is usually very animated) After she got over her shock, they came over to me to talk about some future plans and progress on the homeless shelter.

When ended up at an excellent Poke Bowl place (We ditched Jordan as quickly as possible, as he is a talker). So it was the two of us, and she asked what is REALLY going on, and where is this leading in regards to a job/position. and what would I accept if offered. Lets just say it was an interesting talk, as it is obvious I am being groomed for something, and all we can do is guess.

This week is a lot calmer, the big thing is the West Anaheim community meeting Wednesday night, where Councilmember Brandman and Bill Taormina will be presenters, along with other possibilities, including Todd Ament. Looks like I will be the Moderator to keep the speakers focused, and allow the residents to ask their questions.

I am excited for 2019 for many reasons, and as for the Disneyland Resort, the opening of Galaxy Edge, finishing up the Cleo Structure, and the DtD changes, But the expected crowds will be a blessing for the city, especially with the new Hotels opening, such as the Hampton and Cambria. More tax revenue due to more visitors. But that means the need for parking, and Cleo will help, but Disney is still way short on parking spaces. So the return of the Eastern Gateway will be very helpful, and Disney is looking forward to freeing up land for park expansion. Plus Disney will continue on Super Hero-ing DCA.They know about the vocal complaints about Pixar Pier, but there are no easy fixes, and the turnstile counts are high. So it is an image issue. The current thought, We will make Super Hero Land better, and folks will forget Pixar Pier. (Heck, it is easy to do.

Need sleep, so more to come.
 

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
“We will make Super Hero Land better, and folks will forget Pixar Pier. (Heck, it is easy to do.”

This is where leaving the original Paradise Pier alone would have been the better option. I didn’t think Pixar Pier was worse, but the staggered opening with the carousel and spinner coming a year later didn’t help matters.

Any thoughts about any hotel opening at the resort? Construction costs can only increase. Disney is leaving a lot of money on the table without a new hotel tower especially with Star Wars Land opening soon. We should hope the Eastern Gateway will begin again next year or 2020.
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Any thoughts about any hotel opening at the resort? Construction costs can only increase. Disney is leaving a lot of money on the table without a new hotel tower especially with Star Wars Land opening soon. We should hope the Eastern Gateway will begin again next year or 2020.
Disney is focusing 100% on the two parks at the DLR currently, and there is no plans to do any major work on the 3 current Hotels, and absolutely no plans for a 4th. That is partly due to politics, so Disney keeps it word when it said no 4th Hotel earlier this year.

The best chance is the Garden Grove Plan, IF the numbers make sense, and that is an ongoing process with multiple layers, hard to tell if it will ever get off the ground.
 

Travel Junkie

Well-Known Member
As to why I was so upset about the Oc Register article, well look at the UNITE HERE 11 Hotel Strike article, a long detailed one, verses the three paragraph Anaheim city one. I think that is it in a nutshell. Not enough detail.

A group of businesses donate Hundreds of Thousands of dollars to help get the Interim shelter open very quickly. It was those folks that deserved the credit. And as NobodyElse pointed out, for the last few months, all you heard was how evil the Resort Businesses are, all they want to do is raid the city's budget and take from it. Here is about $1 Million go INTO the budget from a new source, one above the almost half of the city's budget they already put into it.
Appreciate the response. IMO it shouldn't be a ____ measuring contest and complaining about who gets what size article. Politics is often childish, but frankly that is pretty childish on who gets the bigger article. Be happy it got ink at all. I'm sure you know as much as anyone the types of articles that get written and positive ones are rarely among them. If I were the editor, I would devote more words to anything with the headline strike in it vs a headline about local businesses help the homeless.. It's just how it is.

Homelessness doesn't grab page views unless it involves violence. The issue has been pretty big in OC for a while, but only recently got attention because the average citizen began to notice it. No one cared when they were not in plain sight. They had to be seen from the freeway or show up in a park where children play for people to suddenly care. And their reaction was how to we get rid of them. At the end of the day that is the response. It's disguised as we want to help, but really it is how do we stuff them in a corner so we don't have to see them.
 

The Mur

Well-Known Member
“We will make Super Hero Land better, and folks will forget Pixar Pier. (Heck, it is easy to do.”

This is where leaving the original Paradise Pier alone would have been the better option. I didn’t think Pixar Pier was worse, but the staggered opening with the carousel and spinner coming a year later didn’t help matters.

Any thoughts about any hotel opening at the resort? Construction costs can only increase. Disney is leaving a lot of money on the table without a new hotel tower especially with Star Wars Land opening soon. We should hope the Eastern Gateway will begin again next year or 2020.
Let's be honest, the Pixar Pier thing was a "gift" to Lasseter (pre HR issues) since Bugs Land was going away for Marvel.
 

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
The best chance is the Garden Grove Plan, IF the numbers make sense, and that is an ongoing process with multiple layers, hard to tell if it will ever get off the ground.
Garden Grove will not change the ALWI law. I suppose Disney could also be waiting for any possible lawsuits to run its course. Nonetheless, Disney will still have to build new theme park or resort projects without any concessions from Anaheim for years or decades. It could be argued that the hotel concessions was what originally forced the city to re-evaluate the hotel agreement with the storm of $15 living wage.

I found it odd that Disney cannot justify building any hotels in Anaheim while building many more in Orlando. Disney easily charges twice as much as competitors for the same quality room and it also has the advantage of proximity to the parks. Maybe it should contract with another company like what Universal has done in Orlando to reduce its exposure.
 

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
Garden Grove will not change the ALWI law. I suppose Disney could also be waiting for any possible lawsuits to run its course. Nonetheless, Disney will still have to build new theme park or resort projects without any concessions from Anaheim for years or decades. It could be argued that the hotel concessions was what originally forced the city to re-evaluate the hotel agreement with the storm of $15 living wage.

I found it odd that Disney cannot justify building any hotels in Anaheim while building many more in Orlando. Disney easily charges twice as much as competitors for the same quality room and it also has the advantage of proximity to the parks. Maybe it should contract with another company like what Universal has done in Orlando to reduce its exposure.
They can justify building hotels in Anaheim but it won't be under their terms. Too many leaches.
 

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
Florida has a lot more hotels, which is understandable, yet WDW has a lot less attractions for each park while Disneyland has same amount in two parks with limited park capacity. So does this make sense when concerned about ROI? Now, WDW is practically limiting attendance with its new ticket policy with 4 parks. Disneyland isn’t so restrictive.

ROI isn’t just about the room. It’s also about the services, food, and retail. So letting customers go off site is the essence of leaving money on the table. As a local, I have no reason to visit Downtown Disney due to its new parking policy. Another reason Disney isn’t earning my money.

So not arguing with you, I find the whole matter strange. After opening Carsland, Disneyland Resort is virtually unstoppable. Star Wars Land will be explosive in a good way.
 

HauntedPirate

Premium Member
Florida has a lot more hotels, which is understandable, yet WDW has a lot less attractions for each park while Disneyland has same amount in two parks with limited park capacity. So does this make sense when concerned about ROI? Now, WDW is practically limiting attendance with its new ticket policy with 4 parks. Disneyland isn’t so restrictive.

ROI isn’t just about the room. It’s also about the services, food, and retail. So letting customers go off site is the essence of leaving money on the table. As a local, I have no reason to visit Downtown Disney due to its new parking policy. Another reason Disney isn’t earning my money.

So not arguing with you, I find the whole matter strange. After opening Carsland, Disneyland Resort is virtually unstoppable. Star Wars Land will be explosive in a good way.
"...new ticket policy..."? Not sure what you're referring to here.

They have had no problems getting people into the parks in the swamps regardless of ticket prices and/or policies. Whether or not that will continue is open for discussion... in a different forum. :)

I would guess the higher ROI for rooms in Florida vs. California is due largely because they have a very captive audience in Florida, whereas in California guests are much more free to roam to other venues for food and drink.
 

AJFireman

Member
"...new ticket policy..."? Not sure what you're referring to here.
Refering to the new multi day ticket purchase its not open ended visit any day anymore. Its along the lines of the single day ticket purchase Value, Regular, and Peak. Your purchase the ticket for the days you want to visit essentially. Another way to spread out attendance to less busier days at the park.
 

HauntedPirate

Premium Member
Refering to the new multi day ticket purchase its not open ended visit any day anymore. Its along the lines of the single day ticket purchase Value, Regular, and Peak. Your purchase the ticket for the days you want to visit essentially. Another way to spread out attendance to less busier days at the park.
Ah, thank you for that. It (sadly) won't be enough to deter most people from visiting, but I agree that it's a terrible policy.
 

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
They have had no problems getting people into the parks in the swamps regardless of ticket prices and/or policies. Whether or not that will continue is open for discussion... in a different forum. :)

I would guess the higher ROI for rooms in Florida vs. California is due largely because they have a very captive audience in Florida, whereas in California guests are much more free to roam to other venues for food and drink.
I wasn’t arguing that. I was saying the new ticket policy will limit attendance in the context of FOUR THEME PARKS in WDW. On any given day, people will decide to go based on prices and availability that are well known in advance. Thus, an artificial limitation.

Guess where the captive audience is from? The on-site hotels. I don’t get why you are not stating the obvious. Disneyland needs the same situation with more on-site hotels, which are the closest to the theme parks. People are more likely to eat at the resort if staying at the resort.
 
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