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About this blog: I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the area in 1963 when I started graduate school at Stanford. Nancy and I were married in 1977 and we lived for nearly 30 years in the Duveneck school area. Our children went to Paly. We moved ...  (More)

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Another Way to Help Our Local Low Wage Workers

Uploaded: Mar 17, 2020
Yesterday I posted on Facebook that Nancy and I were asking the people who help us in our home (like cleaners) to stay home and we would cover their full pay until it was safe for them to move about. It is a small gesture but one that all of us who are able can do for the people who help us in our homes.

The post got a large response from Palo Altans and friends across the state who are doing the same thing.

The heavy lifting will need to come from sick leave, unemployment benefit and other assistance from the federal government, which hopefully might actually happen.

But helping the people who serve us in our home is one thing we can do and join with people here and around the country in showing that we can come together in a crisis and all that can chip in to help others.

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   36 people like this
Posted by Rescind corporate welfare, a resident of Downtown North,
on Mar 17, 2020 at 12:52 pm

Gotta pump cash to low wage workers asap, not tax breaks, not deduction or payroll promises.

Repeal the trillion dollars in corporate welfare from a couple years ago. It did nothing. It didn't even keep the Dow Jones out of the Trump Bear Market.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South,
on Mar 17, 2020 at 1:25 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

I am sympathetic to the poster above but will delete any more political posts.

The blog is to see what readers think they can do to help folks that help them in their homes or other local low wage workers.

for example, Nancy and I are thinking about supporting our local restaurants.


 +   15 people like this
Posted by Thank you, a resident of Downtown North,
on Mar 17, 2020 at 3:55 pm

Thank you for doing this. I have heard that so many householdsI that hire cleaners are not covering these people's regular pay. It's sad, but they too need help, and many will not get a check from the IRS.


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Thank you, a resident of Downtown North,
on Mar 17, 2020 at 3:55 pm

Thank you for doing this. I have heard that so many householdsI that hire cleaners are not covering these people's regular pay. It's sad, but they too need help, and many will not get a check from the IRS.


 +   27 people like this
Posted by workers, home and away, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on Mar 17, 2020 at 5:45 pm

> to see what readers think they can do to help folks that help them

I am calling several members of congress and local pols to emphasis the need to: "pump cash to low wage workers asap, not tax breaks, not deduction or payroll promises." Also working several upcoming phone banks to support others with whom I agree on similar issues.

That's what this reader 'thinks she can do to help folks that help me', along with financial help (more hours) as I am able.

Seriously. It's awful important. A payroll tax cut does little for those who can't get hours, work 'piecemeal' gig jobs, or are paid meager wages in cash.


 +   13 people like this
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South,
on Mar 18, 2020 at 7:21 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

On my FB page friends are pledging to cover the pay of their cleaners, nannies, gardeners and the like. Who can join them? Please post your intent.


I agree that governments must step up but so can we.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by rsmithjr, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Mar 18, 2020 at 10:21 am

rsmithjr is a registered user.

We have been focused on "supply side economics" for so many years that we have forgotten about demand side.

To help the economy today, we need to prime the pump on the demand side by giving money to the needy. This will help their immediate problems of survival but will also ripple through the whole economic structure.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Conundrum , a resident of Midtown,
on Mar 18, 2020 at 11:20 am

The problem for some people like us is we have no way of knowing our monthly prepaid checks for March and the coming months will go to our landscapers if they don't mow our lawn. There is a middleman who gets these prepayments. He could tell them they don't get paid because we tell them to stay home and are not paying. Advice?


 +   12 people like this
Posted by DebbieMytels, a resident of Midtown,
on Mar 18, 2020 at 11:43 am

DebbieMytels is a registered user.

Conundrum, you have indeed identified a real problem. If you send a pre-paid check to a service agency, how can you be sure that the funds will actually go to the workers who then aren't allowed to come? It boils down, I think, to trusting in the humanity and decency of the people who work in that "middleman" agency... and this can be questionable, of course. Likely they too are not paid very well, being simply "middleman" clerks -- or maybe they are the small business owner of a local company -- and they are see their expenses continuing: insurance costs, rent payments, etc. So we are all caught up in a system that is now being shredded to pieces.

One idea that may help in the future, is to support cooperatively owned service businesses -- where all the workers are also owners and they trust and respect each other. We use such a company -- TeamWorks -- for our housecleaning. They are suggesting that those of us who don't want/can't use their service this week contribute the usual fees to their non-profit, and it will be distributed equally to all the workers -- or used for some educational programs (in how to use QuickBooks or non-toxic household cleaning methods, etc.) Finding a way to work with organizations that are based upon trust and mutual responsibility may be the best choice in the future to deal with the problem that Conundrum has identified.


 +   16 people like this
Posted by Arthur Keller, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Mar 18, 2020 at 12:07 pm

Arthur Keller is a registered user.

I pay my gardener directly as a contractor and my housecleaner is a W-2 employee. It's not that hard to do the paperwork, and I've been doing that for years.


 +   15 people like this
Posted by Megan Swezey Fogarty, a resident of Midtown,
on Mar 18, 2020 at 12:34 pm

Yes, yes, yes. We handed a check directly to the person. Let's all step up and help our workers as much as we can. Silicon Valley Community Foundation is also working on ways to help individuals/families, small businesses and non-profits. Let's step up Palo Alto!


 +   13 people like this
Posted by MVresident2003, a resident of Mountain View,
on Mar 18, 2020 at 4:53 pm

MVresident2003 is a registered user.

Don't forget hair stylists! I've asked mine if I can purchase “gift cards" for future services.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South,
on Mar 18, 2020 at 6:13 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

Good point MV. Nancy cancelled her appointment but sent a check for the cost.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by John Sack, a resident of Barron Park,
on Mar 19, 2020 at 2:40 pm

Even though I'm a decent cook, we have decided to support our local restaurants' take-out offerings maybe 5 or so nights/week. The prices see pretty reasonable so far, and I don't mind the drive to pick something up (while I want door dash etc. to make money too, I also want my hot food hot).

A great summary of many of the options is on the 650 blog:
Web Link

We are tending to supporting the places we always go to in person, but we'll probably try a few we haven't tried before.

And at some point we'll purchase gift certificates to these same restaurants and use them ourselves or give to some of our non-salaried friends.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South,
on Mar 19, 2020 at 4:08 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

Great point, we ordered from one of our favorite places yesterday and will continue.

thanks for the idea of gift certificates!!!


 +   11 people like this
Posted by workers, home and away, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on Mar 21, 2020 at 11:57 am

The UK is addressing the very class of workers discussed above - from the BBC:

"The government will pay the wages of employees unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic, in a radical move aimed at protecting people's jobs.

It will pay 80% of salary for staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month." Web Link


They clearly get it.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South,
on Mar 22, 2020 at 12:48 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

For the past few days we have been supporting our local eating places. It is a good feeling for us. They have set up where there is minimal if any personal contact.

The places we go seem VERY appreciative and we tip extra in this time of stress and their need.

If you can please support businesses you want to be here when this ends.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Rick, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 4, 2020 at 10:38 am

Of course we are paying our cleaning help their full wages to stay at home. It is the last we can do.


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