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Woman’s Face Will Be Added To $10 Bill In 2020, Treasury Says

By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

The $10 bill is headed for a feminine face lift.

One lucky lady — yet to be chosen — will become the first woman in more than a century to join an esteemed coterie of dead presidents and statesmen featured on American paper currency, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said.

The new note will be issued in 2020 during the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

But first, Lew will solicit suggestions from the public, asking Americans to submit possible symbols and notable female figures to include via the website TheNew10.Treasury.gov or through social media using the hashtag #TheNew10. His only requirements: that the woman reflect the theme of democracy and that she no longer be living.

Sorry, Oprah.

Two women have been featured on paper currency in the past. First lady Martha Washington graced the $1 silver certificate in the late 1800s, and Native American Pocahontas was on the $20 bill from 1865 to 1869.

Other women have landed on U.S. coins — women’s voting rights activist Susan B. Anthony on the dollar coin from 1979 to 1981, Native American guide Sacagawea on the same coin after 1999 and disabled rights advocate Helen Keller on the 2003 Alabama quarter.

President Barack Obama has supported the presence of more female faces on U.S. currency.

And a recent grass-roots campaign to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill asked voters to choose female candidates from a pool of 15 women, including Betty Friedan, Sojourner Truth, Rachel Carson and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks each gleaned more than 100,000 votes. Cherokee Nation Chief Wilma Mankiller was also added to the final ballot.

Tubman, famous for her role shuttling slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad, emerged victorious after a final round of voting.

Many other nations, including Syria, Turkey, and Mexico, have currency fronted by women. But the $10 bill is in much heavier rotation than most of those notes.

At the end of 2014, there were 1.9 billion of the bills in circulation, with 627.2 million more in line to be printed this fiscal year, according to the Federal Reserve. The average $10 note remains in use for roughly a decade.

The last time the bill changed cover models was in 1928, when Andrew Jackson was removed in favor of Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury secretary. Jackson then was moved to the $20 bill.

Hamilton will remain part of the note even after the inclusion of the female figure. The Treasury will either design two separate bills or have Hamilton and the woman share the same bill.

(c)2015 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Photo: Eli Christman via Flickr

More Angelenos Are Becoming Street Vendors In A Weak Economy

By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Sitting at her street vending booth with products arrayed neatly on a sequined purple tablecloth, Jackie Lloyd reflects nostalgically on the days when she had a steady salary and regular hours.
That was four years ago, before the 39-year-old was laid off from her job as an elementary school cafeteria worker and mounting bills forced her to venture into self-employment.
Now the Pico-Union resident hops from location to location, selling body oils, shea butter, soap and incense. She moves when nearby businesses complain or she feels unsafe.
Some days, her sales bring in $150. Others, they don’t break $20.
“If I just had a 9-to-5 job, it’d be guaranteed money,” she said. “Then again, I’m my own boss, and I meet different people every day.”
Once the domain of recent immigrants trying to scratch out a living, the ranks of sidewalk merchants have swelled since the economy soured in 2007. The group — an estimated 10,000 countywide — is now larger and more diverse, pulling in out-of-work professionals, war veterans and single mothers, according to a recent report by the Los Angeles chief legislative analyst’s office.
More men joined the ranks after losing jobs in construction and restaurants. Now they are hawking clothing, food, knickknacks and other merchandise, said Janet Favela, an organizer with the Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign. Younger vendors, in their 20s and 30s, are more common.
And more Angelenos are supplementing their jobs with vending, because of low pay and high rates of underemployment, Favela said.
“They have to work Saturdays and Sundays too, or they’re not going to make it,” she said.
Street merchants also factor into the region’s growing economy of sole proprietors. Working alone has become a popular business model since the recession as companies cut jobs and boosted productivity and many workers were forced to stay in the labor pool past retirement age.
“A lot of the businesses we encounter are one-man or one-woman shops,” said David Berkus, a counselor with the greater Los Angeles chapter of nonprofit small business association SCORE. “They’re looking for ways to give themselves some job security.”
Technically, sidewalk vending is illegal in Los Angeles, unlike in San Francisco and New York. Law enforcement officers can issue citations if any vendors set up where they’re not welcome.
Officials are debating whether to legalize street vendors.
Critics complain that areas flush with street vendors face steeper trash-pickup costs, blocked sidewalks and a tax revenue shortfall. Others worry that implementing a system to regulate peddlers would be even more expensive.
Los Angeles native Karina Mendez, 27, runs a clothing shop in a space she shares with an auto-body shop. But business has been slow lately, so she opens only a few days a week.
Her husband, Alex, 37, is being paid less because he is assigned fewer hours as a restaurant cook. One month, the couple struggled to make rent.
So they teamed up to peddle $2.50 bacon-wrapped hot dogs part-time from a street cart, learning to evade police as they sell around South Los Angeles.
One afternoon, Karina perched on a blue cooler filled with ice and stuffed dollar bills into a pouch around her neck.
“We need to pay our bills, so we’re trying to make some extra money,” she said. “And if I think about it, I make more money here selling hot dogs than at my clothing store.”
The Economic Roundtable, a research group, estimates that Los Angeles street vendors reap more than $100 million in sales a year, 43 percent of that from food sales. These vendors aren’t operating fancy food trucks; they’re grilling chicken in their driveways or peddling fruit by freeway exits.
Vendors have become the go-to shopping destination for many Angelenos — parents looking for a bargain on children’s clothing, families that can’t afford a restaurant meal, customers for whom Wal-Mart prices are now too high.
“The recovery never happened for people in a lot of our neighborhoods,” Favela said. “Many of those people wait for vendors to come by. They can negotiate with vendors, who understand their struggles.”
Lloyd tracks sales by writing them in a notebook, though she’s planning to start using her smartphone as a digital ledger. She just signed on for mobile payment system Square to allow her customers to pay with credit cards.
“It’s more convenient, especially for tax purposes,” she said. “You can get audited just like the next person.”
The proportion of her customers with steady jobs is increasing, she said. For many of the rest, struggling on government aid, she’s been offering her inexpensive products on credit.
“I have a heart,” she said. “People just don’t have money like they used to.”
Fellow vendors are a part of the Los Angeles landscape: a couple selling roses out of buckets in the late afternoon heat on a Highland Avenue grass median, a woman with a wire basket hung with jewelry in the Fashion District, a man bouncing a stick wreathed in glossy balloons on his shoulder on Western Avenue.
But that’s not what Lloyd wants for herself.
With financial help from her sister and her fiance, she’d like to start running a food truck or take over a Subway franchise in the next few years. Meanwhile, she continues to apply for full-time jobs.
“Vending doesn’t bring home the bacon like I want it to,” she said. “I’m just waiting for something else to bite.”

Photo via Wikicommons

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Fast-Food Workers’ Minimum-Wage Protests Go Global

By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

Fast-food workers around the world rallied for a higher minimum wage Thursday in what organizers called the largest such protest of its kind.

The movement, which began as a single walkout in New York in 2012 before sprawling across the U.S. last year, will spark gatherings Thursday in 150 U.S. cities as well as 33 countries on six continents, according to planners.

Protesters are calling for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and the right to form unions without retaliation from bosses.

In the U.S., where union ranks are thinning, the fast-food strikes have been called an attempt by labor leaders to boost membership.

On Thursday, the libertarian Cato Institute said that paying fast-food workers $15 an hour could raise labor costs so much that companies will decide to slash headcount and boost menu prices. The right-leaning Employment Policies Institute said that nearly half a million workers nationwide could lose their jobs.

But protest participants say they want to emphasize that the demographic working the drive-throughs isn’t just teenagers looking for spending money. Instead, supporters say, employees are often heads of households, many of whom must resort to public assistance to supplement their salaries.

Some cities, counties and states are proposing or pushing through minimum-wage increases. In September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law raising the minimum wage in California to $10 an hour by 2016. Earlier this month, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray unveiled his plan for a $15 minimum wage in the city.

On Thursday, social media filled with photos of crowds of protesters outside McDonald’s restaurants, Burger Kings and KFC outlets in New York, Ireland, India, Japan and elsewhere.

In Los Angeles, the Rev. Al Sharpton is expected to join demonstrators outside a Crenshaw Boulevard restaurant in the afternoon.

In a regulatory filing earlier this year, McDonald’s noted that “the impact of events such as boycotts or protests, labor strikes and supply chain interruptions” could “adversely affect” the company and its supply network.

In the same document, McDonald’s listed key factors that could affect its operations, plans and results.

On the list, the company placed “the impact on our margins of labor costs that we cannot offset through price increases, and the long-term trend toward higher wages and social expenses in both mature and developing markets, which may intensify with increasing public focus on matters of income inequality.”

In March, McDonald’s workers filed a spate of lawsuits against the company, accusing the burger giant of systematically stealing their wages and committing other labor violations.

steve rhodes via flickr

Google And Amazon Launch Same-Day Delivery In LA Area

By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Google and Amazon are going head to head over Los Angeles shoppers, launching same-day delivery services in the area within days of each other.

Google said Sunday it is expanding its Google Shopping Express program to West Los Angeles and Manhattan from the San Francisco Bay Area, where the offering began last year.

The service allows shoppers to go to google.com/express and shop for items to be dropped off in a time frame chosen by shoppers. Google will accept orders until 4 p.m. for delivery in the final window of 6 to 9 p.m.

There’s no minimum purchase, surcharge or markup, according to Google. For now, users can sign up for a 6-month free trial or pay $4.99 per item for so-called a la carte shipping.

Google said it is still evaluating how to price the service and will allow customers to opt in to a longer-term subscription once it does.

Google is using third-party delivery agents trained through an in-person program the company calls “Courier University” that teaches agents how to greet customers at the door and how to use the mobile shopping app.

The couriers will wear Google Shopping Express uniforms and, for the most part, drive Google-branded vehicles.

“Los Angeles is a great next city for us to expand to after the San Francisco Bay Area,” said Tom Fallows, product management director for the service. “While it shares many of the same attributes in terms of customer preferences and lifestyles, there are also some new challenges for us to explore, such as Los Angeles’ famous traffic conditions.”

In the Southland, the service will be available to residents of Culver City, Inglewood, Marina del Rey, Santa Monica, Venice, West Los Angeles and Westwood. Customers will be able to access products from Costco, Guitar Center, L’Occitane, Smart & Final, Staples, Target, Toys R Us and Walgreens.

Google said it plans to expand the program soon to Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista and West Hollywood.

In January, Google tested the service using its employees in the Santa Monica area. The program originated in the Bay Area, where Google is already competing with similar services from eBay and Wal-Mart.

Los Angeles is far from an online-shopping badlands. On Friday, e-commerce giant Amazon said its own same-day delivery service was available in the area.

Amazon shoppers have access to more than 1 million items, visible by clicking the “Get It Today” filter on the left panel of Amazon’s website or consolidated on amazon.com/sameday.

Many products can be ordered as late as noon for delivery before 9 p.m., the company said.

Subscribers to Amazon’s Prime service will pay $5.99 per order, regardless of how many items are being purchased. Non-subscribers will shell out $9.98 to have the first product shipped, followed by a 99-cent charge for each additional purchase.

The service also kicked into motion in San Francisco, Seattle and Phoenix on Friday, Amazon said.

In June, Amazon unveiled its AmazonFresh same-day and early-morning grocery delivery service in Los Angeles after operating the program in Seattle since 2007.

The company started working with the U.S. Postal Service in November to make Sunday deliveries to Los Angeles and New York customers.

Photo: Thisisbossi via Flickr