UNITE HERE Local 11 Endorses Christy Smith for Congress

Smith pledges to fight for hospitality workers and to hold large corporations accountable for abuse of the Paycheck Protection Program

Panorama City, Calif.—UNITE HERE Local 11 is proud to endorse Christy Smith for California’s 27th Congressional District in a competitive, must-win race for Democrats. In the California State Assembly, Smith has authored bills focusing on education reform, homeowner protections and college affordability.

Smith is a pro-choice champion that will focus on protecting reproductive rights, tackling climate change and creating an equitable economy that works for everyone. Her opponent, Trump Republican Mike Garcia, voted against the certification of electoral votes in Pennsylvania and Arizona that helped cement Joe Biden’s presidential victory, opposed the impeachment of President Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, stood against legalizing Dreamers and reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and cosponsored legislation that would effectively ban all abortion and some forms of birth control.

Garcia is the wrong candidate for hospitality workers and the wrong candidate for Northern Los Angeles County. In May 2020, Garcia helped block the bipartisan TRUTH Act, which would have ensured greater transparency regarding how Paycheck Protection Program funds are allocated and made sure funds get to the small businesses for which they are intended. Over two years later, although National Bureau of Economic Research analysis found that only 23% to 34% of the $800 billion in PPP funds went to workers who would have otherwise lost their jobs, taxpayers are still waiting for the Small Business Administration to disclose how borrowers claim to have spent their loans in loan forgiveness applications.

The Chair of the Biden Administration’s Pandemic Response Accountability Committee said it wouldn’t surprise him if there was over $100 billion in fraudulent pandemic aid and the head of the SBA’s Office of Inspector General said billions in pandemic fraud will take 100 years of work to investigate.

Garcia campaign donor and fellow Trump supporter Paul Reed is Chairman of hotel and golf course firm JC Resorts, a company that should be a high priority for investigation. The Los Serranos Golf Club operated by JC Resorts received $1.5 million in PPP loans, but JC Resorts appears to be over the threshold for PPP eligibility; one business analytics company estimates JC Resorts’ total number of employees to be 1200 and its annual sales to be $70.5 million.

We can’t count on Mike Garcia to investigate whether wealthy hospitality firms like JC Resorts improperly took PPP loans meant for real small businesses or to push for greater transparency and oversight of trillions in Covid relief.

Christy Smith will help taxpayers and workers get to the bottom of PPP fraud, and has what it takes to beat Mike Garcia.