The day worker issue refuses to go away mainly because Los Altos won't let it. The workers are here because of simple supply and demand.
However, with its no-solicitation ordinance, Los Altos doesn't want to deal with the consequences of these economics. What is our message? We don't want these workers crowding Los Altos streets because many of them are here illegally and their presence is bad for surrounding businesses and residents. On the other hand, we could use their help when some unsavory task comes around.
The Mountain View council's decision last week to repeal its own no-solicitation ordinance and help find a location for a needed day worker center is encouraging. But equally discouraging is Los Altos leaders' steadfast refusal to help out.
The St. Joseph the Worker Center, which closed last October, offered a process by which workers could get jobs from employers. It also ensured no abusive practices (like not being paid for work) were taking place.
With the day worker center in San Jose also in danger of closing, the need for one locally is obvious. Mountain View wants to be part of the solution, while Los Altos continues to be part of the problem. We hope this changes.