City Council to override minimum wage mayoral veto

On Monday, the City Council will override a mayoral veto of the minimum wage ordinance. Two days later, a signature drive will begin to overturn the ordinance. The six Democrats on the Council chose to hike the minimum wage by ordinance rather than going to the voters. The opposition says the increase affects all San Diegans, not just low-wage workers.

The Council will override on Monday; on Wednesday, the drive to get 34,000 valid signatures will get underway at malls and grocery stores. The phased-in increase from $9 to $11.50 an hour begins January.

“Signing any petition in the next month related to the minimum wage and earned sick leave will take away those benefits and the raises that are to come into effect on January the 1st in the next three years,” explained City Council President Todd Gloria.

Gloria says when 38% of San Diegans don’t make enough to make ends meet, there is a problem and this is one of the solutions.

“The message is simple – do not sign it, ladies and gentlemen,” said consultant Jason Cabel Roe of Revolvis Consulting. “What is our answer: do not sign it, one more time, do not sign it.”

Roe is a consultant to the Small Business Coalition that will spend about $500,000 for the signature drive alone to repeal a 44% wage increase.

“We’re surprised at how brazen this effort is to be publicly campaigning against democracy – against letting San Diegan’s have a voice on a very, very significant policy issue that is very well going to cost San Diegan’s tens of thousands of jobs.”

The voices heard Thursday were saying just that: lee this off the ballot.

“If you’re asked to sign this petition, to deny the hard-earned wage increase that they are due – that they are owed, and they have earned – do not sign that petition,” stated former NBA player Bill Walton.

“I urge my fellow businessmen and women in San Diego – don’t referendum the minimum wage,” said Mel Katz of San Diego Manpower.

This has all the makings of an ugly campaign San Diego saw over the sales tax a few years ago, where signature gatherers were harassed by union workers who tried to talk people out of signing the petitions.

“That’s what this morning’s press conference was about, basically a public announcement that they intend to harass voters who are not even taking a position on the minimum wage. They’re merely saying ‘allow San Diegans to vote on this,'” continued Roe.

“I’m going to ask you to do just one thing, just one thing: do not sign,” concluded Gloria.

The Council will override the veto on Monday. If the Small Business Coalition collects enough signatures, the Council can either call a special election or wait until the next regularly scheduled election which is the June Primary in 2016.

Categories: KUSI