Minimum wage referendum just latest battle in City Council power struggle

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The minimum wage hike will likely be decided by the voters.

The Small Business Coalition was informed Thursday that it has collected the 34,000 valid signatures needed to put this on the ballot.

This is yet another in the ongoing fight between business and labor allies on the City Council over setting public policy.

First, the council was forced to rescind, under threat of a referendum, an action to increase the so-called linkage fee on developers.

The council adopted an ordinance to update the Barrio Logan Community Plan which the voters over turned.

The council then passed the minimum wage ordinance raising it from $9 to $11.50.

Business promptly began a signature drive to have that overturned, and on Thursday, the council was put on notice by Ann Kinner of the Small Business Coalition.

“The citizens of San Diego have had it with the city council hijacking their right to decide what’s right for us, and the city council needs to step back a bit and think about what they’re going come up with next,” said Ann Kinner.

After losing the linkage fee, and Barrio Logan, the council no has ten days to make a decision on the minimum wage, either rescind it or put it on the ballot.

Kinner says when the City Clerk tweeted the signature drive was successful, she did not know whether to be pleased, relieved, or to prepare for the next battle.

“If the city council doesn’t get the message this time, they are really, really dense. Kind of knew it was coming, I really was confident all the way along that we were going to do it,” said Kinner.

56,000 signatures were turned in, and when the City Clerk reached the 34,000 needed, the counting stopped.

Raise-Up San Diego promoted the wage hike and released this statement:

“When the sick leave-minimum wage law goes into effect, ‘when’ not ‘if,’ it will lift up more than 200,000 San Diegans who are struggling to make ends meet on poverty wages. We’re confident, when faced with the choice, San Diegans will step up and do the right thing.”

Ann Kinner says the wage hike will lift no one from poverty.

The election, if there is one, won’t be until the primary in 2016. The wage increases that were set to start in January have been put on hold after the 2016 election.

Categories: KUSI