Minimum wage signature drive launches Wednesday

Monday, the City Council voted to override the mayor’s veto and now the minimum wage increase is the law in San Diego, but for how long? That depends on whether enough signatures are gathered to put this on the ballot and whether a majority of voters want to overrule the Council’s action.

The signature drive to get to the voters begins Wednesday at strip malls, grocery stores, any large public gatherings and even door-to-door. About 50,000 signatures are needed to get the necessary 34,000 valid signatures to get the issue on the ballot. The six Democrat members of the City Council decided to raise the minimum wage by city ordinance rather than going to the voters, claiming 63% of San Diegans support it.

“If that’s the case, why don’t they want to see this put on the ballot?” Queried Jason Roe of the Small Business Coalition.

Roe wants the voters to know raising the minimum wage will cost jobs, a spike in prices and a damper on the economy.

“People are going to have their hours cut to accommodate for this, and we’re going to increase the cost of goods and services for every San Diegan because these businesses have to make up the increased cost somewhere.”

The signature gathering process, printed Tuesday, asks the Council to repeal the wage increase or submit it to the voters.

“The minimum wage is not a maximum wage. That is your entry into the job market.”

When you head out to do some shopping Wednesday, you’re likely to run into those signature gatherers and that worries the Small Business Coalition.

“Because last week, the labor bosses and proponents of the minimum wage increase announced that they’re going to start harassing voters when we’re out gathering petitions.”

Raise Up San Diego will counter the petition gatherers with folks of their own who will attempt to convince voters not to sign the petitions.

“We’ve got folks who definitely want to make sure that they’re educating voters, and their handing out materials making sure they understand why they should not be signing this,” explained Robert Nathoff of Raise Up San Diego.

What worries the Business Coalition is a repeat of the harassing and bullying of voters at signature gathering locations in the past.

“We will be watching closely,” continued Roe. “We will make sure to get videos and photos of this harassment; I don’t need to convince anyone that it occurs because we’ve seen it before – this tactic that they’ve employed.”

Raise Up San Diego says it will shadow the signature gatherers, but only to educate voters about this petition.

“If they do see a petition gatherer, than they know not to put their names on that petition. Because if they do, it’s taking away the ability of 200,000 hardworking San Diegans to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head, so do not sign.”

Expect a media campaign throughout the signature gathering process, which will last for only 30 days. But if this does go to the voters, it won’t be until 2016 when San Diego will have a longer and more intense campaign to persuade the voters.

Categories: KUSI