With 56,000 signatures gathered, minimum wage will go to voters

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Those against the minimum wage increase have gathered 56,000 signatures, which means the minimum wage is headed to the voters. Those against the increase needed 34,000 signatures turned in by Wednesday.

56,000 was the number of signatures in two previous referendum, for Barrio Logan and the Linkage Fee, both which were overturned, one by the council and the other by voters.

“San Diego voters have spoken they want the 44% wage increase placed on the ballot: in spite of unprecedented opposition from union bosses, we’re proud to announce the small business coalition has turned in over 56,000 signatures,” said CEO of the Chamber, Jerry Sanders.

Speaking for the coalition, Sanders says signature gathers faced a level of union bullying and voter intimidation at a level not seen in the previous two referendums. 

He cited personal experiences from council members Lori Zapf and Scott Sherman.

“Scott worked tirelessly to get this done, and even witnessed a member of his staff being assaulted by the other side. Lori Zapf also endured harassment, and she never blinked,” said Sanders.

Laurie Edwards Tate, owner of At Home Health Care, said, “I have seen it countless times over the years. When dollars become stretched services become cut. We simply can’t bear a 44% increase in costs.”

If, and when the gathered signatures are verified the ball will shift back to the city council, and it would require them to respond.

“They have the ability to rescind this bad policy, and let out small businesses focus on creating jobs and putting San Diegans back to work,” said Sanders.

The architect of the wage hike, council Todd Gloria released a statement that said:”Considering the expense and deceit that big business poured into this campaign, I am not surprised that this many signatures were collected. Meantime, 12 boxes of signatures are at the registrar’s office, and will be verified within the next 30-calendar days. The folks at this table are going over 2,000 forms sent in by those who signed a petition, and now want their names removed.” 

If there is an election it will not be until June of 2016. The wage hikes that were to begin in January will be put on hold until after the election.

Categories: KUSI