Aug. 18, 2014 (San Diego) In a vote that was all but surprising the City Council overturned Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s veto. The vote was a six-two with Council Member Lorie Zapf not present. Councilmembers’ Myrtle Cole and Mark Kersey were present remotely, with Kersey in Lancaster, Ohio and Cole was at Duluth, Georgia.
The City clerk, Liz Meland, placed calls to both members of the City Council to get their comments and their votes. Both watched the proceedings remotely, in computers, in an open room where members of the public were able to attend if they so chose.
The Council has given San Diegans a raise, as Council President Todd Gloria said. Now it is up to San Diegans to resist the siren call of signature gatherers that are expected to spread across stores in town to gather 34,000 signatures, needed to place it in the June 2016, Ballot.
This will work as follows: On Jan. 1, 2015 to $9.75, then to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2016 and finally to $11.50 on Jan. 2017. The minimum wage will be indexed to inflation in 2019. Moreover, the ordinance also includes five days sick leave.
Both Gloria and David Alvarez emphasized (in Spanish) that signing any minimum wage petition will take away this increase and the sick days off. The coalition is asking people not to sign these petitions, and they also claimed that the opponents have half a million to spend on this effort.
What was significant this morning is that there was only one opponent. This opponent did not come from the business community, but claimed that this increase was a form of taxation.
Among those who spoke to the Council were two small-business owners: David Gimbel and Denis Stein. Both said that this raise was necessary. Gimbel even asked: “So where are the hundreds of my fellow business owners who are so outraged by this raise in the minimum wage, I don’t see them today, do you?” He added that in all the hearings he has been attending, he has seen but two.
Gimbel went on to add about the special interests who will try to stop this. “The pressure is coming from a handful of the powerful against the multitude of the poor.” In his mind, the Council should care about the many, and not those few, who do not want to raise the pay of Housekeepers who’s paltry salary has not gone up in years, and has been eaten away by inflation.
It is notable that Scott Sherman cut his vacation short to get to this extraordinary session. He apologized for his appearance but the audience told him that it was fine. All that mattered is that he came.
Video by Nadin Abbott
Photos by Nadin Abbott
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