Sept. 5, 2014 (San Diego) Councilman Ed Harris, and a group of veterans came to Balboa Park to ask San Diegans to support Military Veterans. The message was clear, do not sign it!
Among the veterans who came today, apart of council member Harris, who represents the 2nd District, and is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, were Nathan Fletcher, a Marine Corp veteran, Joseph Rider, also a Marine Corp veteran, and Shawn Van Diver and Juan Gonzales, also veterans.
There were others in the group who remained unnamed but were veterans of the Army, and Navy. All had a message for San Diegans: Do not sign it.
Harris said that he is the “only veteran on city council.”
He said that Rider was a volunteer with Raise up San Diego, Fletcher is a former Assembly Member and a professor at UCSD, and Van Diver is part of the Truman National Security Project.
The minimum wage ordinance provides a modest increase in the minimum wage to thousands of San Diegans. Harris added that the effort to take this away from San Diegans is coming “from out of town interests.” He was clear, “when somebody asks for your signature, we are asking you to walk by, don’t sign it.”
He also said that those making minimum wage full time, have to live on $1,160 a month. That is their gross income at that wage level. San Diego is a very expensive city.
Fletcher said that we need to support veterans, but at a wider level, he also said that “income inequality rips apart the fabric that holds us together.”
He added that in San Diego, “over 10 thousand people who served their country and fought for their country are making the minimum wage.” When you add their family members and the family members of active duty service members, this is an issue that affects all of us.
“Our veterans need help, and they need help now.”
Reporting San Diego also talked with Juan Gonzalez, a veteran and a business owner. He said that veterans are coming out of the service “traumatized because they all have seen combat.” He added that these service members need services and access to education.
What makes transition to civilian life very hard, is that the services that active duty receive are taken away once they leave the service. Service members are not used to taking those into account in their budgets.
We asked if this modest increase would help. He agreed it would, and as a business owner this would not affect him. We include the tape in Spanish.
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