Editor: The following is Doug Porter’s article posted today on DailyKos about the fight over our city’s minimum wage law. Much of it is a repeat of material Doug has used in his Daily Column at our sister online media partner, San Diego Free Press. (“douigbob” is Porter’s online handle at that site.)
by dougbob /DailyKos / Aug 19, 2014
A City Council veto override on Monday has set the scene for a showdown between local and national business interests vs. a labor-community coalition over San Diego’s Earned Sick Day / Minimum Wage ordinance.
Following months of public hearings and invitations (mostly declined) for local businesses to hammer out a compromise, the city council passed an ordinance providing access to five earned sick days and setting a local minimum wage increasing to $11.50 over three years.
This action makes San Diego the largest city in the nation to raise the minimum wage.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer–said to be one of the bright new faces in the GOP– then turned thumbs down on the bill on Friday, August 8th. Although the council was slated for vacation for the rest of the month, a special session was called by president Todd Gloria. The 6-2 vote upholding the ordinance surprised nobody.
It didn’t take but a few hours before a well-financed Chamber of Commerce-led group announced it would be collecting signatures to force a referendum on the ordinance, hoping to suspend (until the June, 2016 elections) an increase in pay for an estimated 172,000 local workers, along with denying access to earned sick days to 279,000 individuals.
Go to DailyKos for the balance of the article. Be sure to hit the “like” button.
Don’t Sign It! Chamber of Commerce Led Group Seeks to Block Minimum Wage Increase
By Doug Porter – at today’s San Diego Free Press
As expected yesterday, the City Council voted to override Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s veto of San Diego’s Earned Sick Day / Minimum Wage ordinance. The vote was 6-2, with all Democrats supporting and Republicans Mark Kersey, and Scott Sherman opposed. Councilwoman Lori Zapf did not attend the meeting.
Not long after the council vote Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Sanders dialed up the media, announcing they’d be collecting signatures to force a referendum on the ordinance, hoping to suspend (until the June, 2016 elections) an increase in pay for an estimated 172,000 local workers, along with denying access to earned sick days to 279,000 individuals.
Rise Up San Diego, the alliance of community, faith and labor groups supporting the ordinance passed by the City Council has announced it will mount an educational campaign urging people to decline to sign the referendum petitions.
To push back against this brazen attack against hard working San Diegans we need your help! Council President Todd Gloria, Irwin Jacobs, Mel Katz, Bill Walton and Barbara Bry kicked off the citywide campaign, simply called “Don’t Sign It,” to defeat the referendum against the ordinance.
Today, City Council stood up for 280,000 San Diegans who lack sick leave and nearly 200,000 low-wage workers who work hard every day and can’t afford rent and groceries, now its time to do our part. Here’s what you can you do:
- Take the pledge not to sign the anti-sick days anti-minimum wage petitions.
- Inform as many people as possible that the earned sick days and minimum wage policy HAS PASSED, and that any signature gathering effort is an attempt to TAKE IT AWAY!! Tell your friends: DON’T SIGN IT!
- If you see a signature gatherer, call or text the following hotline: (619) 930 – 3300
Rating the Job Creation Claim
It’s important to remember here that the people you’ll soon see in the news babbling about “job creation” and “job loss” are the sames ones who lied to San Diegans about the Navy leaving town when the Barrio Logan plan was being considered.
They operate from a place where the mantra holding that tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations are somehow linked to increased employment is held to be an essential truth.
The National Employment Law Center announced its support of the Minimum Wage increase, issuing a press release refuting Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s claims that the ordinance will make it more difficult to create jobs in San Diego.
The most rigorous economic research over the past 20 years shows that raising the minimum wage boosts worker pay without causing job losses – even in regions where the economy is weak or unemployment is high.
As summarized recently in a statement by 600 economists, including seven Nobel Laureates and eight past presidents of the American Economic Association, “In recent years there have been important developments in the academic literature on the effect of increases in the minimum wage on employment, with the weight of evidence now showing that increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers, even during times of weakness in the labor market.”
The War on the Minimum Wage is a War on Women
The Upshot column at the New York Times, wherein they try to delve into the numbers behind the news has a compelling story posted about the people who are most impacted by the low wage economy.
The article quotes Arlie Russell Hochschild, a sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who gave a speech yesterday on the impact of inequality on families at the American Sociological Association’s annual convention in San Francisco.
A few snippets from the Times article:
The attention paid to income and wealth inequality spurred by the French economist Thomas Piketty’s best-selling opus, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” comes with a caveat from some of its fans: What about women?…
…It’s at the lowest income levels that the burden on women stands out. Not only are they more likely than men to be in a minimum-wage job, but women are also much more likely to be raising a family on their own…
…So while the number of families living on less than $2 per person per day doubled between 1996 and 2011, according to the National Poverty Center, it tripled among families headed by a lone woman…
….“If the trickle-down theory were correct, the richest countries would have the highest proportion of thriving children,” Ms. Hochschild argues. But they don’t.
A 2010 Unicef report that measured the health, education and material well-being of a nation’s poorest children against its median children found that the United States ranked 23rd out of 24 nations. The only country that scored lower was Slovakia.