skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

San Diego To Explore Raising Minimum Wage Without Public Vote


San Diego To Explore Raising Minimum Wage Without Public Vote

The debate over whether to raise the minimum wage in San Diego took a new turn Wednesday when a City Council committee asked for details on whether the pay hike could be enacted without a public vote.

The debate over whether to raise the minimum wage in San Diego took a new turn Wednesday when a City Council committee asked for details on whether the pay hike could be enacted without a public vote.

City Council President Todd Gloria's original proposal was to place a measure on the November ballot to increase the compensation for the lowest-paid workers to $13.09 an hour over three years. San Diego currently recognizes the state minimum of $8 an hour, which is due to climb to $9 in July and $10 in two years.

On a 3-1 vote, the council's Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee voted to have Gloria work with the City Attorney's Office to continue work on developing a ballot initiative. But the committee also instructed Gloria and the city attorney to provide details on how the City Council could approve the increase without putting the proposal to a public vote.

The idea to have the hike approved via ordinance was brought up by Councilman David Alvarez, who lost to Kevin Faulconer in the February mayoral runoff election.

Alvarez said his parents worked for minimum wage when he was growing up, giving him "a shot'' to get ahead.

"I don't think that exists today,'' Alvarez said. "Those opportunities that I had of two hard-working parents -- one at a fast-food restaurant and one as a janitor -- gave me the opportunity to stay in school, go on to college and make something of myself. I don't know if that same opportunity exists today, even for those working two jobs.''

Councilman Mark Kersey, who cast the dissenting vote, said he didn't have enough data on how the proposal would affect San Diego.

He said he was "sympathetic'' with those who are paid minimum wage in high-cost San Diego, "but I'd hate to see people potentially lose their jobs or, more likely, see their hours cut back or their benefits curtailed -- as we heard from the first couple of speakers -- because we got out ahead of the rest of the state.''

Faulconer and business interests say they don't want San Diego to put itself in an uncompetitive economic position, but supported the state and proposed federal minimum wage hikes. The nationwide plan, however, failed to pass the Senate today.

An overflow crowd appeared at the first public vetting of the proposal by Gloria, who said he was willing to make adjustments to his plan based on the feedback. His proposal also includes providing workers with one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

Suggestions from the public included excluding employees who receive tips, because strapped employers would then cut health benefits for other low-paid workers; waiting to judge the impact on business of the statewide increases; spreading smaller raises over a longer period of time; and exempting home healthcare providers who would otherwise have to pass on the pay hikes to seniors.

Gloria and the City Attorney's Office were asked to report back to the committee on June 11.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.


Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | April 30, 2014 at 5:11 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

Of course they don't want to go to a vote. Just pass it through like every other bad piece of legislation. If they put it to a vote, AARP will get out the senior vote to kill it. Hey, Alverez and Gloria have to make good on the millions of dollars donated to the DemonCrats. Who cares what the ramification are to others? Bad politics dictates that groups that donate large, get something back for it. Alverez and Gloria need to pay for this in their next campaign. We are coming for you !!!!!!

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'mySDvoice'

mySDvoice | April 30, 2014 at 5:29 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

I want it to go to a vote in November. Maybe then the Democratic Party can get out the vote and pass this with a large margin. Having this on the ballot will also help with other causes and candidates for the Democratic Party. But, if the Democratic Party leaders stay true to form, they will figure out how to take the advantage they have with public opinion (and demographics) and turn this into a loser (like they did with the mayor's race).

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | April 30, 2014 at 7:33 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

Sure, let's take a group of people who have no skills, no talents and no experience, and try to make them look like winners. I hope that wage takes them out of the running for food stamps, Section 8 and all other nanny state benefits. Then we may see some financial benefit from this debacle.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'mfs6278'

mfs6278 | May 1, 2014 at 11:23 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

I dont get the logic?? I dont get a vote when they raise my rent! Living here is almost impossble with sunsine dollars they pay in this city. I hope people wake up and go to the polls vote for this!

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'sst'

sst | May 1, 2014 at 12:37 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

10 years in the military + currently working as a EMT= 11 dollars an hour at a competitive wage in San Diego.

I don't see the" no skills, no talent, no experience, and nanny state" argument.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 1, 2014 at 1:12 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

We live in a representative democracy, yet it seems like major issues that impact city finances and infrastructure always get mired-down in spineless government officials who are scared to make bold decisions on their own and a ballot measure process that is a complete and utter joke.

Take, for example, the airport fiasco.

Back in 2006 or whenever it was, city officials SHOULD have been working at all levels - with the military, with the state, with the Feds, with the FAA - to work out some kind of deal at Miramar, the most logical area for a commercial airport in our growing city.

Instead they embarked on a half-arsed propaganda campaign to have it voted on that fell flat, voters rejected it, and here we are today sinking over a BILLION dollars into renovating an airport that will still eventually need to be moved in the coming decades.

We need officials who have conviction and who aren't scared to make decisions.

Our defunct ballot process has the city's proposal and then some other person getting signatures for a DIFFERENT proposal.

What if BOTH win on the ballot? Which minimum wage hike gets put into place then?

Not to mention these ballot initiatives are not democracy.

They aren't the will of the people.


Big business who wants to exploit workers will pour millions into this to buy the "vote", and outside business groups in Washington D.C. who are alarmed that city governments are taking this situation into their own hands because Congress is incompetent enough to raise the national minimum wage (not to mention living standards are different in different place so minimum wage shouldn't be the same everywhere) will likely also become involved to ensure this fails.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | May 1, 2014 at 1:13 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

sst, you are the type of people who need to be upset with the idea of people, who have to go through a training period to flip burgers, getting $13/hour. I was not including you in that mix. You have a work history and have sacrificed to earn a higher wage. I think you deserve more/hour. Do you already work for the City? If so, why do they they burger flipper want-a bees deserve more than you?? See the problem here??????

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 1, 2014 at 1:47 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

muckapoo, you say you don't want to include certain people in the mix, but they ARE included in the mix, that is the problem.

The burger flipping example is a gem that people like to throw out when arguing against minimum wage, but the truth is there are many different people impacted by this, many of whom have skill and education in what they do and they deserve to be paid a fair LIVING WAGE.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'sst'

sst | May 1, 2014 at 1:47 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

Muckapoo, its what people get payed relative to minimum wage vs. the cost of living in San Diego is the problem. 8 dollars an hour doesn't cover the cost of rent, transportation, and basic cost of living and some employers pay more than minimum wage based on what the current minimum wage is. So increasing the minimum whould increase the wages all around, so "Burger Flippers" whould still be payed lower on the food train. I'm not advocating for or against 13 per hour, just the the status quo of 8 or 9 per hour doesn't meet basic living cost and lowers pay rate of more skilled jobs.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | May 1, 2014 at 5:21 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

sst, minimum wage was never meant to be a living wage for a family. It is an entry level, training wage. Set up for non-skilled workers to gain experience. Then go on to higher paying jobs. Anyone with 3 kids and a wife at minimum wage should have used birth control. Having too many kids is not society's problem. Get a second job, gather cans. I am 69 years old. I work a part time job because I like to work. What about disabled seniors on a limited income? Who speaks for them? Raising the min. wage will create havoc for them. Me, I'm the toughest old man in town. I will survive. I feel bad for people senior to me. This will raise a cost of living that just could kill them.
Duck compares jobs for business to jobs in Bangladesh. You decide.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'j2kenned'

j2kenned | May 1, 2014 at 7:36 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

I really hope this passes! Too many people are delusional if they think minimum wagers are all no-skilled people living with their parents. The struggle is real, i've been through it. and even though i worked hard and persevered, the reality is that if anyone has lost their job and is raising a kid on 8 bucks an hour, they are suffering hard core. yes, there will be some losers in this proposal, but take it from an economist that the losses are overblown.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'dboquet'

dboquet | May 2, 2014 at 6:39 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

Income and wealth in San Diego affects the real estate market in San Diego. Most people in San Diego would like to buy a home and for a variety of financial reasons they find it hard to do so. Affordable real estate in San Diego is hard to find. We have a new tool where you can see the value of you home instantly,
For those lucky enough to own a home in San Diego this tool will give you your current market value.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | May 2, 2014 at 9:11 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

Why the f*** should someone who does a job that any able bodied person on earth can do get paid $15/hour? There is a huge supply of that sort of labor. If people want more money, they should make their labor more unique/valuable.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | May 2, 2014 at 9:21 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

muckapoo you hit the nail on the head every time. I am sorry if someone decided to make idiotic life choices like drop out of high school and mate like a feral animal. That should not automatically give them a free ticket to housing, high paying jobs, and healthcare. I worked several minimum wage jobs - as a teenager. I never, ever intended to make a career out of these jobs like some of my fellow coworkers, 40 year old grocery baggers and the like. I always wondered what the heck they were thinking, and how did they go so wrong in life to end up like that? So I educated myself, I learned valuable skills that people pay me money to use. I did not sit around and blame the world for my problems, I did not expect my employer to pay me more simply because I chose to put zero effort into my life or make my labor more valuable.

I am responsible for my life, my income is the result of choices I made and working hard consistently for over 15 years. Sorry, but no matter your age, marital/family status, or level of need, you do not deserve to be handed a living wage simply for existing.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'sdreefer21'

sdreefer21 | May 2, 2014 at 10:22 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

What tangible assets do the people bring to these companies to justify such a massive raise? Since the minimum is going up, should the middle and maximum? Why should my valuable skills be devalued for those who have keyword here, chosen a life and career path that is far easier. Education and training are choices one makes when evaluating your self worth as an employee or leader. I went to technical schools, attend hundreds of hours of ongoing specialized training, and actively try to better myself so I may better serve my community. San Diego is not a place you can afford to live on minimum wage. You must either better yourself or commute.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | May 2, 2014 at 1:52 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

j2kenned, maybe you should have waited for children until you earned enough to raise one. $8 does not adequately house and feed 2-3 people. Should have thought that out. Now, why does that become society's problem?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'sdreefer21'

sdreefer21 | May 2, 2014 at 10:14 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

j2kenned if you are an economist then you realize that this raise is not congruent with that of the average worker. You said it yourself hardwork and perseverance. Why would you remove that incentive alone. Rewarding mediocrity and lower is not a principle adopted by any successful business.

( | suggest removal )