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Roundtable: Minimum Wage, Six Californias, Water Restrictions, Pride Week

KPBS Roundtable

Roundtable: Minimum Wage, Six Californias, Water Restrictions, Pride Week

Aired 7/18/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Minimum Wage, Six Californias, Water Restrictions, LGBT Pride

HOST:

Mark Sauer

GUESTS:

Dean Calbreath, San Diego Daily Transcript

Randy Dotinga, Voice of San Diego

Susan Murphy, KPBS News

Thom Senzee, The Advocate

Minimum Wage Goes Up

The San Diego City Council voted 6 to 3 on Monday to pass an ordinance raising the city’s minimum wage to $11.50 an hour by 2017.

The minimum will rise incrementally from the new state minimum of $9 an hour. It will be $9.75 an hour at the end of this year; increase to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2016 and $11.50 an hour on Jan. 1, 2017. The minimum wage will be tied to the rate of inflation after that.

The San Diego ordinance provides no exceptions, such as for workers-in-training or for those employed by companies headquartered outside the city.

The 6 to 3 council vote is veto-proof. This ordinance, which features a smaller hike in the wage than Council President Todd Gloria first sought, won over some critics.

But San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Jerry Sanders of the regional Chamber of Commerce, and the three Republican council members remain opposed, as do some restaurants, hotels and home health care companies.

Rich Guy Wants More Californias

Tim Draper, a wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneur (are there any other kind?) says California has become the worst-managed state in the union. Several states could challenge this assertion, but they might be too late. Draper says he has enough signatures to place a measure on the 2016 ballot that will change California forever.

His measure will create six — count 'em, six — Californias, each with vastly different demographics. Some are rich, some very poor. Some are mostly white. One would have less than a million people; another would have 12 million.

Think of it: five more state constitutions, flags and songs. Five more state legislatures. Ten more U.S. senators (a very big maybe). Republicans in statewide offices.

If the measure jumps all the hurdles in its path, the real test will be whether the state of, say, Central California can set up a working, efficient DMV.

San Diego Has A Water Problem After All

We’ve been told for months that San Diego is doing just fine, thank you, that we have enough water to last the summer and that water agencies have plans to get us through this drought.

That was then.

Now, ranchers in San Diego’s backcountry are selling off their calves early because there's no grass to feed them. Avocado growers are losing trees. Reservoirs are drying up.

State mandatory water restrictions will go into effect Aug. 1, and the Southern California Water Authority votes next week on whether to implement them here through the various local water agencies.

40th Pride Parade Celebrates LGBT Activism

Forty years ago, the first Pride Parade was a much smaller affair than it is now. Some marchers even hid themselves by putting bags over their heads. Times have changed. San Diego's LGBT Pride is now a very big city event, attracting participants from around the globe.

San Diego has also changed. For decades, San Francisco has been known as the epicenter of LGBT activism, but some feel that San Diego is catching up rapidly. The region has elected several gay and lesbian politicians to city, county and state offices, and it has several established local organizations, such as the LGBT Community Center, San Diego LGBT Pride and the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation.

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