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San Diego's Minimum Wage Measure Wins Easily

City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner and Raise Up San Diego organizer Norma Rodriguez gather at the "Don't Sign It" campaign launch to discourage voters from signing petitions to force a referendum on the minimum wage increase.
Claire Trageser
City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner and Raise Up San Diego organizer Norma Rodriguez gather at the "Don't Sign It" campaign launch to discourage voters from signing petitions to force a referendum on the minimum wage increase.

San Diego's Minimum Wage Measure Wins Easily
The battle over Proposition I — the measure to raise San Diego's minimum wage — was expected to be contentious but fizzled after a state law superseded it.
San Diego’s Minimum Wage Measure Wins Easily
San Diego's Minimum Wage Measure Wins Easily GUEST: Dale Kelly Bankhead, secretary-treasurer, San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council

All of the city propositions on the ballot were approved by voters. Props letter a through G were noncontroversial changes to the language of city charter and prop letter I were voters in San Diego approved opposition letter I which boosted the cities minimum wage to 1050 an hour up again to 1150 next January. It also extends earned 6 days to a minimum of 5 days a year. The center for policy initiatives was great supporter of that particular proposition. On the line with me is Dale Kelly Bankhead of CPI. Dale, welcome. Hi. I'm glad to be here. Just a slight correction I'm with the San Diego and Imperial labor Council and CPI was our partner in achieving this great victory for working people. Since the state has boosted the minimum wage, the state has boosted it to $15 an hour by 2022, many people thought the city boost to the minimum wage would it be supported by voters. So, why do you think it was? Well, I think the overwhelming number of San Diego voters were very clear that this step was needed in order to ensure that workers in San Diego who earn minimum wage aren't forced to live in poverty. We know how very expensive it is to be here -- live here in San Diego . This will enable families to come a little closer to being able to make ends meet. Although the 15 will be welcome when it comes into place, that is not going to be for a couple of years. Here in San Diego we're going to have a better quality of life for our own neighbors during that interim period of time. Think he. Dale Kelly I have to end up their. Thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate it. Ink you.-- thank you here Tell us a little bit about who came out to vote yesterday? Not as much as you might ink. If you look around the country and blue and red states you are seeing a push toward -- think . If you look around the country in blue and red states you are seeing a push toward minimum wage. The chamber of commerce took a loss on that one. They are the ones that worked hard to get that on the ballot in the first place to validate what the city Council had done The revenue is going to build up over time but it is a floor, not a ceiling. We are doing plenty right now and we are going to keep doing more. Thank you for your time complement.

UPDATE: 12:45 a.m. June 8, 2016

Democrats celebrated Tuesday night that San Diego's measure to raise the minimum wage and guarantee sick days for workers easily passed. Proposition I passed with more than 60 percent of the vote.

"Nobody who works hard, full time should live in poverty," said Dale Kelly Bankhead of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. "And this will make so much difference to these hard working families as much as 260 dollars extra a month on their paychecks."

Business groups and others worked to get the measure on the ballot after the City Council approved the measure without taking it to a public vote. Then the opponents decided not to mount a campaign, especially after Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers passed their own increase in the minimum wage.

UPDATE: 8:10 p.m. June 7, 2016

With the opposition not fighting it, San Diego's measure to raise the minimum wage and guarantee five paid sick days to workers was easily winning Tuesday night. In early returns, 62 percent of voters were supporting the measure to 38 percent opposed.

Original post

The battle over a ballot measure to raise San Diego's minimum wage was expected to be contentious but fizzled after a state law superseded it.

Proposition I would raise the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour by 2017. It was put on the ballot two summers ago by a signature drive that overturned a City Council decision to raise the wage.

Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers decided this year to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 for businesses with 26 employees and more, and by 2023 for businesses with 25 or fewer employees.

San Diego’s local minimum wage increase would eventually be superseded by that larger bump.

That meant the business groups who funded the signature drive in San Diego did not organize to try to defeat Proposition I.

A coalition to support the measure's passage did hold rallies and voter outreach events and raised more than $200,000.

If the San Diego measure passes, wages would immediately rise from $10 to $10.50 an hour, and then rise again to $11.50 an hour on Jan. 1. That amounts to $260 more a month for someone working 40 hours a week.

The local measure would also guarantee five paid sick days, which is not included in the state measure.

A comparison of San Diego's proposed minimum wage increase with California's wage increase, using data provided by the Center on Policy Initiatives.
Susana Tsutsumi
A comparison of San Diego's proposed minimum wage increase with California's wage increase, using data provided by the Center on Policy Initiatives.