By Doug Porter
The room was packed yesterday for a meeting of the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee as Councilman Todd Gloria successfully gained approval to draft ballot language on a measure proposed for the November ballot raising the minimum wage and granting paid sick leave for San Diegans.
Gloria will consult with City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and bring the measure back for consideration by the committee on April 30th. We can only hope the City Councilman president has the language double-checked by an outside attorney who doesn’t have a vested ideological interest in the measure failing.
A coalition of faith-based, community and labor groups called Raise Up San Diego! turned out over 100 people carrying neon green signs expressing support for the concept yesterday. They’ll need to keep the pressure on until the full council takes a vote (no later than the end of August) for the measure to appear on the ballot.
From UT-San Diego:
“Raising the minimum wage would help tens of thousands of San Diegans working full-time pay for shelter, put food on the table and support their families,” Gloria told the city’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee. “This is a very real issue that must be addressed for us to move forward as America’s finest city.”
Opponents to the idea of raising the minimum wage locally are taking the “we need to study it” approach for the time being.
Minimum wage will increase statewide —- reaching $10 an hour in 2016 -— but Gloria says that amount isn’t enough, although he hasn’t specified just what would be. Not everyone supports the measure. Alisa Rhinehardt, for the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, told the committee a further increase in wages could be damaging to local businesses…
“Many of whom are very concerned about an increase in the minimum wage above and beyond what the state just approved last year. We ask that an independent study be done to first determine the economic impact on the business climate in the city of San Diego,” Rhinehardt said.
The study idea is, of course, a delaying tactic. There are a multitude of studies out there with results oriented towards whomever paid for the research. And one more study wouldn’t change anything, other than say, the timing of such a measure to a low turnout date where the Chamber and their allies might have a chance of influencing the results with a JOB KILLER advertising campaign.
From the Washington Post, talking about national public sentiment (and why Congress will do nothing) on this issue::
Recent pollshave shown that only tea party Republicans oppose the minimum wage hike, while non-tea party Republicans actually are in line with majorities of the American people, and support it. But the latter’s priorities just aren’t reflected to anywhere near the same degree by the Congressional GOP.
Business Killer? Maybe Not, Say Actual Businessmen
On the national level, one of the leading opponents of increased minimum wage legislation being considered by the states, is the National Federation of Independent Businesses(NFIB). The group typically portrays itself as the voice of American small businesses.
The fact that they’re received $2.5 million from the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a conservative advocacy group with deep ties to the Koch family is, I guess, supposed to be of no importance. And we’re not supposed to notice that four of the five men sitting on the NFIB board are current or former employees of Koch companies and that one is a friend of Charles Koch.
In fact, their actual constituencies don’t agree with NFIB’s priorities.
From Think Progress:
…its own members aren’t so focused on the issue: Buried inside a big roundup report on the issue is a survey of business owners — and they say they aren’t actually worried about sick days or minimum wage. In its most recent survey of the small businesses that make up its membership, from 2012, they ranked “Minimum Wage/’Living’ Wage” at number 52 out of 75 issues — well in the last third. On top of this, just 8.6 percent said this issue is “critical,” while 28.8 percent said it wasn’t even a problem.
The group has also opposed paid sick days, but that ranks even lower among its members. “Mandatory Family or Sick Leave” is number 64, below regular crime as well as cyber crime, with 7.8 percent deeming it critical and 35.1 percent saying it’s not a problem. Yet it conducted a study saying that enacting paid sick days in Massachusetts would cost 16,000 jobs and testified against a measure in Illinois.
How About a Debate?
Since all these studies effectively cancel each other out, perhaps a discussion between articulate and nationally recognized spokespersons would be of value. That’s what the AFL-CIO leader Richard Trumka was thinking when he suggested a debate with the Heritage Foundation’s Jim DeMint. That show isn’t gonna happen…
From the Washington Post:
…according to Josh Goldstein, a spokesman for the AFL-CIO, DeMint’s office has said he doesn’t have the time to do the debate. Goldstein adds that the AFL-CIO told DeMint’s staff that Trumka would be happy to do this wherever and whenever DeMint wants to, but to no avail. Now the AFL-CIO will seek to draw attention to DeMint’s unwillingness to debate, with a new Facebook page and other social media, as a way of making the broader point that even those who are most ideologically committed to opposing the federal minimum wage know it is a very hard position to defend.
SDPD: One Audit, One Investigation and One More Complaint
A bevy of politicos and law enforcement types gathered yesterday to tell the local media about two of three latest developments concerning the San Diego Police Departments recent woes.
UT-San Diego called the story correctly, running with the following lede:
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI will conduct a criminal investigation into misconduct at the San Diego Police Department, a probe that will run parallel to an independent federal audit also requested by city officials, authorities said Monday.
The BIG news as far as I’m concerned is the criminal investigation, where subpoenas and grand juries can be used to break through the “blue” code of silence. Audits depend on voluntary cooperation.
Via Voice of San Diego:
About midway through the press conference, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said something cryptic.
The U.S. attorney’s office and the FBI are leading an active criminal investigation into conduct within the SDPD, he said.
“We believe every rock should be turned over and if, and I do emphasize if, crimes were committed in addition to those already prosecuted, perpetrators should be brought to justice,” Goldsmith said.
Other news outlets tended to play up the announcement of the self-requested audit under the auspices (and paid for via) of the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services.
The actual “work” part of the deal will be handled by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a DC-based non-profit that provides a variety of management services to law enforcement agencies around the country.
A quick review of PERF literature makes me concerned that they have a “blue” bias. I’ll be looking further into their track record in coming weeks. My hope is that somebody will be brought in to stand up and advocate for the concerns of the victims of the SDPD’s past deeds.
From NBC7 News
Attorneys for Jane Doe, a top witness in the criminal case against Arevalos, released a statement after details of the audit were announced. They say recommendations from an audit are not enough and that they would prefer an outside monitor inside the police department.
And Then There’s This Complaint
I think if the recent raid on Cheetahs Gentlemen’s Club in Kearny Mesa didn’t involve the female anatomy it would be easy to say there’s no connection to the SDPD’s other problems. Given that no violations of the law were announced and that the women questioned by the police are moving toward suing the city, maybe somebody ought to look into this issue.
Twenty-five dancers at a San Diego strip club have filed a civil rights claim against the San Diego Police Department, claiming that police officers held them against their will and took revealing pictures of their tattoos.
Ten San Diego police officers raided the Cheetahs Gentlemen’s Club in Kearny Mesa on March 6 to check 30 dancers’ permits, according to a claim filed by attorney Dan Gilleon.
During the check, the claim says the unidentified officers detained dancers against their will for about one hour without a warrant and without probable cause.
They ordered the women to pose in various positions so the police could photograph the tattoos on their nearly nude bodies, all the while making “arrogant and demanding comments” and telling the women to “smile,” the claim states.
“I got my pictures taken from at least my knees upwards, and I’m half dressed. I felt kind of violated and like my rights were not there,” said dancer Brittany Murphy.
Rights Groups Gain Voter Registration Victory
Following a settlement with voting rights organization, the state has agreed to send voter registration cards to nearly 3.8 million Californians who have applied for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
The agreement follows a promise of legal action by the ACLU of California, the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, Demos, and Project Vote over the state’s failure to comply with the National Voter Registration Act and state laws.Covered California’s executive director Peter Lee and California Secretary of State Debra Bowen approved the deal.
Residents will be now able to complete or update their registration in time for the June 3 primary election, representatives of the groups said, and bring the state into compliance with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. The law requires that certain state offices provide clients with registration opportunities.
California was first nationally to add voter registration assistance to the list of services offered by its insurance exchange, but failed to follow through when the exchange opened.
Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s national Voting Rights Project, said this settlement is a warning to other states that operate heath exchanges but have failed to provide required voter registration services. Those states include Nevada, Hawaii, Washington, and Washington D.C.
Local Dems Do The Right Thing
The San Diego Democratic Party’s Central Committee met last Wednesday and overwhelmingly endorsed Carla Keehn as the best candidate for San Diego County Superior Court jurist seat 20.
Keehn’s candidacy against incumbent Judge Lisa Schall has been a source of some controversy locally, as claims have been made about the local law establishment attempts to derail or discourage the challenging of a sitting judge.
The Latinofication of Kevin Faulconer
I just had to share this Tweet from Ruben Barrales, former Chamber of Commerce honcho, now leading the GOP effort to find common ground with Latino voters. Yes, the photo went with the Tweet.
— Ruben Barrales (@RubenBarrales) March 25, 2014
On This Day: 1911 – In New York City, 146 women were killed in fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York City. The owners of the company were indicted on manslaughter charges because some of the employees had been behind locked doors in the factory. The owners were later acquitted and in 1914 they were ordered to pay damages to each of the twenty-three families that had sued. 1965 – Martin Luther King Jr. led a group of 25,000 to the state capital in Montgomery, AL. 1967 – The Who made its U.S. concert debut in New York.
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