By Doug Porter
The ‘Improving Wages and Working Conditions’ measure is set to be introduced at the City Council Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations (EDIR) Committee on Monday morning. In addition to calling for an increase in the minimum wage, the proposed initiative would also guarantee workers up to five earned sick days.
While serving as iMayor, Councilman Todd Gloria made a bold pledge to get a measure before the voters that would raise local minimum wages. He’s now softened that pledge a bit making it clear that the actual amount of any increase is negotiable. And the opening negotiating position for the Chamber of Commerce (and their as yet silent allies) is: Zero.
While advocates and opponents of increasing the minimum wage each have studies that purport to back up their claims, there can be no doubt about the realities that the value of dollars earned by low wage workers has decreased and the unsustainability of trying to eke out a living on the lower end of the payscale in San Diego.
This week’s City Beat has a decent overview of the quest for a better life. Here’s the meat and potatoes of the discussion:
In response to a CityBeat request, Mayor Kevin Faulconer provided this statement through a spokesperson: “As mayor, it’s my job to grow our local economy and protect the jobs San Diego families rely on. I would hope that our City Council adheres to those same priorities as they move forward.”
Asked if the Mayor’s support is necessary to put a minimum-wage initiative on the November ballot, Gloria said, “I would like to have his support. I think this effort would be even more successful if we had his support, and we’ll discuss it with him. I’m sure he’ll have strong feelings about this.”
Many in the business community have expressed support, Gloria added. “All the meetings I’ve had, everyone, maybe with one exception, said this should happen,” he said. “They get that $8 is too low, that $10 in three years is not enough. The question is, what’s the dollar figure that doesn’t harm them too much? What’s the phase-in to get to that dollar amount that makes a lot of sense?”
I have a cynical view, one that I expressed back in January while writing about Todd Gloria’s original speech:
The same folks that have spun community planning, environmental stewardship and housing for low income people into a conspiracy to drive JOBS out of the city are busy figuring out a way to drive a stake into the heart of any minimum wage increase, even if it’s to be decided at the ballot box.
As the Los Angeles Times points out, it took UT-San Diego exactly 16 minutes after Todd Gloria finished his speech to post an editorial challenging his call for an increase in the minimum wage.
Getting a real increase in the minimum wage will take a serious effort from people who all-too-often are already overworked and definitely underpaid. Organizers with Raise Up San Diego, a community coalition leading this fight are calling upon people to show up at City Hall at 9:30am on Monday, March 24th.
In related news, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s state legislation proposing a to provide workers with three paid sick days a year was approved by the Committee on Labor and Employment, 5-1. It now goes to the Judiciary Committee. The UT-San Diego story on the bill’s progress ends with:
Of the 70 bills branded “job killers” [by the Chamber of Commerce] since 2012, all but five have failed to become law.
He’s Baaack! Congressman Issa to Revisit Obamacare
Now that the furror over Congressman Darrell Issa’s boorish behavior towards Rep. Elijah Cummings has died down a bit, the right wing’s favorite inquisitor has announced that he’s re-opening his investigation into HealthCare.gov security concerns.
Issa’s flamboyant tactics may well have cost him an admittedly slim chance for another term as Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee. In a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, Rep. Marcia Fudge, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, called for Issa’s removal. Not great PR by any stretch of the imagination.
So Congressman Issa’s off on a quest to re-invigorate computer security fears of about Obamacare. The Hill reports Tony Trenkle , the former chief information officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), has been summoned to make yet another appearance before the Oversight Committee.
Issa’s lack of actual accomplishments over the past few years was detailed most recently by Alex Pereene at Salon.com:
Darrell Issa had one job — use his position as chairman of the House Oversight Committee to keep the media fixated on a series of open-ended investigations into frivolous Obama administration scandals, like in the good old Clinton days — and he has totally botched it. When Issa took over the committee in 2011, he essentially promised the right that he’d take down the Obama administration. Between the FDA, WikiLeaks, Fannie Mae, Solyndra and Fast and Furious, he’d surely find something impeachment-worthy. But none of those really panned out.
Next came Benghazi, which will live on forever in conservative lore as the most scandalous scandal of all time, but which suffers from the fact that no one outside the conservative bubble can figure out what the “political scandal” part of the attack is supposed to be.
Issa got the outright gift, last year, of the political press deciding to package three largely unrelated news stories — the Justice Department gaining access to the phone logs of journalists, the IRS maybe-sorta applying excessive scrutiny to certain mostly conservative groups, and Benghazi … having happened, I guess — as a sort of trifecta of “Obama scandals.” This was his opportunity! Issa pounced on the IRS scandal, as usual promising earth-shattering revelations. He chose … poorly.
For those readers who might be confused about just exactly what the ‘scandal’ at Heathcare.gov is all about, here’s Joan McCarter at Daily Kos:
Since it can be hard to keep up with Issa’s rotating manufactured scandals, this is the one about how the administration is covering up potential security vulnerabilities in the federal exchange. There have been no security breaches of the website and no one’s personal information has been hacked. In fact, the most credible potential threat to the website that anyone as of yet has identified is Issa, who has a penchant for leaking cherry-picked sensitive information for political ends.
If you’re sick of Issa, check out the video below:
Dog Whistle Sounds in Mission Valley
The ghost of Senator Joe McCarthy was haunting the newsroom at UT-San Diego yesterday as they posted a story about San Diego Metropolitan Transit System CEO Paul Jablonski upcoming trip to Shanghai next month.
Word is that he’ll be helping the Chinese government plan a mass transit network. They’re paying his way over there, but the newsworthiness of this particular story seemed to hinge on who’d be paying Jablonski’s salary during that time. Okay…
But the headline on the original posting was a hoot, and made the rounds on social media (thanks, David!) prior to being pulled:
MTS EYES 2-WEEK CHINA TRIP FOR TOP EXEC
Taxpayers would cover Jablonski’s salary while he gives transit advice to communists
China’s communist still? Who knew?
It’s now been changed to: Taxpayers would cover salary for first week of CEO’s travel
On This Day: 1792 – In Paris, the Legislative Assembly approved the use of the guillotine. 1965 -President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered 4,000 troops to protect Selma-Montgomery civil rights marchers. 1969 – John Lennon and Yoko Ono were married in Gibraltar.
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