Supporters of minimum wage hike try novel tactic

Minimum Wage Supporters
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SAN DIEGO — Supporters of a minimum wage increase in San Diego said Friday they plan to set up stations around the city this weekend, where residents who signed a referendum petition to put the issue on the ballot can file paperwork to get their signature removed.

The move is the latest in the effort to prevent the referendum from qualifying, following a campaign to try to convince San Diegans to not sign the petitions in the first place.

The referendum effort is challenging an ordinance passed by the City Council in July to hike the minimum wage incrementally to $11.50 an hour, and provide five paid sick days to all people employed in San Diego.

Supporters say it will provide extra dollars to around 170,000 San Diegans and give earned sick leave to even more residents. Opponents say the hike goes beyond increases mandated by the state, and will put a strain on small businesses.

The two sides have engaged in a war of words since signature collections began last month. Signature-gatherers have complained about being harassed. Minimum wage hike supporters contend that the signature-gatherers, who are paid, are spreading lies about the issue.

“San Diegans — I understand you’re tired of this,” said City Council President Todd Gloria, the chief supporter of the pay increase. “I know you’re tired of the he-said, she-said back-and-forth of this campaign.”

The deadline to turn in nearly 34,000 valid signatures is Wednesday.

“It is a sad commentary that Todd Gloria and his union puppet-masters don’t want the voters to have a say in their outrageous 44 percent wage increase,” said Jason Roe, a spokesman for the referendum campaign. “Apparently they don’t think we deserve to voice our opinions on their job- killing policies that help union bosses but hurt working people.”

People who previously signed the petition but feel they have been misled can file paperwork with the City Clerk’s Office by Tuesday at 5 p.m., Gloria said.

Minimum wage hike supporters will staff the following locations on Saturday, where residents can drop-off the forms from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

  • Ralphs and Trader Joe’s, 8657 Villa La Jolla Drive;
  • Target, 3245 Sports Arena Blvd.;
  • Ralphs and Trader Joe’s, 1030 University Ave.;
  • Food 4 Less, 312 Euclid Ave.;
  • Ralphs, 11875 Carmel Mountain Road;
  • Home Depot, 4255 Genesee Ave.;
  • Target, 1288 Camino Del Rio N.; and
  • Vons, 6155 El Cajon Blvd.

On Sunday, two collection stations will be set up at Qualcomm Stadium for the Chargers’ home opener — at the trolley stations and outside the Gate C Will Call office.

The Target location on Sports Arena Boulevard and Home Depot on Genesee Avenue will also be staffed Sunday.

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