With San Francisco's minimum wage set to bump up to $10.74 in 2014 and fast food workers walking off the job in Oakland, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is beginning to show some concern for the city's lowest paid workers. In a statement released yesterday, Lee teased the possibility of introducing a ballot measure that would raise San Francisco's minimum wage to anywhere from $11 to $15.
The possible ballot measure is still fuzzy — the Examiner says Lee has simply "announced his intent to begin talks" about it — but it's a different tack for a mayor who has been accused of being in the pocket of a wealthy tech industry and high-rent developers. After hearing the recent discussion on affordability in the city and those fast food strikes in Oakland, Mayor Lee says he felt like "no one is going to live on $10.74." Even though that's the highest minimum wage in the country, the significance of that figure ends there, Lee says.
The exact amount of the wage hike is still being explored, but Lee is bringing in stakeholders from around city hall to hash it out and San Francisco voters will have the final say when the measure arrives on the ballot either next June or November. Lee's announcement, which came after he returned from a trip to Asia, took the Board of Supervisors by surprise, but he's started scheduling meetings with the Supes, as well as the business groups from the restaurant and tourism industries. In a statement, the Chamber of Commerce responded that it is important for the city to make sure the city is also still affordable to job creators as well.