This footage is from October 31, 2003.
I took advantage of having access to Tom Ammiano in person Friday to ask him about the other propositions on the ballot. What he said makes sense to me. I hope it will be helpful to you in making your decisions about tomorrow's elections.
Lisa: "How 'bout Prop L. The minimum wage."
Tom: "Very very good. I championed "living wage" as a supervisor. It took me two years and I got it done, along with providing health benefits for people who do contracting work for the city. I think that Prop L is a very logical next step. It's the brainchild actually of Barry Hermanson, whose a small business man who understands the market in a way that doesn't rip people off. And he knows that if you pay people more than the minimum wage, which is a ridiculous amount of $6.50, that they'll have a few extra nickels in their pocket, and that they'll tend to spend that in the neighborhoods they live with. And I will say this about Gonzales, he sponsored it with Barry. And they both make a very very good point which is "hey, when there's a downturn in the economy, it's not just Chevron that hurts." It's the janitors and the people who are waiters and waitresses and the people doing physical labor, and "hello?" what are we going to do about them?"
So this is a very very reasonable minimal step to at least improving the quality of life issues for working people so they don't always have to choose "should I get some medicine? or should I put food on my table." And yes it gets that dramatic for some people.
Lisa: "And just to play devil's advocate. What about the argument that it would somehow put business out of business and blah blah blah."
Tom: "It's an old saw. And if you were paying what you should be paying in the beginning, you wouldn't even be thinking that way. You get better worker morale. You get more productivity if people are making a more decent wage. And we... give exemptions to smaller businesses. The deal is that when people have more money to spend that actually revitalizes the economy. So the argument that it would hurt business is really only coming from a very small sector who's really not interested in sharing any kind of profits. That's mostly the restaurant association and some of the businesses who back Newsom, and it's a phony argument."Posted by Lisa at November 03, 2003 02:14 PM | TrackBack