WeHo Council Supports Milder Minimum Wage Increase

A sharply split West Hollywood City Council last night agreed to support an increase in the minimum wage that fell short of what was advocated by Mayor Lindsey Horvath, Councilmember John Heilman and local activists.

The proposal backed by Horvath and Heilman would have increased the minimum wage, now at the state-established level of $10 an hour, to $15 an hour by 2020. The first increase, to $12 an hour, was proposed to take effect July 1, 2017, with other increases in following years until the $15-an-hour target is reached.

Mayor Lindsey Horvath
Mayor Lindsey Horvath

But Councilmember John D’Amico offered a counter-proposal that got the majority vote. It would raise the minimum wage to $12 on July 1, 2017, for businesses with 26 or more employees. For businesses with 25 or fewer employees and for non-profit organizations, the increase will go into effect in 2018. After 2020, future increases would be tied to the Consumer Price Index.

Dozens of people spoke in favor of or opposition to the proposal. Those speaking in favor of it cited West Hollywood’s reputation as a progressive city and noted that the City of Los Angeles already has agreed to a $15 minimum wage by 2020, with the first increase this July. Many of them were members of the West Hollywood Action Committee, a group newly formed to lobby for the minimum wage increase, whose members waved signs at the meeting to demonstrate their support.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti attended the Council meeting to speak in favor of the wage increase. Other supporters include Sandra Fluke, the lawyer and women’s rights activist, and Joe Guardarrama, a lawyer and former City Council candidate. Guardarrama said that if the city didn’t enact a minimum wage increase he and his husband would dine out elsewhere.

Opponents, who included the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and small business owners, urged the Council to move slowly, observing the impact of the minimum wage increase on Los Angeles before making a decision about West Hollywood. They also said the increase would likely have a negative impact on the city’s small businesses. Seventy percent of the city’s businesses have 25 or fewer employees.

West Hollywood City Council, West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, John D'Amico, fur ban
John D’Amico

“Supporters of ‘raise the wage,’ with no iota of information about our businesses, send rhetoric about raising the wage,” said Genevieve Morrill, the Chamber’s CEO, in a speech to the Council. “They state that we want to ‘deny the workers of West Hollywood a wage that allows them to adequately provide for their families,’ and yet give no consideration that these West Hollywood businesses are also just trying to feed their families, trying to keep their doors open and their employees employed.”

Councilmember John Heilman, a supporter of the increase, disputed arguments that the city is moving too fast by deciding now to increase the minimum wage. “We started this conversation in September of 2014,” he said. “That was the first time that this item was brought forward … There was an update in July of 2015, and there was another update in December of 2015. And we have had a number of meetings with the business community. This is not something that we are rushing forward.”

Councilmember Amico said an increase would likely have a negative impact on low-income residents of West Hollywood because it would force local restaurants and retailers to raise their prices.

“I’m concerned that a 20% increase in wages will mean a 20% increase in costs for 25% of our residents,” he said, referring to those residents who live on fixed incomes.

Councilmember Lauren Meister said she was concerned about the impact a minimum wage increase would have on small businesses owned by the Russian-speaking community on the city’s Eastside. “Those are the businesses that are going to be killed,” she said.

There are two items proposed for the state November general election ballot that would increase the minimum wage statewide and might make the West Hollywood Council’s decision mute.  Another complicated issue discussed by the Council is the impact a minimum wage increase would have on restaurant employees, a major part of West Hollywood’s work force. Restaurant owners said waiters, who receive an hourly wage and tips, might make $40 to $50 an hour. But under state law they the restaurant owners are not allowed to make the waiters share those tips with those working in the kitchen, who are less-well paid.

 

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BlueEyedBoy
BlueEyedBoy
6 years ago

Cy, I’m not going to waste my time looking for links to convince someone who is unconvincible, no matter how strong the evidence. I wasn’t making an accusation; I was making an observation. I’m not familiar with any “right-wing websites” that make any claims that you have described, but I do some pretty good critical thinking all on my own. Unfortunately, politics has its hand in everything from religion to science. There really isn’t much that is pure, or free from the influence of politics. When you accept THAT you will have made a giant leap to making good judgements… Read more »

Cy Husain
6 years ago

Notice how you provided NO link to back up your accusation that “the Nobel Prize committee is a socialist organization” sure you find numerous right-wing tabloid websites making this claim along with claims of the LGBT agenda conspiracy taking over America, Holocaust denial, anthropogenic climate change denial, evolution denial, and just about everything else they publish that leads any rational person to seriously doubt their credibility. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is hardly socialist, it’s NOT The People’s Swedish Academy of Sciences! The vast majority of bias when it comes to the Nobel Prize has to do with it’s… Read more »

BlueEyedBoy
BlueEyedBoy
6 years ago

The Nobel Prize committee is a socialist organization, so naturally they would choose socialists for their prizes. Sweden was number two in 1970 and fell to number 14. That’s not a view. It’s a fact!

Cy Husain
6 years ago

This view presented in a right-wing “investors” would of course slant it to a very negative perspective, such “investors” stand to lose influence as opposed money and, this is what REALLY upsets them. Now the economist presented in the article not only stands opposed to every single recent Nobel Prize winning Economist (some of which whose articles I have cited with hyperlinks in prior postings) but, has little if any support from his fellow Scandinavians who re-elect Socialists by a land slide.
How Could Socialism Be Boring? It’s a System Run By and For People!

BlueEyedBoy
BlueEyedBoy
6 years ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

Nixon tried “wage and price controls.” It was a disaster and led to out of control inflation. The results are never good when someone tries to manipulate an economy…and that’s what will happen with raising the minimum wage. It will help a few while hurting many. Carter inherited a mess created by Nixon and Ford, although Carter would probably have done the same thing had they not done it first. Of course, Carter had no solutions and just screwed it all up even more.

Cy Husain
6 years ago
Reply to  BlueEyedBoy

Ah the famous CATO argument about “Nixon’s wage and price controls.” It’s like having a patient bleeding to death and saying that giving someone food won’t do any good and, as proof see the patient isn’t getting any better no matter how much you feed them. The bleeding wound during the Nixon Presidency was the imperialist war in Vietnam! Typical right-wing tactic of blaming good Liberal policies for the consequences of failed right-wing ones! States with a minimum wage higher than the Federal minimum have experienced faster rates of job growth than other states. The report Los Angeles Rising: A… Read more »

BlueEyedBoy
BlueEyedBoy
6 years ago

Cy, where has the economic system you are promoting ever, EVER worked? It simply doesn’t work anywhere, although it looks good on paper. Just minutes ago I was reading an article on MSN’s homepage about the disastrous results of the hike to a $10 minimum wage in Massachusetts where there are massive job losses directly attributed to that increase. I admire you for caring about these things, and you clearly do your homework, but I’m afraid your mentors have deceived you. You’re clearly a smart guy, but I suggest you apply your research time to the information that is out… Read more »

Cy Husain
6 years ago
Reply to  BlueEyedBoy

More like where is it NOW WORKING, in every single Scandinavian country with a standard of living far exceeding the United States! So you came up with a link to the money market section which is sure to neglect the FACT that it’s the spending power of common people NOT businesses that stimulates the economy. True they do cite businesses that shut down because they were upset with the minimum wage increase but, they did so do to ideological objections NOT economic. Kind of like businesses refusing to serve the LGBT community. Take a look at the economy of Massachusetts… Read more »

BlueEyedBoy
BlueEyedBoy
6 years ago

Garbage in, garbage out!

Cy Husain
6 years ago
Reply to  BlueEyedBoy

Good to see that you agree that the myth of “free market capitalism” is total GARBAGE! Thank You! 🙂

Cy Husain
6 years ago

Well the issue is now moot and, #FightFor15 can now claim victory How a $15 Minimum Wage Went From ‘Extreme’ to Enacted! Across the country, activists and low-wage workers are showing that the changes we need will come if people organize and force them. Now before panicking you might want to see This Is What $15 an Hour Looks Like. In July, Emeryville, California, passed the highest city-wide minimum wage in the country. Here’s how workers’ lives changed,and didn’t. For Bush’s entire 8 years, job growth was just 1.1 million and that mainly in low wage service jobs. Yet under… Read more »

BlueEyedBoy
BlueEyedBoy
6 years ago

Yeah, Cy, I’ve heard it all before and I don’t buy it. I’m very familiar with everything you wrote here. As I said, the radical left rewards the Paul Krugmans of the world who advance the Left’s cause. If you recall Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize just a few weeks into his presidency and he hadn’t done a thing yet. One of the greatest hindrances to the success of a business is the intrusion of the government. The free and open market disciplines itself. If a business is doing something that is not in the best interest of the… Read more »

Cy Husain
6 years ago

One of the Economist I have sited in the past , Paul Krugman is an American economist, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, who won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. Another has been Joseph Eugene Stiglitz, ForMemRS (Foreign Member of the Royal Society), FBA is an American economist and a Professor at Columbia University. He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and the John Bates Clark Medal. Most people criticizing these individuals not… Read more »

BlueEyedBoy
BlueEyedBoy
6 years ago

Wow, Ever Vigilant, you really are ….. vigilant! As it turns out, Henry must have read what I said about that and he was nice enough to write me and say exactly what you just said. I hope he has found it in Spam because I was brilliant and I’m not sure I could duplicate that.

Lynn
Lynn
6 years ago
Reply to  BlueEyedBoy

Thank you Blue Eyed Boy, I do make every effort to keep up with facts and let my antennae do the rest. However, the current opinionated static is exponential so it can be challenging.

BlueEyedBoy
BlueEyedBoy
6 years ago

Ever Vigilant, I’m not advocating for a conservative position, as far as I know, although I suppose my position would be considered conservative. I don’t know what the conservative talking heads would say, because I don’t go out of my way to follow them. But I know B.S. when I see it and Paul Krugman is full of it, as has been proven to be the case time after time. I do read and listen to a lot of news and commentary, but I don’t have any particular gurus. I doubt that Cy follows any but the radical leftists, and… Read more »

Ever Vigilant
Ever Vigilant
6 years ago
Reply to  BlueEyedBoy

Thank you. Before you rewrite, try checking w Hank as sometimes disappearing posts wind up as spam.

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