Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Monday, March 06, 2006

Living Wage Woes

With an editorial and a feature article today, the News-Press started what will likely be the story of the week. What will the city council do Tuesday?

We have the story on the front page about a worker who made fifty cents more than minimum wage for being a manager and a business that is working hard to keep its' employees from speaking to the press. On the editorial page, we have an opinion that is more worried about union wages rising because minimum wagers will be making more money should this pass.

I see both sides but don't see how we expect to have plenty of service workers in Santa Barbara without wages rising somewhat. Also, question whether it is the city's business to mandate wage levels. Do people want to live and work here so bad that the "invisible hand" of the market means little? We've talked about the U-Curve here before -- with housing costs, don't low wages mean we will continue driving everyone out of town?


Anonymous dd said...

Speaking of this, did you happen to read the LA Times article about Santa Barbara and it's unaffordability rating.

3/06/2006 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/06/2006 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as long as greedy realtors and developers exist it doesn't matter how many homes or condos are built the prices will still bring in the rich and drive out the middle and lower classes. there are too many retired baby boomers in the world wanting to move here. and that's what the builders want no matter what they may claim to get their project approved. sure they'll throw in a few little way little affordables cause the new residents will need service workers right? if people want change setting a cap on the market rate might do it but oh then we'll hear cries about free market right? so we're doomed people.

3/06/2006 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:44 I see that the greedy realtors and developers control the price and force people to pay higher due to a scarcity. Just what our buddies Joe and Das want to kill is what you are asking about - workforce homes for locals - not for seniors. But I am sure that is bad because the school district is greedy too. I would consider therapy about you problems with authority figures. You are doomed because you choose to be doomed.

3/06/2006 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually they are doomed because they will vote for Joe or Das and will doom themselves. Nice house you are sharing with your mama.

3/06/2006 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article, thanks for posting it. It's so hard to hear the truth in our own paper or from our candidates: we have to go to the LA times for a little reality. Kinda sad

3/06/2006 10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't see anything new in the LA Times article.

3/07/2006 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this has all been the NP many times. Let's be honest.

3/07/2006 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Valerio said...

Nice comments here about the subject of the original posting, the City "Living Wage" Ordinance.

3/07/2006 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/07/2006 12:43 PM  
Anonymous carpman said...

If the 'living wage" passes, somebody better send the paramedics over to the NewsPre$$..Travis may try to hurt himself!

3/07/2006 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/07/2006 2:00 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I'm deleting a couple comments -- please stay on topic and play nicer!

3/07/2006 2:06 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Greatness is a trait that grows, over time. It follows the same path as maturity, defining moments, accomplishments, etc.

Das has not been able to keep his FIRST promise to the voters...after only two years on City Council he is abandoning his committment, and is seeking a new interest.

This is NOT the sign of greatness. Our "obligation" is to recognize this and teach Das how to keep his word.

3/07/2006 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am telling Das this blog has stooped to censoring his supporters. Hey, what happened to free speech.

3/07/2006 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Serving out one's term is greatly overstated.

3/07/2006 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am telling my mom and dad!!!!!

3/07/2006 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q: how can a candidate for a complex public office who has never completed a full term in office or held the same job for more than a year or two demonstrate any stability, maturity, perseverance

A: he can't.

3/07/2006 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually wanted to hear something from someone about the living wage. Is it such a done deal that no one cares?

3/07/2006 6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It IS a done deal, 5-2. Superior return on invested union dollars...

A couple of chits for both Iya and Helene to call in when running against each other for Mayor.

3/07/2006 8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It passed 5-2; not too much opposition at all. I'm sure Travis will put his ten cents in but when the community does not echo any of the paper's hysteria, what does it matter?

3/07/2006 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One person's hysteria is another person's common sense. Why oppose when the votes were already bought and paid for?

3/07/2006 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q: How many of the five in favor received SEIU cash during their past election?

3/07/2006 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. The Evil Iya votes for the package while the progressives choice, Roger, votes against it. What was all the noise about last year in the Council race anyway?

3/07/2006 9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marty, Roger, Das and Helene all received monies from SEIU in their last election.

3/07/2006 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two answers, 9:00 PM:

1. Bad political judgment by Marty and Das in the first place, in trying to throw Iya out. Bush league. Dumb. Failed.

2. Iya plans on running for Mayor and wants the SEIU's cash in her corner next time; Roger, well....the city's spin notwithstanding, as a former finance man he's actually worried about the city digging its way out financially. Score one vote for the editorial page today; maybe two--Brian was protesting a bit too much.

3/07/2006 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a vote for the Living Wage is not quid pro quo for union donations, any more than support of a development project is directly correllated with that developers contributions.

Speak to the merits of the policy, but don't engage in such simplistic blame

3/07/2006 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Grant also received SEIU money. Ditto Marty, Das and Helene. So Iya actually was the only one voting for...without SEIU cash. And Roger voted against...with SEIU cash.

9:00 p.m., good question: what WAS all the noise about last election?

3/07/2006 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There seems to be a positive correlation between both sets of data:

--Developer industry contributions and project approvals;

--Union support and wage ordinances.

More the case than not. It's the nature of politics, particularly given the sums required these days. Otherwise, why would someone like Bermant or Levy even bother to send in money?

3/07/2006 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a litmus test for Iya. She had little choice. Otherwise, Marty....

3/07/2006 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a litmus test for Iya. She had little choice. Otherwise, Marty....

3/07/2006 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The SEIU money and developer money are two different games.

SEIU money and threat of opposition last election to election as do all union endorsemens and contributions.

Developer money is to get a seat at the table and an open mind or to support a candidate that respects private property enough to create an open playing field.

Different games - to date SEIU 6 - Develpers 1

3/07/2006 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iya doesn't need SEIU money anymore. And they won't give it anyway, too tied to Das. It was about knocking her out of his way in the future. Litmus test or something she really believed in? I think she believed, they picked the fight to settle scores for Marty and Das. Too bad. Made them look small and even worse now.

3/07/2006 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does this vote impact the next city election if Das loses?

3/07/2006 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good God, can it not be about Das for one second?

3/07/2006 10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

on recent polls I have seen the living wage is a total non issue with voters - do not want it

hear the chamber is going to push a referendum on it

interesting debate with all voters getting to vote on governement employees

3/07/2006 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classic carrot and stick in action.

Carrot being the dough and campaign support spread around expertly by Walt and Augustino.

Stick being the attack on Iya.

Most of the council are ambitious and would like to move up, or at least keep future options open.

So politically little choice but to support the ordinance and speechify directly in the faces of the activists last night.

To do otherwise would hurt any of them bad in the next election. Most don't have Iya's strength and it's not a gauntlet even she wants run again.

3/08/2006 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What're the bets for when the City employees request a wage adjustment to equal the non-governmental employees' pay scale?

It is highly unfair that a class of workers should receive 12-14 dollars/hour while another class, differing only in being employed by the city, should receive considerably less, some even minimum wage.

Either equalize the pay or contract out all low pay scale jobs to private industry. This means library, parking lot attendants, park/rec employees, etc.

I'd bet within a month the issue will be formally raised.

3/08/2006 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe this vote will outrage travis so much he'll have to leave town

3/08/2006 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:38 needs to lay off the bong. If this carrot and stick thing was so ingenious on Walt and Harley's part, why does Iya vote yes and Roger no? Nice try. Fire it up dude.

3/08/2006 7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iya voted "yes" because she could count all those supporting - and plans to run for mayor in 3 years, rather than being termed out. Roger voted "no" for the reasons he said and because he does not plan to run for mayor and will be termed out.

3/08/2006 9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or it could be she supported it because she actually did what she said she would do all along - support a living wage. Roger always had qualified his support on needing to study it - no surprise then that he wasn't on board at the end. It is funny though to think about all that money Roger received from SEIU and voted against them...

3/08/2006 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iyas support for the Living Wage never wavered.

3/08/2006 11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anything Iya proved she doesn't need SEIU and its attendant satellites, Das, Harley, etc. They made a mistake over personal issues and thats the fact.

3/09/2006 6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roger voted no because he knows how to read a financial statement; he's said many times he's worried about the city continuing to suck up its savings. The living wage is a nice thing morally, but it's a wild card financially, and Roger knows it.

Iya's heart is in the right place, but she's also a smart politician who wants to be Mayor. She may not need the SEIU, but she doesn't need it attacking her with bullhorns either.

3/09/2006 6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Elephant entering the room is PD staffing. Once the public finds out how shorthanded the PD is right now and how difficult it is going to be to recruit new officers a lot of other issues are going to be blown off the table. Try calling a cop these days. It is the thin blue dotted line. There is no quick fix either. Years of looking the other way have created a hiring crisis that will take a decade to fix in the best of conditions.

3/09/2006 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I called the Police Department a couple of months ago about a stolen bicycle and an officer responded and came to my house immediately (that is, within 15-30 minutes (I wasn't timing - it seemed very rapid response.) My neighbors called some months ago (within 6 months) about an abuse situation and they, two officers, responded rapidly, essentially immediately. Both of those were in the daytime.

No question, though, but recruiting must be a huge problem with the housing costs.

3/09/2006 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Das has told many of us that his primary goal will be to expand a living wage to the entire county. its about time!

3/10/2006 2:27 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

With all the important issues facing the Second District, Das's "primary goal" is a county-wide living wage ordinance? Hopefully, this information will be included in his campaign materials. Spread the word!

3/11/2006 3:20 PM  
Blogger daraka kenric said...

Hey folks, calm down. I was on the negotiating team for Santa Barbara for a Living Wage, and I'm in pretty close contact with Das and his campaign- I've never heard him say that his "primary goal" would be to pass a county-wide Living Wage ordinance... This is exactly why I hate this anonymous posting. Anybody could come on here and say "Das told me his priority is to outlaw puppies" and there's no accountability. As for SEIU money- the top donation recipient in the last cycle from SEIU voted "No", and my guess is in part because the News Press and some folks on forums like this one keep perpetuating the myth that the Living Wage campaign was led or directed by SEIU. Again, as a SB4LW board member, such a notion is really far off the mark. Most of the funding came from the Fund for Santa Barbara, and much of the leadership came from La Casa De La Raza, PUEBLO, Women's Political Committee, UCSB Democrats and CLUE. Of course SEIU supports the Living Wage for both ideological and practical reasons, but it's really reductive and inaccurate to act as if the only political dynamic here is money from SEIU in return for a vote on an issue that has been floating around for more than 5 years.

3/11/2006 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the sell outs like the union guy who will hurt Das's campaign. We need to fly our flag with bold colors and say want we mean. Let's not blend them into pastels. A living wage, a healed earth, property control. That is what will lead us to victory.

3/13/2006 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A living wage, a healed earth and PROPERTY CONTROL????" I am pretty sure Das doesn't want that freak flag flying in his name. But run it up the flagpole, see who salutes.

3/13/2006 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Define " property control".

3/14/2006 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Property put under the collective control of the voting public. all land decisions will be made at the ballot box. Building, grading, remodeling, it will all be voted on. The collective good will be determined by the voters and not the bottomline.

3/14/2006 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, boy, oh boy!

3/14/2006 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Property control, a county wide living wage extending to all businesses with more than 5 employees, phase out of offshore drilling, this is a progressive agenda and why the 2nd. district choice is so clear.

3/14/2006 2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe daraka should focus on the expansion of a living wage and not settle for the crumbs from the table. when will they learn that unions were formed to protect the worker. the only way this will truly happen is they expand their reach. the living wage is a joke. only certain contracts and a certain dollar amount. what leadership. why dont you sack up and fight for every worker and not just those who happen to work for someone with a government project.

3/14/2006 2:24 PM  

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