Davis group trying to raise city minimum wage to $15

DAVIS, Calif. – Tuesday night, the Davis City Council will likely hear debate about raising the minimum wage during the public comments section of its meeting.

A grassroots group is attempting to raise the city's minimum wage rate to $15 per hour. The group wants to put the proposal to voters in November. To do so, the group needs to collect about 7,000 signatures by May 1 from Davis residents in order to qualify the initiative for the ballot. Chavez said the group currently has about 1,200 signatures.

"It takes about $15 an hour for someone working full-time to escape poverty in this town," said Joaquin Chavez, a grassroots member.

The business community is already fighting against the proposal.

Dee Clark, General Manager of Woodstock's Pizza, is mostly concerned about how it would affect the cost of dining in Davis as a whole.

If the $15 minimum wage is passed, Clark said, "We would have to pass that substantial increase onto our patrons. If I'm going to be dining in the downtown Davis area and it's going to cost me San Francisco prices, I'm going to re-think my choices."

Davis residents are divided on the proposal.

"Yeah, I think it's great," Richard Elliott said. "It's a working wage to live in Davis. I'm struggling at what I make."

"It seems like a drastic jump," Kaitlyn Grim said. "It's almost doubling the minimum wage. It would also raise all the other prices."

California's minimum wage is already scheduled to increase. In July, it goes up to $9 per hour, then $10 per hour in January 2016.

The Davis proposal would raise the minimum wage to $12 in January 2015, $14 in July 2015, and then $15 the following January.

Chavez said the group currently has about 1,200 signatures for the initiative.


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