The San Diego City Council voted Monday to override the mayor's veto of a minimum wage increase -- setting the stage for another high-profile political fight between the Democrat-controlled council versus the Republican mayor and the business establishment. All six Democrats on the council voted to override the veto by Mayor Kevin Faulconer; the two votes against the override were Republicans. A third Republican on the council was absent.... Under the council action, the minimum wage will increase in stages to $11.50 an hour on Jan. 1, 2017. Statewide, the minimum wage rose to $9 an hour on July 1.
The fight to approve a federal minimum-wage increase is dead, at least this year. Polls show broad public support for an increase, but opposition from congressional Republicans is inflexible: GOP senators have already filibustered a Democratic plan and the GOP-led House has said the idea will not be considered.
But action away from Congress continues.
The change is not yet certain. Almost immediately after the vote, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce announced a plan to put the issue on the citywide ballot through a petition drive. According to the L.A. Times report, opponents of the policy will have 30 days to collect 34,000 signatures.
Keep in mind, San Diego is no mid-size city. On the contrary, San Diego is by some measures the nation's eighth-largest city -- with a population over 1.3 million, this municipality is larger than nine states.
In other words, when a city of this size pushes its minimum wage to $11.50, it's a big deal.
As for the larger context, this news comes less than two months after some large private-sector retailers, including Ikea, announced plans to raise their minimum wage.
What's more, just in recent months, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Vermont have approved minimum-wage increases, and the though the political circumstances are very different, even Michigan has agreed to do the same.
It's a political movement of sorts, but it's growing, Congress notwithstanding.