A student-organized push to raise the minimum wage in San Jose looks like it has a chance to make its way on the ballot.
Roughly 35,000 signatures were reportedly submitted Wednesday by a group led by San Jose State students. Those signatures will need to be verified by the county Registrar of Voters.
Minimum wage in California is currently $8 and hour. If the initiative goes to voters and passes, the new minimum would be $10 in San Jose with adjustments for inflation each year.
An interesting note in the Mercury News’ article on the initiative effort is the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce’s leery position to publicly oppose the measure. Paying employees more per hour would certainly cut into the bottom line for small businesses, but it’s a slippery political slope to oppose a raise for the least-compensated workers in one of the most expensive places to live in the county—almost no one can claim $8 an hour is enough to survive in Silicon Valley.
“Anything that’s going to raise the cost of doing business in the city of San Jose is probably a bad idea,” Chamber president Matt Mahood told the paper. “It may have some unintended consequences.”
Publicly opposing minimum wage could also have some unintended consequences, like turning public opinion against the chamber.