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.Oakland Council Rejects Chamber-Backed Minimum Wage Plan

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The Oakland City Council voted 5-3 last night to reject a plan pushed by the chamber of commerce that would have raised the city’s minimum wage more slowly and to a lesser degree than a labor-backed measure on the November ballot. The chamber’s plan, which was sponsored by council President Pat Kernighan, also sought to exempt numerous workers from receiving higher wages. The proposal, however, failed to garner support from a majority of councilmembers, who instead have endorsed a competing proposal put forward by an activist coalition known as Lift Up Oakland. The Lift Up Oakland measure, if approved by voters, will raise the minimum wage for all workers in Oakland to $12.25 an hour, starting in March 2015.


Along with Kernighan, Councilmembers Larry Reid and Lynette Gibson McElhaney voted in favor of the chamber’s proposal. Voting against were Councilmembers Dan Kalb, Desley Brooks, Noel Gallo, Libby Schaaf, and Rebecca Kaplan. Schaaf and Kaplan are running for mayor this year. Mayor Jean Quan previously said that she did not support the chamber’s plan.

The council’s vote means that only the Lift Up Oakland measure will be on the ballot. It is expected to pass easily.


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