A minimum wage increase to $15 per hour without mitigations will have devastating consequences for many workers, elderly care patients, those who rely on disability assistance programs and for public school students and their parents.(ii) And, of course, the consequences are equally devastating for businesses like yours, which will all be issues in a campaign against the wage initiatives.
This week, we will be forming a campaign committee - Californian Consumers Against Higher Prices - to oppose any extreme minimum wage ballot measures. The campaign committee encompasses a broad spectrum of key players in the California economy. We expect the attached coalition list to double within the coming weeks, and grow until Election Day.
Our campaign is winnable. For the past 12 months, the California Restaurant Association has led a robust campaign, and our public opinion research indicates that we have the ability to defeat these measures. Voters believe these initiatives are simply too much, too fast, especially for small businesses.(iii)
We have strong messages and a top-notch team in place to ensure voters understand that measures like these come at a dramatic cost to schools, social services, small business, families and jobs. But support across industries is vital, and now is the time to engage on this critical issue - we need your help to win this fight.
While research indicates that we have the messages to win, we cannot do so without adequate funding. We anticipate that a winning campaign will require $15-20 million, and we must reach this goal to ensure that this campaign is well-funded enough to compete effectively with the proponents. Your firm commitment is needed now. Our fundraisers for Californian Consumers Against Higher Prices will soon be in touch with you to discuss the necessary contributions on this effort.(iv)
There is power in numbers and the restaurant industry must have other industry partners to produce a winning campaign. Please help us do our part for this campaign by contributing to Californian Consumers Against Higher Prices. And don't forget to view our weekly two-minute, "News You Need to Know," video that is delivered to your email to stay updated and see the growing list of partners joining this effort.
i) Both unions are also attempting to do at the ballot box what they've been unable to do at the bargaining table with the state - secure higher wages and benefits for homecare workers. These measures are, in part, an effort to do an "end-around" to the state's bargaining process. An added dimension of complexity is that the leaders of these two unions have well-known animosity towards one another and are each vying for the loyalty of their shared union members.
ii) Unlike local minimum wage increases, a statewide wage hike impacts state and county services like public schools, elderly care, and services for the handicapped and developmentally disabled populations. The consequences for these programs and for those they serve are simply devastating and also game changers in the eyes of the public relative to a $15 minimum wage.
iii) Over the course of our two most recent surveys - October 2015 and February 2016 - there is broad public support for increasing the minimum wage at 66 percent YES and 63 percent YES, respectively. However, these proposed ballot measures fall far below broad support. For the $15 minimum wage initiative 46 percent fall in the YES category (with only 27 percent in the "strongly" YES column). And for the $15 minimum wage initiative with six paid sick days, only 41 percent will vote YES (21 percent are "strongly" YES).
iv) The foodservice industry accounts for about a quarter of California's minimum wage earners, so our obligation to our campaign coalition partners is to raise about 25 percent of the needed funds. Importantly, a successful campaign necessitates that our partners in other industries do their collective part to raise the remaining 75 percent of the needed campaign funds. And thus far, we are encouraged by their willingness to go to their respective industries and raise the money needed.
California Hotel and Lodging Association
California Landscape Contractors Association
California Manufacturers and Technology Association
California Restaurant Association
California Retailers Association
El Dorado County Joint Chambers Commission
Greater Fresno Chamber of Commerce
Greater San Diego Area Chamber of Commerce
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Los Angeles County Business Federation