New Coalition Aims to Put Irvine Living Wage Ordinance on the Ballot

Photo: Spotlight Photography + Associates (Lou Delgado)

Photo: Spotlight Photography + Associates (Lou Delgado)


When the city council majority is hopelessly out of step with national trends and moving backwards instead of forward, it’s time for the Voters to stand up.  And in the case of Irvine’s repealed Living Wage Ordinance, which was once a model for other cities, the Irvine Living Wage Coalition has launched and is in the process of gathering signatures to place new requirements for city contracts on the ballot in 2016.

Headed by activist Luis Alemen, signature gathering efforts are underway throughout the city.  To find a signature gathering party new you, check out the group’s Facebook page:

Aleman writes:

“The Launch for the Irvine Living Wage Initiative was a tremendous success. I want to thank my parents, Luis Aleman Helda J Aleman, my sister Jackie Aleman, my girlfriend Ana Duran, and my best friend/brother Gio Chavez for the support, the effort and the help. I also want to thank Beth Krom, our tireless fighter on the City Council who agreed to be a part of this effort. I would like to thank Mary Ann Gaido for her leadership, Becky and Riley Newman for the T-shirts, Carl Mariz and his wife for registration, the wonderful clergy headed by Jonathan Klein, Paul Tellstrom, and Paige Eaves. Also a big thank to Carolyn Inmon for helping organize this event. Thank you to the Democrats of Greater Irvine for their generous donation and for the chair Iyad Afalqa for lending his support. for their generous donation More importantly I want to personally thank each and everyone of you who attended, spread the word, sent their prayers and support, donated, and committed to collect signatures. This effort would not be possible without you and you keep us going forward.”

It’s no secret (except to Republicans) that stagnant wages mean the middle class is being left behind and minimum wage pay means the high cost of living in Orange County means working people cannot make ends meet.  This story from the Economic Policy Institute tells the story very well.

From the story:

Wage stagnation for the vast majority was not created by abstract economic trends. Rather, wages were suppressed by policy choices made on behalf of those with the most income, wealth, and power. In the past few decades, the American economy generated lots of income and wealth that would have allowed substantial living standards gains for every family. The same is true looking forward: Overall income and wealth will continue to grow. The key economic policy question is whether we will adopt policies that enable everyone to participate in a shared prosperity, or whether the growth of income and wealth will continue to accrue excessively and disproportionately to the best-off 1 percent.

Council member Lynn Schott, in speaking out against the Living Wage Ordinance and defending her vote as a Christian, simply shared the misinformation and myths about minimum wage earners.  The biggest thing she missed is that about 30% of all hourly wage earners are close to minimum wage and that number includes a significant number of women, full-time workers and not just high school kids.

The Irvine Republican Council Majority is out of step with nearly 3/4’s of all Americans.  From Pew Research:  “While the idea of raising the minimum wage is broadly popular, a Pew Research Center survey from January 2014 found clear partisan differences in support. Overall, 73% of people favored an increase in the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour, mirroring a Democratic-backed proposal that failed to move ahead in Congress last year. But while large majorities of Democrats (90%) and independents (71%) said they favored such an increase, Republicans were more evenly split (53% in favor and 43% opposed).”

  9 comments for “New Coalition Aims to Put Irvine Living Wage Ordinance on the Ballot

  1. junior
    September 21, 2015 at 11:56 am

    If this is what the people of Irvine want I would be very surprised. Lunch at Puozoli’s says it doesn’t top 40% in favor.

    • September 21, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      You’re on!

      • junior
        September 21, 2015 at 5:50 pm


  2. Ltpar
    September 21, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Dan, wake up and smell the Starbucks. The only reason people are flocking to outsiders like Donald Trump and Ben Carson is not because of their sterling track records or the actions plans they haven’t presented. It is because we are sick and tired of the sorry political machines of both Republican and Democrat Parties and want real change. What is that real change you might ask? How about government who lives within it’s means and doesn’t spend more money that it takes in? How about ending the billions of dollars in tax dollars flowing into the black hole of Foreign Aid to countries who hate Americans. How about government enforcing the laws we have on the books on immigration and stop the invasion of our country? How about the Federal Government keep it’s nose, regulations and our tax dollars out of areas it has no business being, i.e.: wage controls, public education, major energy policies costing jobs and the list could goes on and on. Many of those thing are State and local government issues and that is where they should be hashed out.

    In Irvine, while I not being happy about the divisive posture and lack of team work by the current Council majority, they are at least on the same sheet of music on some critical issues; wage control being one of them.

    You may gather enough signatures to get such a vote on the ballot, but my prediction is 2016 will bring a backlash of major proportions by the average silent majority citizens against big government and all those who promote it. As such, I agree with “junior” and your Living Wage Fraud” will go down to defeat. Perhaps Beth Krom, Mary Ann Gaido and whichever liberals you run can make the “Living Wage” their theme-song?

    • Dale
      September 21, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      Theme song? Hopefully their Swan Song. Totally agree with your comments but I have only been an Irvine resident for 35 years.

    • RHackett
      September 23, 2015 at 7:19 am

      Your naivete is truly amazing when one considers the protections and benefits you received from the meddling of either the state or federal government into local affairs.

      FFBOR being one of the better examples.

      • RHackett
        September 23, 2015 at 10:05 am


        Meant the POBOR.

        I get my socialist institutions confused.

        • Ltpar
          September 24, 2015 at 3:53 am

          I’d suggest that you are confused on more than just the name. Clearly, you know nothing about the Peace Officer Bill of Rights or you wouldn’t be making such asinine statements. PBOR was enacted to protect employees from out of control Police Management, who before it’s enactment violated their most basic rights, even those afforded to criminals. It deals primarily with Officer discipline incidents and while protecting the rights of the Officer, still allows for objective discipline to be administered.

          • RHackett
            September 24, 2015 at 7:35 pm

            It was enacted at the state level. Above the level of government most affected which is the local government.

            You are opposed to the Feds interfering in the state and local level but have no problem with the state imposing its will on the local government when it benefits you.

            I think you suffer from cognitive dissonance.

Comments are closed.