City of Richmond Minimum Wage Increase Ballot Question (November 2014)

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A City of Richmond Minimum Wage Increase Measure ballot question will not be on the November 4, 2014 election ballot for voters in the city of Richmond in Contra Costa County, California. The Richmond City Council is, instead, considering an ordinance to increase the minimum wage to $12.30 per hour themselves, without a city vote.

Richmond City Councilwoman Jovanka Beckles proposed three different versions of a bill that seeks to raise the minimum wage in the city. The three proposals provide for a minimum wage of $11/hour, $12.30/hour and $15/hour respectively. If the council as a whole had approved of one of these rates and had gone forward with the mayoral directive to put the question on the ballot, voters would have seen the question in November. Each proposal also included exemptions for employers with fewer than 10 employees and local businesses that have been open for less than two years and have fewer than 26 employees. Although the city council members voted 6-1 in a preliminary reading of the proposals to move forward with the $12.30 per hour rate, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin rescinded his directive for a ballot measure. This means it is likely the council will simply approve the minimum wage without a city vote. McLaughlin, defending his move to avoid a city election, said, "It's clear we want a minimum wage increase, so why not sooner rather than later. Why wait until November? It's a phased-in approach."[1]

Beckles, however, before McLaughlin recanted his call for an election, said that, although the city council could simply approve a minimum wage increase themselves, she believed that it was important for the city voters to have a say in the matter. Beckles said, "It should be on the ballot for community input on the process, rather than the council just telling the community. It's not a special election, so the costs of the ballot measure would be low."[2]

  • Currently the state minimum wage is $8 per hour, set to increase to $9 per hour in July.
  • San Francisco has the highest minimum wage in the region at 10.74.
  • San Jose features a rate of $10.15 per hour.



  • Richmond City Councilwoman Jovanka Beckles

Arguments in favor

Beckles said, "My experience in working with low-income residents is they want to get off the government dependence and afford basic necessities for their families, and the current minimum wage is just not enough. People are struggling."[2]

Similar measures


Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Seattle $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Initiative (November 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of San Francisco Minimum Wage Act of 2014 Initiative (November 2014)
Approveda Philadelphia Minimum Wage Ordinance, Proposition 1 (May 2014)
Approveda City of Chicago $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Referendum (March 2014)
Approveda SeaTac "Good Jobs Initiative", Proposition 1 (November 2013)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Richmond Minimum Wage Increase Ballot Question (November 2014)


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