Raise Up San Diego, with backing from labor groups and their supporters, organized a rally outside city hall Wednesday afternoon, March 12, promoting a minimum-wage increase and access for workers to paid sick leave — a benefit 82 percent of San Diego food-service workers and a majority of low-wage workers do not currently receive.
"I am always just one day’s pay away from being unable to keep a roof over my family’s head," said food worker Maribel Sosa, who said being unable to take time off from work to care for her four-year-old daughter was also a major concern. "I make just $8 an hour, so if I get sick I have no choice but to go to work anyway."
The crowd was joined by several city-council members, including Sherri Lightner, Marti Emerald, Myrtle Cole, and Todd Gloria. The quartet said they intend to bring a measure to raise the minimum wage locally and allow workers to earn sick leave to voters this November.
"No one should have to choose between a job and caring for a sick loved one, and hard-working people should be able to afford to live in the city they love," said Gloria.
"I am a college graduate with two different jobs and I still cannot afford to feed my children without food stamps," lamented Sandra Galindo, a mother of three. "Most of my paycheck goes to pay rent and put gas in my car so that I can get from one job to the next."
(corrected 3/13, 11:10 p.m. — editor's error!)