Pasadena leaders will tiptoe into the wage debate Monday night by discussing a $15 minimum wage during their regularly-scheduled council meeting.
Pasadena’s first new mayor in a decade and a half, Terry Tornek, expressed strong support for a $15 wage during his election campaign, though he doesn’t know if that support is shared by his colleagues.
“My intent with the way it is agendized, is not to make a judgement about substance, but rather just to talk about the process,” Tornek told the Pasadena Star-News. “We’re not going to be talking about how much, how fast, which groups — we’re going to talk about the process and how we could elicit the broadest range of public participation in this process and the general timing of how this will happen.”
Pasadena's decision to put a discussion on their agenda comes on the heals of the Los Angeles City Council's vote to raise their city's minimum wage to $15 in the year 2020, and the L.A. County Board of Supervisors' decision to raise the minimum wage in the county's unincorporated territories.
A group called Pasadeneans for a Livable Wage has been lobbying for a higher city minimum wage, and estimates that 32 percent of Pasadena’s labor force earns less than $15 an hour, according to a study the group commissioned that was based on Census data.
Elsewhere in Los Angeles County, there has been lots of talk of raising the minimum wage, especially in Santa Monica and West Hollywood. However, with the exception of Los Angeles itself, no city in Los Angeles County has actually raised its wages yet.