As allies of Wendy Greuel tell voters that she would try to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour if elected mayor, Greuel demurred Monday when asked during a debate if she supports that level of pay.
"I think we have to look at minimum wage across the country because there are men and women, working men and women, who can't afford to live in their apartments, the ability to pay for their necessities," Greuel said in the final televised debate with rival Eric Garcetti, a face-off that will air at 7 p.m. Monday night on KCAL-TV Channel 9. "I don't know if $15 for minimum wage is what we would see here in Los Angeles."
Garcetti said he does not support increasing the minimum wage, currently $8, to $15.
"We can't head our economy off of a cliff because suddenly we would become absolutely uncompetitive with other places," he said, adding that he supported asking businesses for higher wages when the city is providing them with financial assistance.
Garcetti cited reports that Greuel's supporters were driving through Latino neighborhoods and announcing through a loudspeaker that Greuel supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Garcetti asked whether that amounted to "unfair targeting."
"I am not familiar with the individuals who were doing that," Greuel replied, before adding that she has clearly supported a proposal to increase wages for hotel workers.
Voters with Spanish last names are also being sent a mailer that says in English and Spanish: "On May 21, our votes can raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. We are working hard to elect la Wendy our Mayor so she can raise the minimum wage." The mailer is paid for by an outside committee supported by the Los Angles County Federation of Labor.