San Francisco, Oakland Voters Support Minimum Wage Increases

Voters in San Francisco and Oakland overwhelmingly approved significant minimum wage increases on Tuesday, according to complete unofficial election results.

San Francisco's minimum wage, which was last raised to $10.74 in January, will gradually increase to $15 per hour by 2018 under Proposition J.

According to the complete unofficial results, nearly 77 percent voted in favor of Proposition J. The measure needed a simple majority for approval.

Oakland's own minimum wage measure had an even bigger lead with nearly half the votes counted, the Chronicle reported. Measure FF would boost the East Bay city's minimum wage from $9 to $12.25 an hour beginining in March.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee released a statement on the voter approval of the ballot measure. "Tonight, San Francisco voters sent a message loudly and clearly to the nation that we can take on the growing gap between rich and poor, we can give a well-deserved raise to our lowest wage workers, and we can do it in a way that protects jobs and small business," Lee said.

The minimum wage in San Francisco will raise to $11.05 per hour on Jan. 1, 2015, and will continue to increase by roughly a dollar per year until 2018, according to the measure.

In SF’s Mission District, the price of housing has gone through the roof, forcing out those who can’t afford to stay.

At LA Mission Market, 2093 Mission St., owner Adil Elmakazoumi says new tech money has been bad for business.

“I lost families that used to shop here weekly, spending three or four hundred dollars, and I gained customers that come in for a Starbucks or a Red Bull once a week,” Elmakazoumi said.

For Elmakazoumi, the techies aren’t his customers, it’s the families that are moving out, and he can’t afford another hit.

“If I raise prices to cover the minimum wage increase,” Elmakazoumi said, “and I lose 10 or 15 percent of my customers, that’s it. I’m done.”

Mark Matthews contributed to this report.

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