Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A majority of Los Angeles County voters are in favor of raising the minimum hourly wage to $15.25 and requiring employers to offer paid sick leave, according to a poll released Friday.

The poll was commissioned by the Raise the Wage campaign, whose members are urging Los Angeles city leaders to approve a minimum wage hike package being debated by the Los Angeles City Council.

The survey, conducted by EMC Research, found that 66 percent of the 1,000 voters surveyed from Jan. 7-15 support raising the wage to $15.25 per hour, increasing the wage to match inflation, requiring earned sick days and enforcement against wage and labor violations.

The support for the wage increase and the other measures was even greater among the 600 voters who live in the city of Los Angeles, with 69 percent coming out in favor.

Support for raising the minimum wage was spread out across all regions of the city, ethnic populations and age groups, according to the poll.

Those who identified as African American, which accounted for 10 percent of those surveyed, were 84 percent in favor, and 15 percent against raising the minimum wage. People who identified as white — 37 percent of those polled – -were 57 percent in favor and 39 percent against the wage boost.

The poll also found that the level of support for raising the minimum wage remained steady — at 68 percent countywide and 71 percent citywide — even after those polled were given several reasons for opposing raising the minimum wage, including that it would force businesses to close, kill jobs and increase government spending.

The poll also found that voters prefer raising the minimum wage to $15.25 per hour, over just raising it to the $13.25 per hour that was originally proposed by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The Los Angeles City Council is debating whether to increase the wage to $13.25 per hour by 2017, and potentially even further to $15.25 per hour by 2019.

The Raise the Wage campaign is organizing a rally outside Los Angeles City Hall Friday. One of the groups participating, the LA Workers Assembly, is circulating a petition to put a measure on the May ballot to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

—City News Service

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