Voters in the North Coast city of Eureka bucked the election tide last week and defeated a ballot measure that would have raised the local minimum wage to $12 an hour.
The Eureka Times-Standard reports that while minimum wage hikes were approved in five other states and two San Francisco Bay area cities, 62 percent of Eureka voters rejected their own version on Tuesday. In contrast, 76 percent of San Francisco voters for a measure that will boost the local minimum to $13 an hour in July. In Oakland, an increase to $12.25 slated to take effect in March won with 81 percent.
Humboldt State University politics professor Stephanie Burkhalter tells the Times-Standard that a wage that seems reasonable in the booming Bay Area could easily strike voters in an economically depressed place like Eureka as excessive.