Albuquerque city council should have last say on minimum wage issue

The folks at The Alibi are very concerned that Albuquerque’s City Council could “ignore the will of the people” by rescinding all or part of the recently-passed minimum wage increase. My response in which I remind them of a bit of recent history was posted in this week’s edition.

Marisa Demarco is very concerned that our elected members of City Council may overturn the voter-passed minimum wage increase [“A Simple Majority,” Opinion, Nov. 22-28]. She goes so far as to encourage readers to call the Councilors who might support such a measure and voice their opposition. This is all fine, but democracy is more complex than mere majority rule at the ballot box.

For starters, I don’t recall the Alibi running any articles expressing outrage that City Council subsequently voted to increase the minimum wage after voters rejected a ballot measure on the issue mere months before. The fact that there are several facets to the recently passed ballot measure and faulty language only strengthen the case for repeal.

Lastly, we do live in a republic, not a democracy. This is per the vision of the founding fathers. If we lived in a true democracy, President Obama’s health care law would have been repealed long ago, as the law has been opposed by a plurality (and often a majority) of Americans since it was passed.

City Council is faced with declining tax revenues and a foundering state economy, and it should carefully consider its options before going along with an economically harmful hike in the minimum wage.