The Burlingame City Council tortured its residents again on Tuesday night — deciding on whether to at last raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour (the very last city to do so in our county).

In particular, councilmembers Ann O’Brien and Donna Colson came up with all sorts of reasons to reject an increase but their protestations were disingenuous. This topic was discussed at great length in February and it was very clear then they would never vote for an increase. So COVID didn’t have anything to do with their decisions, yet they put on the show anyway. The ordinance was passed, but only after Councilman Ricardo Ortiz twisted himself into a pretzel to reluctantly vote yes.

This is leadership? The council that prides itself on being at the forefront of affordable housing, when people have been waiting well over five years for it to be built downtown.

New luxury buildings are going in with only top earners being eligible to qualify for a few units (a single person making $90,000 a year qualifies as low income, but there are close to zero low-income units coming online). The majority of units being termed affordable are at the “moderate income” category. If you are a senior living on social security and even a small pension, forget living in Burlingame. If you are a couple, each working two or three minimum wage jobs in Burlingame, there is no room in the inn here.

What an embarrassment.

Cynthia Cornell


The letter writer is a member of Housing for All Burlingame.

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