Scott Ball / Rivard Report
City Council will conduct a public hearing on Wednesday, Aug. 8, to enlist community input on the proposed paid sick leave ordinance.
A coalition of labor and community organizations has gathered more than 144,000 petition signatures in support of the measure being put on the municipal ballot in the November election. The ordinance could be enacted through a vote by City Council or the public; if ratified, nearly all private-sector employees in San Antonio would earn paid sick leave.
“We are inviting every constituency with an interest in the proposed ordinance to voice their opinions to ensure transparency and public discussion of the issue,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a Monday statement.“As a community, we need to discuss all of the issues surrounding a potential paid sick leave policy at the local level."
Nirenberg’s spokesperson, Bruce Davidson, told the Rivard Report that City Council is on a tight timeframe to gather community input so it may make a decision by Aug. 16, the last council meeting before the Aug. 20 deadline to place items on the next municipal ballot.
“The typical process would involve committee hearings, but since we have the election looming and if [the measure] is to be on the ballot in November, council needs to gather information quickly,” Davidson said.
City Clerk Leticia Vacek is expected to present the results of the signature verification process at the City Council meeting on Thursday, Aug. 2. The initiative's organizers have long been confident that they gathered the requisite 69,950 signatures and have continued to canvas for support in neighborhoods across San Antonio.
Working Texans for Paid Sick Time, the coalition that collected petition signatures in support of the ordinance, ahead of the 9 a.m City Council meeting will host a rally on the steps of City Hall on Aug. 2 from 8-9:30 a.m to show support for working Texas families.
Once the petition results have been presented, and following an Aug. 8 council briefing on the proposed measure, there will be an additional opportunity for citizens to give feedback during council’s normally scheduled citizen's to be heard on Aug. 15 at 6 p.m., Davidson said.
The Aug. 8 public hearing will begin at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 114 W. Commerce St.
“City Council wants public input,” Davidson said. "It’s a complex issue that affects everybody, and there are many groups with vastly different opinions on the topic."