More on Saylor and the Living Wage

Listening to Saylor again talking about the living wage a number of things strike me once again. You have a real sense of viciousness cloaked in a veneer of decency by the calm and measured tone that Saylor uses.

But the most striking thing is the sense you get when reading the Souza letter to the editor–Saylor says he supports the concept of living wages, but his words betray him. Listen carefully, when he talks about the notion of $10/ hour wage, he says that this may end up costing jobs. That’s the argument used against minimum wage increases (which is essentially what this is). Saylor claims to support the living wage but uses the argument of the opposition? And that’s where Saylor trips himself up for the observant listener. Of course, he knows he’s giving this speech at 12:45 am and that the audience undoubtedly is small. But for one of those rare moments the Davis Enterprise and Claire St. John picked up on this display and called Saylor and Souza for what they were doing–trying to intimidate and browbeat Heystek.

It is worth mentioning yet again that the complaint that Heystek was using this to electioneer and that he waited to the last minute is not credible. Heystek introduced this item back on August 1–a full month and a half before it was heard. The council voted against agendizing it with staff support but Souza and Saylor both encouraged Heystek to bring it forward on his own. Had staff had the month to work on it, it could have been ready for a September 9th hearing instead of September 16. Moreover, Souza and Saylor could have shaped it more to their liking. But they played hardball and then tried to pillory Lamar who was just in his fourth meeting. Lamar held up well, fighting for what he believed and making a compelling display that this was a sincere belief.

In the end, the community sees Saylor at his worst. If the community supports the notion of a living wage–a modest $10/ hour wage for large retailers who can afford a slightly higher overhead in exchange for community good will. If the community supports the rights of workers, they need to see the current majority on council for what they are–friends of big business and big developers. The words of Saylor are not the words of the progressive movement. They are not the words of the Democratic party. They are the words of the opponents of minimum wage increases, the words of the opponents of the union creed “a fair day’s for a fair day’s pay”, and the words of the conservative establishment. In trying to blast Heystek, Saylor has outed himself.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting


  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.


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