Phil Hosp never has much to say about his own record. But every few days his website adds another silly, unfair attack on Andy Wilson. Here are the facts about some of his latest “bombshells”:
CHARGE: The City of Pasadena has given money to “his” non-profit.
FACT: The non-profit in question is Innovate Pasadena (IP). It’s true Wilson co-founded IP and still actively supports it as a volunteer. It is also true the City of Pasadena is a dues-paying member, as are dozens of local businesses and institutions including PCC, Art Center and Kaiser.
FACT: The City joined IP long before Wilson was on the Council. In fact, former City Manager Michael Beck was also a founding member. The reason is very simple: IP is the largest, most successful group working to bring new businesses and jobs to Pasadena. That’s great for the City, so they joined – just as they join the Chamber of Commerce and other groups. The City is an important collaborator, but their financial contribution is just a tiny fraction of IP’s budget.
CHARGE: The City’s money is wasted on parties, etc.
FACT: Most of what Innovate Pasadena does involves education and support for new high-tech businesses in Pasadena. Occasionally, they also host PR events to help promote the city. The “party” that so offended Hosp was actually a ribbon-cutting event for Pasadena’s new “Big Bang Alley.” The alley was re-named to mark the 200th episode of “The Big Bang Theory” – the top-rated TV series, set in and around Pasadena, and often filmed here.
FACT: The event was a huge media success, winning many hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars’ worth of free coverage for Pasadena. Considering all the positive attention the show draws to our city – especially from younger, tech-oriented entrepreneurs – this “party” was quite a bargain.
CHARGE: Andy Wilson cut a “China video” for a local developer, so he must be supporting their projects.
FACT: Part of what Andy’s done for years through Innovate Pasadena is help promote local businesses. So, when a Pasadena-based development company asked him and the Mayor to deliver a pitch for Pasadena in a video aimed at the Chinese market, he was happy to do it. So was the Mayor. Publicizing the great things about Pasadena is part of their job and, when asked, they do similar things for many local businesses. But that doesn’t imply that either man would support any of the company’s specific projects – especially projects here in Pasadena.
CHARGE: Wilson made a “secret deal” to “roll back” the minimum wage in Pasadena.
FACT: Wilson voted to raise the minimum wage in Pasadena to $15-an-hour over several years. As a businessman, it wasn’t an easy or automatic vote for him. And it is no secret that Andy thought carefully about the possible impact on local businesses and jobs before voting YES.
FACT: There has never been any proposal from Wilson nor any other Councilmember to roll back our minimum wage (much less any secret deal!). It is true – and, again, no secret – that Wilson favors regular review of how the wage law is working. He supported including a mid-way evaluation to be sure local jobs were not being lost. He also supported a review of the new state minimum wage and how it might impact our local law. After discussion, there was consensus that no change is currently needed. Andy agrees. He does not support a roll-back.