My campaign announced the public support of major figures in craft beer this week. San Diego’s craft beer industry represents over $600 Million in annual economic impact and is responsible for thousands of jobs in our region. Endorsements from this community range from Peter Zien, the owner of AleSmith, a brewery rated number one in the world several times, to Greg Koch of Stone Brewing Co. and many others who have shaped our county’s reputation for excellence in craft beer. For me, receiving support from this community is about much more than the product, it is about what these people stand for and what the community represents.
Peter Zien, for example, employs a diverse staff that includes an African-American man who runs the entire warehouse – among the most important jobs in the brewery – and a number of staff who have resettled from Sudan. Douglas Constantiner of Societe Brewing Company, another public supporter, fights to make sure the minimum wage of his hourly employees is upwards of $16/hour. That’s a livable wage in San Diego for a job that does not require an advanced degree.
Craft breweries and the restaurants that feature their products tend to be civic-minded, to share my ethos about protecting our planet and supporting their employees. They prove that being both progressive and business-minded are not only possible but desirable, and achieve great outcomes for the business, the employees and the communities in which they live.
I am proud to have the support of so many people in craft beer who take their roles as community stewards seriously and value their employees in ways that enable them to earn a decent wage for the work they perform.