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LOS ANGELES -- Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed Monday that the city gradually raise the minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017, up from the current $9 an hour.

The proposal, which would make Los Angeles' wage law among the highest in the nation, needs City Council approval to become law.

Garcetti unveiled his plan at a Labor Day gathering at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in South Los Angeles with a coalition of business, labor, community and religious leaders.

He wants to raise the minimum wage in the city to $10.25 in 2015, $11.75 in 2016 and $13.25 in 2017, an amount the mayor said would enable workers to live above the poverty level. Currently, Los Angeles is covered by California's state minimum wage of $9 an hour.

Under the plan, future increases would be tied to the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners.

Garcetti said that despite declining unemployment, "the erosion of wages for low- and middle-wage workers threatens our recovery."

"I'm proposing to responsibly and gradually raise the minimum wage in L.A. to $13.25 because it's deplorable and bad for our economy to have one million Angelenos stuck in poverty, even when working full time,'' Garcetti said.

San Diego's council voted to raise the minimum wage in that city to $11.50 per hour in 2017. San Francisco voters will decide in November on a $15-per-hour wage proposal.

The California Hotel & Lodging Association issued a statement calling Garcetti's proposal "troubling,'' saying hotels already "are setting a standard when it comes to high-paying jobs, particularly for entry-level positions.''

The mayor's proposal has the backing of the L.A. County Federation of Labor. "Raising the minimum wage will help directly approximately 800,000 people who work within the boundaries of the city of Los Angeles," Maria Elena Durazo of the county Federation of Labor told SCPR.org.

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