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Portland voters will consider several proposals this fall, including a minimum wage hike

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Portland residents this fall will vote on five citizen referendum questions that could increase the local minimum wage to $18 an hour and restrict daily cruise ship visits, among other changes.

On Monday night, the Portland City Council voted to send the five ballot questions to voters this November.

Four were organized by the Maine chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, who are also proposing to add more tenant protections, and restrict short-term rentals to those occupied by owners or tenants.

Resident Jordan Thompson told the council that those changes could help to curb rising housing prices hurting many local workers.

"Many working people who have lived in Portland for generations are being pushed out by the huge increase in the cost of living. Specifically, the cost of rent. This is gentrification at a rapid pace," Thompson said.

A competing short-term rental proposal, pushed by local homeowners, will also head to the ballot.

Another measure would raise Portland's minimum wage to $18 an hour over three years, and eliminate the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers. While some workers say the increase would help make the city more livable, Coffee By Design Cofounder Mary Allen Lindemann told the council that it could lead to significant costs for her business and others.

"I'm not opposed to a livable wage," she said. "But focus on housing. That's where people cannot afford to live in Portland, is housing."

Several residents also called for changes to limit the use of the citizen initiative process moving forward.