11th FAIR WAGE CAFE
The Cafe is family-friendly, community building, relaxing, and fun event. All free! A large buffet of delicious, nutritious food and sweets with coffee, tea, and juice; fabulous live local music; games for kids (plus a playground and a large grassy area for running around); guest speakers; space for informational tables about your projects or organizations; ways to help raise the minimum wage; and an open setting where you can be social or just eat, listen to the music, read the materials, relax.
WHAT: Fair Wage Cafe
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 27th, 12noon – 5:00pm
WHERE: at Cesar Chavez Park (also know as Hammond or Candy Cane Park) 14 & F Streets, Eureka
WHO: Open to all, All ages
Link to flier: https://app.box.com/s/1znq9o2rfhayih370dza
We have lots of handbills for the Cafe if you want a stack to pass out.
Strong wages help build strong families! Gatherings build strong communities!
“Poverty level wages are not a gamble, they’re a guaranteed loss for the community” — Working Families Party.
Working people are ripped off by misguided public policy which claims that giving more money to the already-wealthy creates jobs. This policy fails us because it is based on a lie. When government fails to meet the community’s needs, the people come together to craft a solution.
The solution to poverty level wages is to raise them. Measure R, the Eureka Fair Wage Act, does just that. Larger employers will pay their workers a minimum of $12 an hour. Smaller businesses, those with 24 or fewer employees, can continue to pay the current state minimum of $9 an hour if they chose.
We have over seven decades of data about what happens when we raise the minimum wage. Employment and economic activity go up. Opportunities increase for everyone. In 2012, for example, San Jose residents raised the minimum wage for all workers $2 more an hour. Throughout the first year, unemployment dropped two points and 9,000 new businesses opened. Surrounding communities, including Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Berkeley, and Richmond, are raising wages to keep pace with the competitive, high-wage oasis that is San Jose.
Eureka needs Measure R.
Some believe that workers should be paid poverty wages for doing jobs of “unskilled labor,” even if their labor and time generate millions for their employers. First, there is no such thing as unskilled labor. Every person brings the skills of life experience, social interaction, and personal education to every task.
“When someone works for less pay than she can live on — when, for example, she goes hungry so that you can eat more cheaply and conveniently — then she has made a great sacrifice for you, she has made you a gift of some part of her abilities, her health, and her life. The ‘working poor,’ as they are approvingly termed, are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone else.” — author Barbara Eherenreich.
The minimum wage was designed in 1938 — to alleviate poverty. Today, the minimum wage has lost so much buying power that families working full-time struggle to survive. When low-wage workers are paid more fairly, they will earn enough to live independent lives. They can save for their future and that of their children.
State and federal minimum wage increases are NOT indexed to inflation. Measure R is. If prices go up, wages will keep pace.
Since 1975, people receiving “fixed income” benefits have had yearly cost-of-living increases tied to the Consumer Price Index. Before 1975, they had to wait around until Congress decided it was time for an arbitrary increase. This is still the reality for minimum wage workers in this country. If you’re going to call anything a “fixed income,” let the historical record show that it is the wage of the low-paid worker. We are no longer waiting for legislators to address economic realities. Measure R will result in a fair wage that’s finally indexed to inflation. The cost of living is always rising, and that is not a reason to keep your neighbors living in poverty.
We need Measure R.
Low-wage workers spend their money here at home. Measure R means people can meet their needs and afford leisure activities: go out to dinner and a movie; listen to live local bands with a beverage down at Siren’s Song; take their children to the bouncy house at Bayshore Mall.
More money circulating through the hands of local workers, then passing through local businesses rather than corporate headquarters, is vital to rejuvenate Eureka’s economy.
Measure R is the right thing to do morally. Being paid a fair wage for your labor is what gives dignity to work. Measure R is the right thing to do fiscally. We live in a demand-driven economy; you can’t drive demand on poverty-level wages.
“Someday low-wage workers will rise up and demand to be treated fairly, and when that day comes everyone will be better off.” — Ehrenreich, “Nickel and Dimed.”
We need Measure R, the Eureka Fair Wage Act. Demand Measure R.
Verbena Lea, one of the drafters of Measure R, resides in Eureka and submitted this “My Word” on behalf of the Fair Wage Folks, a committee of Measure R’s drafters and supporters.
“…There are too many people living in poverty here — working, but can’t afford rent, working and going to school, but not spending money. City government does nothing to change that for the majority of Eurekans. Large profitable employers can afford to pay $12 an hour, a fair wage.”
Take the poll on the left too! We voted $15 (Seattle!!)
The Fair Wage Folks need a highly visible office space to use as a Measure R campaign headquarters. We want to rent a place from August through the election in November (about 3 months). A campaign headquarters will allow us a focused space to:
-coordinate CANVASSING of the entire City of Eureka;
-provide a centralized place from which to PHONE BANK;
-be a work space for us to REGISTER VOTERS and get out the vote;
and, perhaps most important,
-be a PUBLIC SPOT where people can drop in and help out, and
-be a visible where people can come in to LEARN AND TALK ABOUT MEASURE R, the Eureka Fair Wage Act.
(After the vote in November, we can plan our victory party from the campaign headquarters!)
IF YOU OR ANYONE YOU KNOW HAS A SPACE AVAILABLE (in Eureka, of course), please contact us at:
(707) 442-7465, through a private Facebook Message (https://www.facebook.com/fairwage.folks), or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
*We are very grateful to have the use PARC (Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community) and the Eureka Labor Temple for our meetings, canvass training, and Fair Wage Cafes. We drafted the Eureka Fair Wage Act at the Labor Temple! Our desire for a campaign headquarters comes from our need for an equipped office and dedicated organizing space that we can use every day until we win the election on November 4, 2014.