The San Jose Minimum Wage Campaign Story

shortlink here:  http://wp.me/p2w2NH-zW

Gabriel Thompson in the Nation on the San Jose Minimum Wage Story

below are some brief sentences extracted from the full story that can be found here:

http://www.thenation.com/article/171510/how-students-san-jose-raised-minimum-wage#
In the spring of 2011, students in a sociology class at San Jose State University got together to brainstorm ways to make the world a better place. The course they were taking, Social Action, focused on theory and history while also encouraging students to “apply social change to the local community.” For Marisela Castro, a junior, the promise of action was precisely what she was looking for, and she already knew the issue she’d champion. She was on a mission to raise the minimum wage.

Like many students at San Jose State, Castro came from a household where low wages weren’t an abstract injustice. Her parents had labored in California’s fields, and Castro was putting in long hours at an after-school program to help pay for college. At work she kept seeing kids swipe extra snacks because food was running low at home. “Their parents were working nonstop but only making the minimum wage,” she tells me.

Castro knew that San Francisco had raised its minimum wage in 2003 and saw no reason San Jose couldn’t do the same. She pitched the idea, and two other students joined her group, mapping out a plan.

Professor Scott Myers-Lipton, who teaches the Social Action course, estimates that 80 percent of his students work at least thirty hours a week.

As more students got involved, Myers-Lipton discussed the project with Cindy Chavez, leader of the South Bay Labor Council, which represents more than ninety unions.

The Labor Council grew more excited. “I went to my board and said that there was this opportunity to partner with a diverse group of young people who are trying to raise the minimum wage,” explains Chavez. She said they needed $20,000 to start. Unions pledged that amount in three minutes. By the end of the meeting, they’d committed another $100,000.

To qualify for the November ballot, the campaign needed to turn in nearly 20,000 signatures. In a five-week period, with help from the Labor Council, it collected 36,000

 

San Jose minimum wage: A year-old success story

San Jose minimum wage: A year-old success story

By Scott Myers-Lipton and Patrick Quyo

Special to the Mercury News

Posted:   03/11/2014 10:00:00 AM PDT

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the implementation of the $10 minimum wage in San Jose.  The success of this minimum wage increase has major implications for other cities, states, and the nation.

Measure D was created by San Jose State students and supported by the South Bay Labor Council, Sacred Heart Community Service, and United Way Silicon Valley. It  was passed in November 2012 with the support of 60 percent of the electorate, and it was implemented 90 days later on March 11.

A year later, it is clear that raising San Jose’s minimum wage has been an incredible success. The data shows that under San Jose’s minimum wage, unemployment was reduced, the number of businesses grew, the number of minimum wage jobs expanded, average employee hours remained constant and the economy was stimulated.

The unemployment rate dropped in the San Jose metro area from 7.6 percent in February, 2013 to 5.8 percent in December, the last month available. Part of the reason for this almost two-point drop in unemployment is that the 40,000 minimum wage workers in San Jose have pumped more than $100 million into the local economy this past year, stimulating the economic growth of Silicon Valley.

The city reports that business is growing, with 84,000 businesses registered at the start of 2014 compared to 75,000 the previous year. Importantly, the leisure and hospitality industry — the sector that includes food services, and where many minimum wage employees work — experienced a net increase of 4,000 jobs in San Jose in 2013, according to the California Employment Development Department.

In the city center, the San Jose Downtown Association reports that businesses grew by 3 percent in the past year, with the retail sector, which includes restaurants, increasing to 19 percent of all downtown businesses, up from 15 percent in 2012.

read the entire article:  http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_25315215/san-jose-minimum-wage-year-old-success-story

1st ANNIVERSARY OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF $10 MINIMUM WAGE IN SAN JOSE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

Contacts:      •Elisha St. Laurent, SJSU Class of ’14, CAFÉ J,  (408) 438-8549,  elishastlaurent@gmail.com

•Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton, Professor, SJSU, (510) 508-5382, smlipton@sjsu.edu

1st ANNIVERSARY OF THE IMPLEMENTATION  OF $10 MINIMUM WAGE IN SAN JOSE

Leaders from Five Cities To Speak About “Raising the Wage”

SAN JOSE, CA – On Tuesday, March 11th at noon, the Campus Alliance for Economic Justice–the SJSU student group that developed and helped lead the Measure D campaign–will hold a press conference at the Tommie Smith and John Carlos statues to discuss the positive impact that the $2 minimum wage increase has brought to San Jose.  In addition, leaders from five California cities will speak about why they are leading efforts to raise the city-wide minimum wage in their communities (see attached flier).

The positive impact of the $2 increase in the minimum wage has been profound:

•The 40,000 minimum wage workers in San Jose have pumped over $100 million into the local economy since the implementation of Measure D, helping to stimulate the economic growth of Silicon Valley; •This economic stimulus has helped decrease the unemployment rate since the passage of Measure D, which has dropped in the San Jose metro area from 7.6% in February, 2013 to 5.8% in December, 2013 (the last month available);*

•The City of San Jose reports that overall businesses growth is up 4.9% in San Jose, with 84,000 businesses registered at the start of 2014 in comparison to 75,000 in the previous year.  In the leisure and hospitality industry, a sector that includes food services, there was a net increase of 4,000 jobs in San Jose in 2013 according to the California Employment Development Department; ** •The San Jose Downtown Association reports that businesses grew by 3% in the past year, with the retail sector, which includes restaurants, increasing to 19% of all downtown businesses, up from 15% in 2012; *** •Lastly, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of hours worked on average in 2013 in the San Jose metro area is nearly the exact amount as they were in 2012 (36.5 vs. 36.9 hours). ****

As a result of these positive results, the idea to “raise the wage” has spread to other California cities hoping to repeat what San Jose, as well as San Francisco, has accomplished.  At the press conference, leaders from five cities (i.e., Berkeley, Davis, Eureka, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale) working to raise the minimum wage will speak about the conditions that caused them to put forward a city-wide minimum wage increase, and the current status of their campaigns. •11:30 am: Opportunity to speak to community leaders from five cities •12 pm:  Press conference begins

####

* http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LAUMT064194000000003?data_tool=XGtable  ** http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Reality-Check-Minimum-Wage-One-Year-Later-244821391.html; http://www.calmis.ca.gov/file/lfmonth/sjos$pds.pdf

*** http://www.calmis.ca.gov/file/lfmonth/sjos$pds.pdf

**** http://bls.gov/web/laus/tabled6.pdf

San Jose State students led winning campaign to raise minimum wage

San Jose State students led winning campaign to raise minimum wage

By Julia Reis | 9 Nov 2012

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“Elisha St. Laurent (left) and Diana Crumedy were two San Jose State students involved with the “Yes on Measure D” campaign. The measure passed Tuesday night with nearly 60 percent voter support. (Photo: Julia Reis/ Peninsula Press)

With early morning sunlight streaming through the door of a packed South Bay Labor Council hall, Elisha St. Laurent did what she had done since the start of the campaign. She stood in front of the room, her 6-year-old son at her side, and told her story.

“I’ve been a single mom for about three years – actually, it’s kind of been forever,” she began, eliciting laughs from fellow volunteers. “It’s been a struggle for me, and there are plenty of people who would know the struggle with me.”

This was the last Saturday before Election Day, a pivotal weekend to fill phone bank stations and hit the pavement for Measure D, the ballot proposal crafted by San Jose State students like St. Laurent that would raise San Jose’s minimum wage from $8 to $10.

On Tuesday night, this grass-roots campaign two years in the making culminated with a decisive victory, garnering nearly 60 percent of San Jose voter support. The passage of Measure D makes San Jose one of the few cities in the country to set its own minimum wage, let alone one as high as $10.”

read the rest of the story:

http://peninsulapress.com/2012/11/09/san-jose-state-students-wage-winning-campaign-to-raise-minimum-wage/

What a sociology class can do: help develop a minimum wage initiative

“I’m always intrigued by sociology class projects that go beyond the classroom. Here is an example from San Jose of a class project that will be on the ballot this November:

The proposed San Jose measure would raise the hourly minimum wage in the city from the current $8 state requirement to $10 with yearly inflation adjustments. It is modeled on San Francisco’s 2003 minimum wage law, which includes annual inflation adjustments that raised the floor this year on that city’s pay rate 32 cents to $10.24 an hour.

The idea behind the San Jose ballot measure originated among students in a San Jose State sociology class taught by professor Scott Myers-Lipton.

In late March, the students, together with labor leaders and community organizers, submitted 36,225 signatures to the registrar’s office. Proponents needed at least 19,161 valid signatures of registered city voters to qualify for the November ballot, and at least 19,518 were found to be sufficient.

“The students and I are thrilled that it qualified and that we received the support of the community at large, from labor, faith and community based organizations in this effort,” Myers-Lipton said Tuesday.”

source and complete article:

http://legallysociable.com/2012/04/30/what-a-sociology-class-can-do-help-develop-a-minimum-wage-initiative-for-san-jose/