The Fair Wage Folks to Eureka City Council, 6/17/14 [includes research links]

The passage of the Measure R, the Eureka Fair Wage Act, is essential to the future economic vitality of Eureka and this entire region.

Measure R, the Eureka Fair Wage Act, will raise the minimum wage.

Measure R is legally robust, is tailored to the needs of Eureka, and raising wages is a proven way to increase employment, build a strong and healthy economy, and benefit the lives of working people and their families.

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The San Jose Minimum Wage Campaign Story

shortlink here:

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:
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.

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