Fight for $15 Comes to San Mateo

Press Advisory

City Council Considers Hike in Local Minimum Wage

Monday, May 2nd, 7 p.m., City Hall

Contact: Bradley Cleveland, 650.260.3151, bfcleveland@gmail.com

Members of the Raise the Wage Coalition will urge the San Mateo City Council to hike the local minimum wage to $15 by 2018, when the council takes up the issue at their May 2nd meeting. The coalition of labor and community organizations calls on the city to adopt the ordinance by the end of June, and to include paid sick days and strong enforcement language.

The coalition points out that San Mateo is one of the most expensive counties in the country, and the City of San Mateo is lagging behind other Silicon Valley cities, including Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, San Jose and Sunnyvale, that have already enacted local ordinances.

Research from the National Employment Law Project found that it is large, profitable corporations — not local businesses — that employ most of the country’s minimum wage workers. Their profits have soared while their employees wages remain stagnant.

UC Berkeley economists found that raising the minimum wage helps local businesses by increasing the annual earnings of low-wage workers. These workers will spend the additional earnings to meet their family’s basic needs — food, clothing, housing, transportation, and health care.

Most low-wage workers are in their 20s and 30s, and over one-third of these workers are parents, according to the Bay Area Health Inequities Initiative. Children bear the burden of poverty, which lowers life expectancy, increases rates of infant mortality, obesity, and mental illness. A minimum wage of $15 will lift working families out of poverty, and help ensure children are healthy and prepared for school and for success later in life.

Members of the Raise the Wage Coalition are available for interview before or after the council meeting.

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