I support Mayor Carter’s goal to sign a law increasing minimum wage to $15 an hour by the end of this year. We must continually recognize that a lagging minimum wage disproportionately affects women and people of color. This is an equity issue.
We need to work towards a $15 minimum wage, without a tip penalty, so that people are making a fair wage for their hard work. Over 40% of our city’s residents live within 185% of the federal poverty line (that’s about $45,000 for a family of four), and that number continues to grow. We cannot solve this problem by cutting taxes on businesses and hoping that the benefits trickle down to ordinary families. Rather, we need to establish a living wage, ideally indexed to inflation, coupled with strong labor laws and a commitment to supporting small businesses, in order to re-establish community wealth.