Calls for minimum wage increase
By Emilie Cameron, Policy & Advocacy Manager at DSP
Cities throughout California’s coastal communities are increasing the minimum wage, in some cases, as high as $16/hour like the City of Emeryville. Now, the City of Sacramento is discussing raising the local minimum wage. Some of the first proposals being circulated would increase Sacramento’s minimum wage range from $13.50 to as much as $15 per hour.
Last month the Mayor announced a new Income Inequality Taskforce will develop a proposal to present to City Council later this summer. Action will depend on the outcome of a bill, SB 3, working its way through the Legislature now that would increase the state’s minimum wage to $11 per hour in 2016 and $13 per hour in 2017 followed by an annual increase with inflation.
Should Sacramento increase the minimum wage alone, the City would be the first in the Central Valley to implement a raise above the state directed minimum currently set to increase to $10 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2016.
In 2014, nearly 90 percent of downtown business owners surveyed by the Downtown Partnership opposed any increase to the minimum wage. In the survey, downtown Sacramento businesses and community groups raised concerns that if Sacramento raised its minimum wage, the city would be at a competitive disadvantage with other jurisdictions within the region which could lead to fewer local businesses locating downtown and more property vacancies.
Increasing the minimum wage exclusively in the City of Sacramento will put downtown at a competitive disadvantage. This is an important time; an even playing field is crucial to leverage the City’s investment in downtown to lure new visitors, employers, and investors.
Sacramento must take a reasonable approach when evaluating possible increases to the city’s minimum wage.
Take Action: Last week, the Downtown Partnership joined a number of community partners to launch Keep Sacramento Working. The website is a resource for you to review facts, share your story and get involved.
For more information, email Emilie Cameron at [email protected].