Raise Minimum Wage Using Governor Powers


Target: California Governor Jerry Brown

Goal: Unilaterally raise the minimum wage to $15/hour using legal gubernatorial powers.

California governors have the power to independently raise the state minimum wage without necessarily involving the state legislature, according to a report released by the National Employment Law Project (NELP). This power should be taken advantage of for the benefit of workers throughout the state. Demand that Governor Jerry Brown use his authority to raise the state’s minimum wage.

According to the NELP analysis, several states throughout the country—including New York and California—give governors the ability to unilaterally raise their states’ minimum wages without needing approval from state legislatures. These powers are holdovers from decades ago when the minimum wage was less politicized and more focused on providing workers with a livable wage.

As it stands, minimum wages across the country are much too low to be considered livable. Economic consensus puts the ideal minimum wage for today’s climate at at least $15 an hour—a rate more than twice the federal minimum wage, and substantially more than any state’s own enforced minimum wage.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has already stated that he is going to use the gubernatorial power outlined by NELP to independently raise New York’s minimum wage so that it can meet the needs of workers—Governor Brown of California should do the same. Sign the petition below to demand that he raise his state’s minimum wage to $15/hour.


Dear Governor Brown,

I am writing you today regarding California’s minimum wage. To be frank, it is not enough, and every effort should be made to raise it as quickly as possible so that your state’s workers can support themselves and their families.

Thankfully, your state has laws on the books that make this much easier to do than one might think. After a national analysis, the National Employment Law Project (NELP) found that a number of states throughout the union—including yours—have special powers in place for the governor to raise the state minimum wage unilaterally without the need of state legislatures.

New York also has laws like these in place, and Governor Andrew Cuomo has already gone on record saying that he will use them to raise his state’s minimum wage. You should do the same. Your current rate of $9/hour is not enough for people to live on, especially if they have families, and it’s not fair to make them live on such meager amounts any longer than they have to.

You, along with Governor Cuomo in New York, have the opportunity to launch a new national campaign for the working class—if both your states, which are very influential, raise their minimum wages, it will put pressure on all the other states in the country to do the same. I demand that you use your gubernatorial powers as outlined by the NELP to raise California’s minimum wage to $15/hour.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Man-ucommons

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One Comment

  1. Michael Guest says:

    This isn’t enough. Raising the minimum wage has not made much progress. That needs to change in other states.

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