Target: California State Lawmakers
Goal: Accept deal that will raise the minimum wage in California to $15 per hour by 2022.
California’s minimum wage could be raised to $15 per hour by 2022 if a proposal drafted by state lawmakers is made law. This move comes after pressure from Californian unions that sponsored an initiative which made it onto the ballot in November. If passed, the proposal will make California the first state to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour, though cities such as San Francisco will reach $15 per hour by 2018. This move would affect over a third of employed people in California, representing a 50 percent rise in earnings.
California’s current minimum wage, at $10 an hour, is one of the highest in America. However, activists fighting for $15 per hour have often pointed out that living expenses in many parts of California–particularly cities like San Francisco–are higher than many other parts of the country. Raising the minimum wage by five dollars would halve the gap between median wage earners in California and those of lowest income.
While some critics predict that raising the minimum wage will result in higher unemployment, there is also evidence that raising the minimum wage can act as an economic stimulus. Furthermore, there are a lot of increased costs of low wages, such as lack of access to basic medical care, high stress levels, and poor diet that produce long term, large costs for California and the communities therein. Sign our petition and urge California lawmakers to approve the bill and begin the process of raising the minimum wage to a living wage.
Dear California State Legislature,
In the coming weeks, you will consider a minimum wage bill that contains a plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022. I am writing to you to urge you to pass this bill. The cost of living has risen for the past 20 years and yet the average income of the lowest earners have remained stagnant. Raising the minimum wage would solve this problem and also, since people with low income spend a higher percentage of their income, would act as an economic stimulus for California.
Raising the minimum wage will directly benefit over a third of employed California residents. Additionally, although some businesses will have higher payroll costs, the increase in wages will benefit many businesses as higher wages mean a larger number of customers. Further, an increase of the minimum wage to living wage levels will decrease the need for government services for many people. Lastly, the $15 an hour wage can act as a means of social mobility. Many low income people have to work to put themselves through school; a higher minimum wage means that they can work fewer hours and focus on school.
I urge you to pass the minimum wage bill and move California towards a more equitable and prosperous future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Coolcaesar