City-wide Minimum Wage Increases Hoping to Lead the Country by Example

Labor leaders in the Bay Area are hoping that city-wide ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage this November will encourage other city and state governments to do the same. “If we can raise the minimum wage in San Francisco and Oakland, and the whole Bay Area, we can help set a better standard for everyone,” said Alysabeth Alexander, vice president of politics for Service Employees International Union Local 1021. “The idea is that our momentum here will help us win a higher minimum wage around the state and the nation.” Read more in yesterday’s article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Oakland voters will have a chance to phase in an increase to $12.25. San Francisco residents will be voting on a $15/hour minimum wage. The San Francisco controller’s office says the increase will increase the pay for 60,000 low wage workers. A study by UC Berkeley said 142,000 workers will benefit by the time the the last increase phase of the increase takes place in August 2018.

Voters in four states will be voting on minimum wage increases this November 4th. Our neighbors Arkansas and Nebraska will vote to raise theirs to $8.50 and $9.00, respectively. South Dakota and Alaksa will also vote to raise their minimum wages. If passed, their minimum wages will rise every year indexed to inflation, like Missouri’s. If passed, the laws will raise Alaska’s to $9.75 and South Dakota’s to $8.50.