Archive for income disparity

Community Forum: Raise the Wage Los Altos, May 4

raise-the-wage-logo-3-450x21-300x166Several local cities have established a local minimum wage higher than the current California minimum wage of $9. Just six months ago, the city councils in Mountain View and Sunnyvale voted to lift their minimums. San Jose voters raised their city’s minimum wage in 2012. In February, Palo Alto’s city council voted unanimously to pursue an increase there. And as recently as March 31, the Mountain View City Council directed its staff to work with neighboring cities to develop a more regional approach to raising the minimum wage, with a goal of a $15 minimum wage in 2018.

Should Los Altos raise its local minimum wage? “Yes!” say the local organizations, churches, and economic equality activists who make up the Raise the Wage Coalition of the Peninsula and South Bay. The Coalition’s grassroots efforts led directly to the Mountain View raise and Palo Alto’s current process to do the same. Now, the Coalition is working to ask the Los Altos City Council to join its neighbors.

In each of the towns mentioned above, proponents of raising the minimum wage were understandably faced with a lot of questions about the effects of raising the local minimum wage. They also found that a lot of people — residents and business owners alike — have mistaken assumptions about raising the wage.

Doesn’t raising the minimum wage hurt employment? Won’t an increase drive prices sky-high? And aren’t most minimum wage workers just part-time teenagers anyway? Los Altos United Methodist Church is hosting a community forum designed to explore and answer those questions and more. What are your questions? The answers might surprise you

Come hear a panel of speakers on the topic, including:

  • Rev. Debbie Weatherspoon, Minister of Discipleship, Los Altos United Methodist Church
  • Scott Myers-Lipton, Professor of Sociology, San Jose State University
  • Margaret Abe-Koga, former Mountain View City Council Member
  • Tom Myers, Executive Director, Community Services Agency
  • Minimum wage earners

The community forum will be held on Monday, May 4, 7:30–9:00pm, in the Creekside Center at Los Altos United Methodist Church (655 Magdalena Ave., Los Altos). All are welcome.

Click here to learn more about raising the minimum wage, including common myths, facts, and supporting studies.

The community forum is cosponsored by the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center and the LAUMC Bold Service and Social Justice Committee. If you already support the idea of increasing the minimum wage in Los Altos, please take a moment to sign the petition to Los Altos City Council.