Act Now to Pull Families Out of Poverty - Women's Foundation California
The minimum wage must be $13/hour if working families are to escape poverty.
The minimum wage must be raised to $13/hour if working families are to move out of poverty.

You’ve heard the excuses.

Minimum wage workers are teenagers, so why pay them more than $8 per hour?

Wrong! A typical worker earning a minimum wage is not a teenager and is not male. She’s an adult woman. As a matter of fact, 75 percent of minimum wage workers are women.

Well, minimum wage workers are unskilled “hamburger flippers,” so why pay them more than $8 per hour?

Wrong! Fast food jobs make up less than 5 percent of minimum wage jobs. And they require a lot of skill, knowledge, patience and communication savvy. If you know a security guard, a nurse’s aide, a home-health assistant, a child care worker, a bank teller, a cook, a cashier, a pharmacy assistant, a hotel receptionist, an ambulance driver or an agricultural worker, you know a minimum wage worker. And I’m sure that you wouldn’t say those individuals are unskilled or undeserving of a living wage.

Minimum wage jobs are stepping stones to better paying jobs.

Wrong! Low-wage jobs have historically had few career ladders and today they have even fewer. That’s because opportunities to move up are few and far between. Do you know that less than 50 percent of minimum wage earners manage to move up from their wage group? And those lucky ones who do move up tend to earn below the median wage.

But if we raise the minimum wage, we’ll lose jobs. And then everybody will be unemployed.

Wrong! Rigorous studies have found no evidence that minimum wage increases result in job loss. As a matter of fact, the city of San Francisco, which has higher than average minimum wage ($10.74 per hour), has the lowest unemployment rate in our state.

We need to put an end to all the excuses. It’s time to raise the minimum wage in California! Please sign our letter in support of SB 935 (Leno), a trailblazing bill that aims to gradually raise the minimum wage until it’s $13 per hour in 2017 and thereafter index it to inflation every year.

This is our chance to make a real difference in the lives of our friends, family members and neighbors. It’s our opportunity to be fair, treat each other with dignity, recognize perseverance and reward hard work.

Because nobody who works hard and works full time should live in poverty. Please sign our letter in support of SB 935!

UPDATE—June 25, 2014: SB 935 died in the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment on June 26, 2014. We will try again in the new 2014-15 Legislative year to pass this important bill.

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