When the city council majority is hopelessly out of step with national trends and moving backwards instead of forward, it’s time for the Voters to stand up. And in the case of Irvine’s repealed Living Wage Ordinance, which was once a model for other cities, the Irvine Living Wage Coalition has launched and is in the process of gathering signatures to place new requirements for city contracts on the ballot in 2016.
Headed by activist Luis Alemen, signature gathering efforts are underway throughout the city. To find a signature gathering party new you, check out the group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Irvine-Living-Wage-Coalition-148691505472663/timeline/
“The Launch for the Irvine Living Wage Initiative was a tremendous success. I want to thank my parents, Luis Aleman Helda J Aleman, my sister Jackie Aleman, my girlfriend Ana Duran, and my best friend/brother Gio Chavez for the support, the effort and the help. I also want to thank Beth Krom, our tireless fighter on the City Council who agreed to be a part of this effort. I would like to thank Mary Ann Gaido for her leadership, Becky and Riley Newman for the T-shirts, Carl Mariz and his wife for registration, the wonderful clergy headed by Jonathan Klein, Paul Tellstrom, and Paige Eaves. Also a big thank to Carolyn Inmon for helping organize this event. Thank you to the Democrats of Greater Irvine for their generous donation and for the chair Iyad Afalqa for lending his support. for their generous donation More importantly I want to personally thank each and everyone of you who attended, spread the word, sent their prayers and support, donated, and committed to collect signatures. This effort would not be possible without you and you keep us going forward.”
It’s no secret (except to Republicans) that stagnant wages mean the middle class is being left behind and minimum wage pay means the high cost of living in Orange County means working people cannot make ends meet. This story from the Economic Policy Institute tells the story very well.
From the story:
Wage stagnation for the vast majority was not created by abstract economic trends. Rather, wages were suppressed by policy choices made on behalf of those with the most income, wealth, and power. In the past few decades, the American economy generated lots of income and wealth that would have allowed substantial living standards gains for every family. The same is true looking forward: Overall income and wealth will continue to grow. The key economic policy question is whether we will adopt policies that enable everyone to participate in a shared prosperity, or whether the growth of income and wealth will continue to accrue excessively and disproportionately to the best-off 1 percent.
Council member Lynn Schott, in speaking out against the Living Wage Ordinance and defending her vote as a Christian, simply shared the misinformation and myths about minimum wage earners. The biggest thing she missed is that about 30% of all hourly wage earners are close to minimum wage and that number includes a significant number of women, full-time workers and not just high school kids.
The Irvine Republican Council Majority is out of step with nearly 3/4’s of all Americans. From Pew Research: “While the idea of raising the minimum wage is broadly popular, a Pew Research Center survey from January 2014 found clear partisan differences in support. Overall, 73% of people favored an increase in the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour, mirroring a Democratic-backed proposal that failed to move ahead in Congress last year. But while large majorities of Democrats (90%) and independents (71%) said they favored such an increase, Republicans were more evenly split (53% in favor and 43% opposed).”