YEO Policy Books 2015 Policy Book - Page 69

$15 Minimum Wage: Referenda Approved by the Voters Origin: City Council of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Bill Name/Number: Bill No. 15047000 Link: Click here YEO Cosponsor: Councilman Kenyatta Johnson Summary: Introduced in May 2015, this proposed referenda aims to demonstrate to elected officials locally and in the state legislature that there is overwhelming public support for higher wages. Talking Points & Important Information: • Pennsylvania is one of several states that preempts local government from making any progressive advancements in the minimum wage, paid sick and family leave, and other economic fixes. This non-binding ballot measure would put the question directly to the public – whether or not the majority of Pennsylvanians would call upon Philadelphia’s council, mayor, Pennsylvania General Assembly, and governor to raise the minimum wage to $15. • While $15/hr is neither the panacea to low-income wages nor does it represent a truly living wage, it’s a start. Click here to see what a living wage in your locality looks like. • For the past 30 years, America’s working- and middle-class families have had a rough time. Even though worker productivity has risen substantially, American wages have seen their wages virtually stagnant though the costs of middle-class security have risen dramatically. • According to findings from the Center for American Progress, the federal minimum wage has not kept up with inflation, and it is worth far less today than in the late 1960s. If the federal minimum wage had kept up with inflation since 1968, it would stand at $10.88 per hour in 2014 dollars. Moreover, other estimates show that if the federal minimum wage had kept up with productivity, it would be approximately $22 per hour in 2014 dollars. 2015 POLICY BOOK LOCAL LEVEL PAGE 69