LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has signed into law on Saturday an ordinance that will gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Mayor Eric Garcetti signed into law on Saturday an ordinance that makes
He called the law “a major victory for our city” at a signing on Saturday, and said the wage increases will enable working families to lift themselves out of poverty.
The increases would begin with a wage of $10.50 in July 2016, followed by annual increases to $12, $13.25, $14.25 and $15. Small businesses and nonprofits would be a year behind.
Calls for raising the minimum wage have grown as the nation struggles with fallout from the recession, worsening income inequality, persistent poverty and the challenges of immigration and the global economy.
Los Angeles joins Seattle and San Francisco as large cities with phased-in minimum wage laws. Seattle and San Francisco also have phased-in minimum wage laws that eventually require hourly pay of $15 an hour, or annual pay of about $31,200 for a full-time job. Last year, Chicago passed a phased-in minimum wage increase to $13 an hour.
Last week, the California Senate approved a plan to raise the statewide minimum wage again, lifting it to $13 an hour in 2017 and tying it to the rate of inflation after that.
As the movement builds, the issue is sure to play out in the presidential contest. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has been endorsing a higher minimum wage, but there are questions as to whether she yet backs $15 an hour.
Now that Los Angeles has made the bold move, what does that mean for New York. Remember during his annual State of the State address on Wednesday, January 21st, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo formally proposed raising the state’s minimum wage by the end of 2016 from its current $8.75 per hour level to $10.50, which at the time would have given the Empire State the highest statewide minimum wage in the nation, moving past Washington’s $9.47 hourly rate. Cuomo also announced a new $11.50 minimum wage for New York City, accounting for the city’s high cost of living.
Now that L.A. has set the standard with a gradually increase to $15 per hour, its time to hold Gov. Cuomo to his words and put pressure on him to honor his State of the State promises. After all, after announcing the $11.50 wage for New York City on Sunday, the governor did say that he believed the state, not any local government, should set wages. Well if that be the case the bucks stops with him. So Gov. Cuomo, what you going to do?
Since you stated in ya address to the state;
“The minimum wage is very simple. We believe if you work full-time you should be able to pay the rent and pay for food and not live in poverty. That’s the basic promise of employment, and we’re not there yet.”
Well now that Los Angeles and raise the stakes it’s your move Gov. Cuomo, again we ask, what are you going to do?
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.