Do you support or oppose the City Council vote to increase the minimum wage in several steps to $13 an hour by 2019? Please explain.

Jobs & Economy

I strongly support our work to raise Chicago's minimum wage to $13 an hour and tie future increases to the cost of living. For decades the minimum wage has failed to keep up with inflation. The value of the current minimum wage is 22 percent lower in real dollars than it was from 1960 to 1980, and with one in five Chicagoans living in poverty I could no longer sit back and watch as their wages continued to erode. Our ordinance will give more than 400,000 workers a raise and lift roughly 70,000 out of poverty, including more than 5,000 single mothers. The ordinance would provide a big boost to the local economy as well, injecting $860 million in stimulus over five years. We drafted the ordinance based on the recommendations and analysis of the Minimum Wage Working Group – a diverse mix of community leaders, experts, labor leaders, and aldermen – who determined that the benefits of a $13 minimum wage would outweigh the costs. The working group met eight times in five weeks, held five public meetings across the city, and heard from hundreds of residents, listened to expert testimony from representatives of all sides of the minimum wage debate, and review dozens of studies of previous increases. According to the Working Group, the vast majority of studies found the impact of prior wage increases on jobs to be minimum. A $13 minimum wage a 42 percent increase when adjusted by inflation over five years, placing it on par with the increases studies by the working group, including the nearly 40 percent federal increase I helped pass in 2007. The working group also conducted an analysis based on census data, interviews with industry groups and individual businesses, and trade publications that found that those businesses most affected by a minimum wage increase would still see only single-digit percentage increases in their total business expenses when that increase is phased in over five years. That is why 44 aldermen voted to give more than 400,000 workers a raise.

I continue to support a higher minimum wage of $15 an hour. Allowing businesses to pay substandard wages to their employees only shifts the burden for their care onto the public. A higher minimum wage will help lift families out of poverty and off of the public welfare roles.

Yes, I support the minuim wages but we must grow are self by bringing more businesses to Chicago to help fund the minuim wage increase.

I support the city's minimum wage law. This will result in more cash in the hands of families who will spend that money locally. Ultimately, this will contribute to the development of a more robust economy.

The $13 an hour minimum wage increase might've been a good first step in helping move our city forward to lift struggling workers out of poverty, but we could do more. I voted yes on the mayor's proposal for $13 because it was the only available option at the emergency session of the City Council. A minimum wage of $13 an hour by 2019 leaves struggling workers making just pennies above the poverty line, which is why I favor a $15 an hour minimum wage for businesses with greater that $50 million in annual and will work to make it law.