Albuquerque last raised its minimum wage to $7.50 on January 1, 2009. It is now 2012 and $7.50/hour doesn’t seem to be making the cut for anyone. A gallon of milk cost $2.69 in 2009. Now it’s $3.50. And you know what’s happened to gas. A gallon was $2.51 in 2009. Now its $3.52.
But raising the minimum wage isn’t just about helping low wage workers. It’s also about helping our struggling economy. If workers don’t have money to spend, businesses suffer. Some recent studies actually show that raising the minimum wage actually creates jobs! By boosting the pay of the low-wage jobs on which more families are relying than ever before, a stronger minimum wage will help restore the consumer spending that powers our economy and that local businesses need in order to grow. A robust minimum wage is a key building block of sustainable economic recovery.
To raise the minimum wage, a coalition of organizations will be gathering 24,000 signatures from registered voters to place the proposal on the November ballot, and if a majority of voters support the measure, it will become law on January 1, raising the minimum wage $1 to $8.50 and indexing the wage so that it rising with the cost of living every year, just as the states of Arizona and Colorado do with their minimum wage. The proposal will also increase the cash wage for tipped employees from $2.13 to 45% of the regular wage in 2013 and 60% of the regular wage in 2014. Lastly, this proposal will retain aspects of the City of Albuquerque’s current minimum wage law, which provides a $1 off set in the wage for employers who invest $2,500 annually into their employee’s health care or child care benefits.
If you would like to help us get this proposal on the ballot, download our petition, and help out! Let’s get this on the ballot!