SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – If you think the California minimum wage isn’t enough you may get the chance to raise it this November.
Joe Sanberg, an entrepreneur who was an early investor in the Blue Apron meal-delivery service, is bankrolling an effort to raise the state’s minimum wage from $15 to $18 by 2025.
“There is not one California worker who is making a good living on $15 an hour. Not one,” Sanberg stated in a news release. “Many of the heroic essential workers – who have put their lives on the line to go to work during the pandemic – are paid wages so low, they can’t afford to pay for even their most basic needs.”
California’s minimum wage is currently $15 per hour for businesses with 26 or more employees, and $14 per hour for smaller employers. Those numbers became effective January 1.
Some Bay Area jurisdictions have higher minimum wages. For example, San Francisco’s is $16.32 per hour.
Under the ballot initiative, titled the Living Wage Act of 2022, there would be annual increases of one dollar in the minimum wage until it ends up at $18 for all employers.
California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski said that raising the minimum wage would decrease poverty.
“For low-wage workers, a higher minimum wage is life-changing,” Pulaski stated. “Better wages for workers also means they have more to spend at local businesses in our communities. If we’re serious about combating poverty and reducing inequality, raising the minimum wage is an absolute necessity.”
The initiative needs 623,212 signatures by August 8 to appear on the November ballot.
The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour hasn’t been raised since 2009.