Our Minimum Wage Study Committee continues its work, convening each week to learn more about and discuss the potential effects of a wage ordinance in St. Paul.
Each week, we provide an update on the focus of the meetings, our process, and media surrounding this issue. Sign up to receive this weekly update in your inbox.
In this update:
- Immigrant communities weigh in
- Theater for Public Policy: The Great Minimum Wage Debate
- Next Meeting
- In the News
- Your Input
1. Immigrant communities weigh in
In a recent article, the Pioneer Press highlighted the different viewpoints among immigrant communities regarding a potential increase in the minimum wage in St. Paul:
“If we raise our prices, the same people I’m paying the extra money to are paying it back to me,” said Abdalla Tobasi, who runs convenience stores on Minnehaha Avenue and Selby Avenue. “The bread I sell now for $1.99, I’m going to have to raise my bread to $2.49.”
He believes advocates are glossing over that and other math.
“When we pay people wages, you’ve got to add to that 2 to 3 percent more for worker’s compensation and Social Security, maybe more,” he added.
Then there are business owners like Hassan Hussein, an Oromo barber who runs the Gannale Barber shop near University and Snelling avenues.
“If workers around here are paid more, I hopefully can charge a little more,” said Hussein, who runs his shop alone. “That’d be good if I can raise my prices. The problem is if they raise my rent, as well. I see both sides.”
2. Theater for Public Policy: The Great Minimum Wage Debate
The Theater of Public Policy, a group that advances the understanding of complex ideas and issues by drawing on improvisational comedy, tackled the Great Minimum Wage Debate last week.
The show began with a lively and informative discussion among the panel members, which was followed by comedy sketches based on the conversation.
The panel will included Saint Paul City Councilmember Rebecca Noecker and two members from our committee: B Kyle, president/CEO of the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, and Veronica Mendez Moore, Co-Director of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL; Center of Workers United in Struggle).
3. Next Meeting
The committee convenes again on Thursday, July 26, from 8:30-11:15am. They will participate in a facilitated review and discussion of the first ten meetings.
Committee meetings are open to be observed by the public. Details on meeting locations and times can be found on our project website: citizensleague.org/minwage
4. In the News
The following articles and online posts surrounding the minimum wage are not endorsed nor approved by the study committee. They are posted here and on our project page simply to provide context during the committee’s work.
- McDonald’s to pay $20,000 for violating Minneapolis minimum wage law — Star Tribune, 7/25/2018
- Immigrant workers, business owners say $15 an hour could make all the difference — for better or worse — Pioneer Press, 7/21/2018
- Commentary: Higher minimum wage in Minnesota hurts those it’s supposed to help — Star Tribune, 7/20/2018
5. Your Input
Community input helps inform committee discussions. Each week, all input provided is reported to and discussed by the committee.
If you have a question or a comment, please click here for our comment form, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave us a voicemail at 651-401-2474.
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