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Osvaldo Castillo
El Observador

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The current minimum wage in San Jose is $8 an hour and according to Working Partnerships website, a minimum-wage worker in San Jose does not earn enough at a full-time job to afford the city’s average rent of $1,800 a month, much less pay for food, clothes and other necessities to support a family.
On November 6th, voters in San Jose will get a chance to vote on Measure D, which would increase the city’s minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10.
Many who earn the minimum wage in San Jose are working two jobs in order to provide for themselves and their families.
The extra income would help those who are struggling significantly. They would be able to purchase more items such as food and clothes. The extra income would also help stimulate the economy in San Jose.
The Bay Area is an expensive place to live in. San Francisco has already increased its minimum wage and it’s time for San Jose to do the same.
“The bulk of our support is coming in the form of volunteers who are spending their time contacting voters to educate them about Measure D,” said Cindy Chavez, executive director of Working Partnerships, a leader of the coalition supporting a $10 minimum wage. “They’re people who believe in their hearts that if you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve to earn a fair wage.”
Opponents of Measure D Campaign have poured $270,000 into Chamber coffers to keep the minimum wage at $8 an hour for the July 31-Sept. 30 reporting period. The National Restaurant Association contributed $155,000.
They claim that the increase would hurt businesses and would not help San Jose’s economy because some of the workers do not live in San Jose.
San Jose Residents for Raising the Minimum Wage reported contributions of $68,000 in what has been seen from the start as a David and Goliath battle.
According to a report by Working Partnerships USA’s Life in the Valley Economy, “To stabilize the economy and rebuild a secure middle class, the public sector must play a key role. This is not a question of ‘more government’ or ‘less government:’ every government action or inaction affects the economy in some way.”
“Figuring out the challenge of the middle class is really the challenge of the country,” said Ro Khanna at the Life in the Valley Economic Summit “We have grown a culture of lack of respect for workers.”

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