If recent trends are an indicator, well then the writing was on the wall. Plastic bag bans might not be as flashy of a headline compared to statewide minimum wage, but the two issues traced a similar trajectory in the path to Sacramento.
With Monday’s minimum wage deal plotting a $15 an hour minimum wage by the year 2022, minimum wage joins plastic bag bans as another example of a playbook becoming more and more common in California.
The Xs and Os of this playbook revolve primarily around advocates pushing issues locally to ultimately drive statewide change.
While the first domino falling might have been Seattle, Washington in June of 2014, California cities were not far behind. San Francisco and Los Angeles would not be outdone and followed with similar ordinances. San Francisco is on schedule to be the first city in the country to hit $15 in July 2018.
By the second half of 2015, there was not much of a wait between cities announcing new minimum wage plans. Bay Area cities like Richmond, Berkeley, Emeryville, and Mountain View all responded with wage hikes. Southern California cities including Pasadena, Long Beach, and Santa Monica rolled out plans too. Los Angeles County was the first county to take on a $15 an hour plan.
In Sacramento, Governor Jerry Brown called the deal “a matter of economic justice,” and hoped California’s proactivity might set a trend around the country on the matter of minimum wages. Speaker Anthony Rendon indicted “significant support” among his colleagues but didn’t get specific.
The proposal is on the Capitol fast track and could see a vote before the end of the week. Formal approval of the $15 an hour proposal would effectively cancel two labor-sponsored efforts to get wage hikes onto the November ballot.
Governor Brown admitted that one or both of those ballot measures had a decent chance of passing, indicating the popular support the minimum wage issue carries with it currently and illustrating just how effective the local advocacy approach has been in getting minimum wage on the Sacramento agenda.
Much more about the $15 an hour minimum wage proposal can be found here.