We all have the right to be paid a living wage, enough to afford housing and to raise our families with dignity. EBASE is proud to be part of a massive grassroots movement that is raising the floor on low-wage work, winning higher minimum wages throughout the East Bay and California.
In 2014, we worked with our Lift Up Oakland coalition partners, dozens of endorsing organizations, and hundreds of volunteers to collect 33,682 voter signatures, putting Measure FF on the November ballot. Measure FF proposed to raise Oakland’s minimum wage to $12.25 an hour, with 5-9 paid sick days per year – and it passed, overwhelmingly, with 81.7% of Oakland voters voting YES. Thanks to everyone who pounded the pavement, creating this tidal wave of support, 48,000 people got a raise. And $12.25 was just the beginning…
Once a gritty industrial city, Emeryville has become the “Mall of the East Bay.” And in 2015, it became an inspiring beacon of hope for low-wage workers as the City Council voted unanimously to raise the minimum wage to $12.25 with a path to $16 – the highest in the nation! Just a few years ago, when fast food workers started organizing, $15 was unthinkable, but today it’s unstoppable because of the growing consensus among workers, community members, faith leaders, small businesses, and our elected leaders.
In Spring 2016, Governor Brown signed a bill to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 by 2022. This would have never been possible without the intense grassroots efforts: from brave Fast Food strikes, to Oakland’s landslide ballot initiative, to Emeryville’s groundbreaking vote.
EBASE continues to work on not only raising wages, but enforcing minimum wage laws, and moving policies that provide reliable full-time hours. These policies are necessary to address income inequality and preserve the Bay Area’s racial diversity.
We did all this together with workers, residents, faith leaders, business owners, and partners including ACCE, FAME, Fast Food Fight for $15, Residents United for a Livable Emeryville (RULE), SEIU 1021, SEIU USWW, UNITE HERE 2850, and United Way of the Bay Area.