SEIU 1021 members showed up in force at the Richmond City Council meeting on July 11th to advocate passing a $15 minimum wage ordinance. After hearing from our members and other individuals who testified, the Richmond City Council unanimously supported an ordinance to increase the city’s minimum wage.
“All working people deserve a living wage. Our communities cannot sustain themselves without a living wage,” said SEIU 1021 member Gregory Everett, Jr. Everett, who shared that his daughter works in Richmond, continued, “This legislation will be a great help to individuals who work in the City of Richmond. We have one of the highest costs of living in the country here.”
Richmond joins other Bay Area cities including San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley in raising the minimum wage. As a result, the minimum wage paid to anyone working in the City of Richmond will be increased to $13.41 in January of 2018, and increase to the full $15 in 2019.
There was an attempt in Richmond in 2014 to pass strong minimum wage legislation, but a much weaker version passed that was full of exemptions and a much lower wage. SEIU 1021 members worked to elect more councilmembers in Richmond who value workers. Those efforts last fall made this legislation possible. SEIU 1021 endorsed City Councilmember Melvin Willis, who worked with members on passing this legislation. Members also helped elect Councilman Ben Choi last fall, another strong supporter of this legislation.
City of Richmond SEIU 1021 Members L to R: David Martinez, Gregory Everett, Jr. Yen Do (SEIU 1021 Field Representative), Henry Powell, Myrian Glasser, Tania Swartz (chapter secretary), (lower) Artie Moore. Not pictured: Lacy Douglas III and Richmond resident and Oakland Housing Authority SEIU 1021 Member Jack Bryson.