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LTE-Press Democrat 12/30/21 Don't Delay Living Wage Ordinance

Jack Buckhorn, Executive Director NBLC
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EDITOR: The Press Democrat reported that the Board of Supervisors may not complete its work revising Sonoma County’s living wage law until next fall (“County workers get pay increase,” Dec. 16). The coalition of labor, faith, environmental and community-based organizations that proposed these revisions urges there be no delay.

This process has taken six years, and after three fires, a flood and a pandemic, we have all seen firsthand how inequality has deepened in the region. All of the proposed revisions are in place in other communities with living wage ordinances, such as the counties of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles, with no reported problems.

A fiscal impact report by a University of Massachusetts economist has calculated the costs for implementing our proposed revisions, including providing 12 days of paid sick leave to all affected workers and expanding the ordinance to cover the county fair and airport.

Most of the 1,100 low-wage county and county contract workers now affected by the ordinance are immigrants, workers of color and women. The board should demonstrate its commitment to economic, racial and gender equality by completing the living wage law revisions no later than April 1.


Executive director, North Bay Labor Council