With Trump in the White House, cities need to take the initiative. A $15 minimum wage is one concrete way to do that, to build a more just society. Across the country, and in the Twin Cities, women and people of color disproportionately fill the low-wage jobs that would benefit the most from $15/hour. This is especially important in Minnesota, a state with the worst in the nation racial and economic inequities. $15/hr is a substantial way that elected officials can address the gender pay gap and the deep legacy of systematic racism in the U.S.. In the Twin Cities, Minneapolis took the first step. And now St. Paul has the opportunity to do the same.
The benefits of passing a $15/hr minimum wage in St. Paul far outweigh the negatives. A staggering 40.8% of St. Paul residents live in poverty, with one in four people working in the city earning less than $15/hr. Women and people of color are most likely to earn poverty wages. In fact, all the St. Paul neighborhoods officially designated “concentrated areas of poverty” are also neighborhoods where immigrants and people of color make up large sections of the population. Poverty rates continue to rise in St. Paul, and the fastest growing job sectors in the city are low-wage jobs. Passing $15/hr is potentially the most substantial things St. Paul can do to reverse these troubling trends.
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