Right now, the Citizens League is hosting a breakfast called “Understanding St Paul Minimum Wage Considerations.” The breakfast is supposed to help Saint Paulites learn and ask questions about the minimum wage-- but it costs $60, and takes place on a weekday morning at a fancy restaurant. No matter how well-intentioned the Citizens League is, this event is woefully inappropriate for reaching most Saint Paul residents.
The Citizens League has been charged with creating policy recommendations for the City, and should be working to bring the voices of workers and marginalized people into the center of policymaking. A $60 breakfast on a Tuesday morning is not a good way to engage working people. Instead, it amplifies the voices of those who already have power and influence. It would take a minimum wage worker almost 6 ½ hours to afford this breakfast alone!
The Citizens League should be hosting free community meals in our neighborhoods where they can hear from workers, youth, and families about how the crisis of poverty hurts us, and why we need a $15 minimum wage, no exemptions, as soon as possible!
Wealth inequality in Saint Paul and Minnesota is a crisis of massive proportions. Inequality persists because poor and working people are kept out of the decision-making processes that produce the policies that ultimately determine our housing, wages, schools, and health. The Fight for 15 has always been about changing that fundamental dynamic: not just winning a $15 minimum wage, but putting the needs of working people at the forefront of our policy.
Our movement for 15 disrupted politics as usual in Minneapolis and forced the establishment to pass a policy they had initially called impossible and unreasonable. We can do the same in Saint Paul. Call the Citizens League at 651-401-2474 and leave them a voicemail telling them you support a $15 minimum wage for all workers, and that they should answer to working people, not corporate interests!