Allies come together for living wage in Santa Clara County

svlivingwage press conference
In the Valley of Plenty, one in three residents do not earn enough to get by. As the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors contemplates creating an ordinance requiring its contractors to pay employees a living wage, a new economic report was released Tuesday, Oct. 14, illustrating the profound and widening economic gap in Silicon Valley.

Read the Press Release.

Speakers at the press conference included Supervisors Ken Yeager and Dave Cortese; Derecka Mehrens, Executive Director for Working Partnerships USA; Lupe Rodriguez, Chair of the County Commission on the Status of Women; Rev. Jeff Moore with the NAACP; and others.

Said SEIU Local 521 Chief Elected Officer Luisa Blue: SEIU Local 521 President Luisa Blue“With the economic divide in our country at a historic high, unions like SEIU are stepping up our advocacy for all workers, not just those we represent or organize. We hope Silicon Valley employers will follow us and help bring back jobs that sustain families, jobs that sustain our communities.”

The report, “Setting Job Standards for a New Economy: An Innovative Living Wage for Silicon Valley,” lays out elements for the most comprehensive local legislation covering entities that do business with a county.

Supervisor and San Jose mayoral candidate Dave Cortese:  "With the living wage ordinance we can turn the tide for middle income earners." Said Supervisor and San Jose mayoral candidate Dave Cortese: “With the living wage ordinance we can turn the tide for middle income earners.”

With the tech industry booming and the economy rapidly recovering, the average low-wage worker in Santa Clara County is falling further behind. Many who make minimum wage, or just above, struggle to make ends meet in Silicon Valley where the cost of living continues to soar. A living wage, by comparison, is a standard, not a floor, for what workers must earn to be self-sufficient.

The full report, available online here (PDF), addresses the underlying causes and presents a pathway to building a better local economy and strengthening communities throughout the Valley.

Supervisor and mayoral candidate Dave Cortese taking the Living Wage Challenge at http://challenge.svlivingwage.com/ #svlivingwageMembers of the media were invited to view a 3-minute video of Jorge, a security officer who, after 23 years on the job, makes less than $12 an hour.

In the video, Jorge challenges the Board of Supervisors to survive on his salary.  Supervisor and mayoral candidate Dave Cortese takes the challenge at: challenge.svlivingwage.com

Media Coverage

KQED Radio, Oct. 15, 2014, 6:33 and 8:33 a.m. (Audio File – MP3)

KGO Radio, Afternoon News, Oct. 14, 2014 (Audio File – MP3)

KGO Radio, Noon News, Oct. 14, 2014 (Audio File – MP3)

KCBS Radio, Oct. 14, 12:11-12:13 a.m. (Audio File – MP3)

ABC7 News, Oct. 14, 2014, 4:30 a.m. and 5:37 a.m. (Video File – MP4)

Silicon Valley Business Journal – “After Google and Facebook labor wins, Silicon Valley government contractors under fire,” Oct. 13, 2014

Workers Independent News – “SEIU: Silicon Valley Living Wage Push Most Comprehensive In The Nation,” Oct. 13, 2014

Lupe Rodriguez of the Commission on the Status of Women

Lupe Rodriguez of the Commission on the Status of Women

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