Santa Clara Unanimously Votes to Raise the Minimum Wage to $15 by 2019

Last night, the Santa Clara City Council voted unanimously to enact a $15 minimum wage by 2019, three years before mandated by the State of California. Santa Clara joins Cupertino, Los Altos, Milpitas, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose and Sunnyvale in the first region-wide approach to raising the wage to $15 in the US, a concerted effort to ease the burden on working families struggling to pay rent and buy food in high-cost Silicon Valley.

The effort in Santa Clara has been led by Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta, a long-time advocate for working families. “Last night’s vote on raising the minimum wage is about our values as a Council,” said the Vice Mayor. “I look forward to leading on this progressive issue and standing tall with working families. This is why I am in public service: to put people first. Raising the minimum wage is a step in the right direction!”

Based on estimates from data provided in a UC Berkeley study, this groundbreaking regional wage standard would give raises to nearly 220,000 workers across the eight cities. In Santa Clara, the increase passed without exemptions and future wage increases will be indexed to the regional inflation rate, also consistent with the other cities.

“Our effort to increase our minimum wage speaks to who we are as a city. Santa Clara is known for big things, like Levis’ Stadium and Super Bowls — and major companies like Intel and Nvidia. But most people don’t know that we’re a working class city — and we’re proud of it,” said Mayor Lisa Gillmor. “By increasing the minimum wage we are doing something to improve the lives of the people who make our city work. They are the people who work in our restaurants, and hotels, and small business. They are the real Santa Clara. Increasing our minimum wage makes it easier for many families to pay rent, buy food, buy school uniforms, and breathe a little easier month to month.”

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