To: City Attorney Susan Segal, Mayor Betsy Hodges, and Minneapolis City Council
In an effort to thwart the will of the voters and the District Court, the city of Minneapolis is wasting taxpayer money to defend poverty wages, appealing to the Minnesota Supreme Court to keep a $15 minimum wage charter amendment off the ballot.
The decision to appeal, despite a damning ruling by Judge Robiner and support for the charter amendment from 68% of Minneapolis voters, had been requested by big downtown business groups like the Chamber of Commerce, which has now filed a legal brief on the city's behalf. The city has enlisted a private practice lawyer who also advised the city on how to override the will of voters on the Vikings stadium.
As Minneapolis wrestles with some of the worst racial economic disparities in the country, the City Council has failed to bring forward any concrete alternative to pass a higher minimum wage. Although some have spoken of the need for higher wages, they have not outlined a clear plan on the contents of an ordinance or how they would pass it through the council.
Higher minimum wages have consistently been shown to create more economic opportunity, benefiting our workers, our families, and the economy. All states where minimum wage was raised in 2014 experienced more job growth than areas where wages remained stagnant. Yet the city of Minneapolis, home to some of the worst racial disparities in the country, is actively seeking to prevent voters from deciding on this valid charter amendment, undermining the core of our democracy and threatening to continue to exacerbate our racial disparities for years to come.
Tell the city of Minneapolis: drop the appeal and move forward with printing the ballots, including a valid $15 minimum wage charter amendment.