Every worker in California should have access to meaningful workplace protections, health care insurance, and jobs that pay a living wage. When we say “every worker,” we mean everyone – including undocumented immigrants, women, and historically marginalized groups. 

Here in California, the state minimum wage of $15 does not cover basic living expenses, such as food, housing, and transportation. According to data from MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, a single adult worker in the state would need to make $21.82 an hour to support themselves, while a working family of four would need to earn $30.54 an hour. This is unacceptable, especially when nearly a third of California families are working poor and the state is home to the second-highest median rent in the U.S ($2,201). 

To further worsen an unfair economy, workers, especially the working poor, are still struggling to overcome the repercussions felt by the COVID-19 pandemic and now face skyrocketing inflation costs. Everywhere you look, gas is too high, eggs and milk cost too much, and there are not enough good-paying jobs to help make ends meet.

We need an economy that works for our communities. Here are some ideas that can help achieve an economy that fairly values and compensates our neighbors:

1) Raise California's minimum wage to $18 an hour

2) Hold corporations accountable for abusive working conditions

3) Create a youth apprenticeship program to increase awareness and connections to quality jobs for California's young people