On Minimum Wage, Oregonians Should Not Settle for Less Than $15

Supporters of a $15 minimum wage rally in Medford, Oregon on April 15, 2015.
Supporters of a $15 minimum wage rally in Medford, Oregon on April 15, 2015.

House Speaker Kotek is pushing a $13 minimum wage for Oregon. Here’s why $15 is still the right number for working families in poverty.

By Kristi Wright & Denise Brooks

In his June 15 article “Oregon House speaker unveils $13 minimum wage proposal,” Jonathan J. Cooper reports on the efforts of Rep. Tina Kotek, D-Portland, to “keep the issue in lawmakers’ minds.” He got a few things wrong about the statewide ballot measure for a $15 minimum wage, and implied that the campaign is mainly backed by liberals and labor groups in Portland. As co-founders of 15 Now Southern Oregon and leaders in 15 Now Oregon, the reach of which extends far beyond Portland, we assure you that there is much more to the story. [Read more…]

Guest Opinion: If Courtney kills bill, $15 minimum wage will go to the ballot

Supporters of a $15 minimum wage rally at the Oregon Capitol. Photo by Jamie Partridge
Supporters of a $15 minimum wage rally at the Oregon Capitol. Photo by Jamie Partridge

The fight for $15 in Oregon will continue despite obstructionism in the Legislature. Kristi Wright, regional organizer for 15 Now Southern Oregon, explains why in this guest opinion:

Democrats like [Oregon Senate President Peter] Courtney act as if paid sick leave and raising the minimum wage are mutually exclusive propositions. This shows how out of touch they are with working families. In a state where half of new jobs pay less than a living wage, and where there are nine job-seekers for every available living-wage job, hard work is no longer enough to get ahead. Oregonians deserve paid sick leave and a living wage, because no one who works should live in poverty.

The fight for $15 is alive and stronger than ever. 15 Now Oregon is organizing communities in Medford, Portland, and elsewhere throughout the state. Hundreds will attend the hearing in Salem on April 13 and demand a floor vote on a $15 minimum wage. If Peter Courtney will not provide real leadership on this important issue, then 15 Now Oregon will take it to the ballot in 2016. SB 610 may be doomed, but the fight for $15 will continue until we win.

Read more at the Medford Mail Tribune