Sponsored by: Donna Nyberg, Labor Caucus Chair Approved: 08/23/2015
A RESOLUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF OREGON
Resolution to raise the minimum wage in Oregon to no less than $13.50 an hour, and lift preemption
Whereas: The economic recovery since the Great Recession has been good for big business, but has left low-wage workers behind.
Whereas: The Oregon Department of Revenue estimates that Oregon taxpayers subsidize corporate profits to the tune of $1.7 billion per year in public assistance paid to working Oregonians who earn low wages.
Whereas: Oregon’s current minimum wage is $9.25 an hour, and has not increased outside of yearly cost of living adjustments since 2002. The minimum translates to only $19,240 per year – which no matter where you live isn’t enough to live on.
Whereas: A University of Washington study shows that $13.50 an hour is the base self-sufficiency wage for a single mother with a young child in even Oregon’s most rural counties.
Whereas: Approximately 560,000 jobs in the State of Oregon pay less than $13.50 an hour, and approximately 200,000 of those jobs are held by workers also on public assistance.
Whereas: The cost of living in urban counties that contain cities like Portland and Eugene is much higher than in more rural cities like Heppner or Pendleton, thus a worker living in those cities would need to earn more per hour to afford the basics like child care and housing.
Whereas: Cities and Counties in Oregon are prohibited from raising their own wages to better reflect the cost of living in their jurisdiction.
Whereas: Farmworkers are some of the lowest paid workers in Oregon, making between $9,000 and $14,000 per year – substantially below the yearly earnings of $19,240 for a minimum wage worker.
Therefore Be It Resolved that:
The Democratic Party of Oregon supports the movement to raise the statewide minimum wage in Oregon, based on the following principles:
Increasing the statewide minimum wage to no less than $13.50 an hour
Lifting preemption to restore power to cities & counties to address cost of living needs by setting their own wage levels
Leaving no workers behind with race-to-the-bottom exceptions