“What’s Next After $15?” a forum recently held by the American Civil Liberties Union’s Pasadena chapter, brought together community organizers and antipoverty activists to discuss the challenges now faced by the City of Roses to implement its new living wage law.
Pasadena, California — home of the annual Tournament of Roses parade and the Rose Bowl football game — is known as the City of Roses. But a broad coalition of low-income workers, middle class professionals, clergy, nonprofit leaders, educators, unions, community and civic groups, and enlightened businesses has come together to transform Pasadena into the City of Raises.
They have built a movement to urge Mayor Terry Tornek and the City Council to adopt a law raising the minimum wage gradually to $15 an hour by 2020, just as the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County did last summer, and other area cities (Long Beach, Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Glendale, among them) are considering.
These efforts are part of a growing national movement to improve wages and working conditions for low-wage Walmart and fast-food workers, janitors, hospital employees and others. They’ve been pushing cities to adopt minimum wage laws and pressuring big corporations to increase pay for its low-wage employees.