California commits to raising minimum wage to $10 an hour

Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that would make California the first state in the nation to commit to raising the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10 an hour by January 2016:

Raising wages for the poorest workers is a “wonderful thing,” Brown said at a bill-signing ceremony in Los Angeles.

“It’s my goal and it’s my moral responsibility to do what I can to make our society more harmonious, to make our social fabric tighter and closer and to work toward a solidarity that every day appears to become more distant,” he said.

This is a hugely important issue for women in California, particularly women of color, who are disproportionately employed in the service industry and other sectors that tend to pay minimum wage. Fast food workers, who have been striking nationwide in demand of higher wages, will certainly benefit from this increase in California, though it does not come close to meeting the $15 an hour wage that these workers have been demanding, or even reach the state’s living wage.

New York, NY

Verónica Bayetti Flores has spent the last years of her life living and breathing reproductive justice. She has led national policy and movement building work on the intersections of immigrants' rights, health care access, young parenthood, and LGBTQ liberation, and has worked to increase access to contraception and abortion, fought for paid sick leave, and demanded access to safe public space for queer youth of color. In 2008 Verónica obtained her Master’s degree in the Sexuality and Health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She loves cooking, making art, listening to music, and thinking about the ways art forms traditionally seen as feminine are valued and devalued. In addition to writing for Feministing, she is currently spending most of her time doing policy work to reduce the harms of LGBTQ youth of color's interactions with the police and making sure abortion care is accessible to all regardless of their income.

Verónica is a queer immigrant writer, activist, and artist.

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