Reflections on the Lift Up Oakland campaign for a fair wage (and its alternative)

It was hard not to be fired up at the rally last Tuesday for a $12.25 minimum wage in the city of Oakland. Courageous workers stood at the podium and shared their struggles to care for a family on a minimum wage, council members stood in solidarity with an effort to make sure that every worker in Oakland had the right to sick leave (for their health and the health of customers), and faith leaders reminded the crowd that God stands with the people fighting for justice for all. It was pretty clear we were on the side of God.

It felt even clearer that we were on the side of right when Councilmember Reid told us that he was going to let the business owners speak first at the Community and Economic Development Committee meeting because they had to get back to the businesses they run. There were boos and jeers from the crowd, some of whom were minimum wage workers who had to go without essential pay in order to attend the meeting. It really got the “hey! who’s for the little guy around here?” juices flowing.

 

But the people who got up to speak weren’t the enemy. (more…)