02/29/2024

The Big 2016 Minimum Wage Push Just Got a Powerful New Ally

A little over a year out from the presidential election, we already know the states where the fiercest battles will likely be fought. But another electoral map is shaping up too: The states where voters will decide where to raise their minimum wage.

And soon, those pay-boosting ballot measures might have some serious money behind them. A large California union is seed funding an organization aimed at accelerating such campaigns around the country, seizing on growing public support for raising the minimum wage to heights that just one cycle ago would have seemed like total fantasy.

It’s called the Fairness Project, officially launching Thursday, and it’s already focusing on three jurisdictions: California, Maine and the District of Columbia, with potentially more to come as funding becomes available. And the group’s main backer, the Service Employees International Union’s 80,000-person strong United Healthcare Workers local in California, says it’s talking with a handful more.

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