If a large number of voters want Rockland workers to have a living wage, they can vote this Fall to begin to make it happen. Would employers with 25 or more employees be affected by this requirement feel the pinch? Yes. Gratefully it is a gradual increase starting in 2022 to allow time to plan and adjust to the requirement. Rockland’s smaller businesses would not have this requirement but it may inspire some to stretch in the future.
To ask a whole community to vote for what they desire is in the spirit of listening to more than just the loudest voices. Putting this minimum wage vote on the ballot is likely to offer one of the largest turnouts of voters to express their opinion about a minimum wage. It is very likely to be a bigger response than a survey could yield or from people speaking at a city council meeting, especially in pandemic times.
I invite everyone to discuss the issue of a minimum wage with each other and what it would mean for affordable housing, caring for families, rewarding dependable workers, and easing some food and health worries for those on the financial edge for whatever reason. When you are marking your ballot, you have the power to improve lives.
I will be voting for this minimum wage increase.
Connie Hayes lives in Rockland