MI Raise the Wage Advocates Gather at Boabab Fare in Detroit to Launch Petition Gathering for $15/Hr Ballot Initiative (Jan ’22)
MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: Monday, January 31, 12:00 – 1:30 PM
CONTACT: Madison Donzis | firstname.lastname@example.org
MON. 12PM: MI Raise the Wage Advocates Gather at Boabab Fare in Detroit to Launch Petition Gathering for $15/Hr Ballot Initiative
New Polling Shows Initiative will Drive Unlikely Voters and Black Mothers to the Polls in November
DETROIT, MI – This Monday, Michigan restaurant owners, workers, coalition partners, and the community to launch the ballot initiative will gather at Boabab Fare to launch their petition gathering efforts for a ballot measure to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
After announcing the Raise the Wage Michigan Ballot Committee last month, the event Monday serves as the launch of the committee’s signature collection efforts.
WHERE: Boabab Fare, 6568 Woodward Ave Suite 100, Detroit, MI 48202
WHEN: 12:00 – 1:30 PM
SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Chantel Watkins, OFW MI Lead Organizer,
Julie Campbell-Bode, Fems for Dems,
Hamissi Mamba, Owner and Founder, Baobab Fare
Tracy Pease, OFW MI Organizer and Former Tipped Worker
Representative, Mothering Justice
Dave Woodward, Michigan Economic Justice Action
LOCAL CONTACT: Chantel Watkins, 313-623-9022
At the event, One Fair Wage will launch new polling of voters in Michigan that shows 56% support among likely voters and particularly enthusiastic support among Democratic surge voters (87%) and Black mothers (78%) of the measure for a $15 minimum wage:
- A plurality of base voters say that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports the measure (42% more likely), including nearly a third who say they would be much more likely to do so (31% much more likely).
- Over four in ten voters say that having the minimum wage increase on the ballot would make them more excited to vote in 2022 (41% more excited) compared to only 5% who say it would make them less likely.
- Among Democratic surge voters, a majority would be more excited to vote in 2022 if the measure is on the ballot (55% more excited) and nearly two thirds of Black mothers say that it would make them more excited to vote (63% more excited).
- Six in ten voters (61%) agree that “fair wages, decent working conditions, and access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion, help ensure that each of us and our families can be healthy, have more control over our economic security, and live with dignity.”
“At least 55,000 workers have left the Michigan restaurant industry – that’s 1 in 8 workers statewide – and nearly 80% are saying the only thing that would make them come back is a full minimum wage with tips on top,” said Chantel Watkins, One Fair Wage Michigan Lead Organizer. “
“We can’t wait for the legal process any longer. Workers are no longer willing to work for subminimum wages, and hundreds of employers have raised wages to recruit staff. Workers need a living wage and employers need it too, to get workers back in restaurants.”
“Black mothers believe in raising the minimum wage because we demand a fairer wage that pays enough to afford essential family needs for full time work,” said Aisha Wells, Paid Leave & Sick Time Organizer at Mothering Justice. “The cost of living continues to increase while Michigan’s minimum wage remains low. Our families and communities deserve better. We deserve economic Justice in the form of a livable wage.”
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Can you make it? WED 12PM: Advocates Announce RAISE THE WAGE MICHIGAN BALLOT COMMITTEE at Yum Village Restaurant in Detroit, Launches Effort to Create $15 Minimum Wage for All Michigan Workers
Good Afternoon [FIRST NAME WILL APPEAR HERE] —
Happy Tuesday. Hope you are doing well. I wanted to reach out and make sure you knew that Michigan restaurant workers, restaurant owners, and advocates will be announcing the launch of the RAISE THE WAGE MICHIGAN BALLOT COMMITTEE at Yum Village Restaurant in Detroit on Wednesday, December 15th at 12pm ET. The event will feature advocates and experts from One Fair Wage, as well as restaurant workers from across Michigan who will be supporting the initiative.
The announcement is the first step in a campaign to raise the minimum wage in Michigan to $15 per hour for all workers, including tipped workers, and ensure that they make tips on top of this base wage. The effort is being co-led by One Fair Wage, RAISE: High Road Restaurants, and Fems for Dems.
Mark Brewer, attorney for the effort, says, “Since our elected officials in Lansing have failed to raise the minimum wage, the people are going to have to take matters into their own hands, and I’m proud to be part of that effort.”
Julie Campbell-Bode, Executive Director of Fems For Dems, said, “Fems for Dems believes that every Michigan worker deserves a living wage. We fully support the launch of the Raise The Wage ballot committee and look forward to working to ensure that no Michigan worker has to work more than one full time job to feed their family.”
I’ve copied portions of a speech from Chantel Watkins, One Fair Wage Michigan Lead Organizer, which she will give at the committee launch meeting tomorrow, that explains more about why it is critical to put a minimum wage increase for ALL Michigan workers on the 2022 ballot.
Can you make it? We’d love to have you there.
Selected Portions of Upcoming Speech Announcing RAISE THE WAGE MICHIGAN BALLOT COMMITTEE from Chantel Watkins, One Fair Wage Michigan Lead Organizer below:
“On January 1, Michiganders should have received an increase to $12 an hour. In 2018, 400,000 Michiganders signed petitions to raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour and end the subminimum wage for tipped workers, so that tipped workers could also get $12 an hour plus tips. The MI Board of Elections ruled that One Fair Wage qualified to be on the ballot.”
“In response, the Republicans who control the state legislature took the One Fair Wage ballot measure off the ballot and made it law, raising wages for all workers to $12 an hour plus tips. But in doing so, they openly declared that they were doing it to keep workers from voting – they were worried about women and people of color voting for Democrats in November 2018. They publicly declared that they promised to gut the bill after the election.
“Restaurant workers organized themselves to vote in large numbers in 2018 – they told each other that we had to vote these Republicans out of office in order to keep our raise, and it worked. Restaurant workers helped get Governor Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel; they also got 2 Republican legislators voted out of office. In fact, because of this issue – raising the minimum wage – we saw a 300% voter turnout increase among all restaurant workers, and a 400% voter turnout increase among young restaurant workers. So we know this issue drives workers to the polls, and the Republicans know it too!
“True to their word, right after the election, the Republicans reversed our wage increase, driving the overall minimum wage back down to $9 an hour and the subminimum wage for tipped workers back down to $3.52 an hour .
“Just a little over a year later, when the pandemic shut down the economy, the state told hundreds of thousands of restaurant workers that their subminimum wage of $3.52 was too little to qualify for unemployment benefits. Thousands went back to work before they felt safe or ready, and 70% said their tips went down, because sales went down, while health risks, customer hostility, and sexual harassment went way up. When they were asked to enforce COVID protocols on the same customers from whom they had to get tips to survive, workers said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. At least 55,000 workers have left the Michigan restaurant industry – that’s 1 in 8 workers statewide – and nearly 80% are saying the only thing that would make them come back is a full minimum wage with tips on top.
“Employers are struggling with the greatest staffing crisis in the state’s history as a result – we’ve documented hundreds of Michigan restaurants now paying One Fair Wage to recruit staff, but they need a level playing field, and they’re saying it’s not enough. Workers need a policy that will guarantee them that wage increases are permanent, not a temporary hiring bonus, and signal to them that it’s worth coming back to work in restaurants.
“We’re putting the Republicans ON NOTICE. We are announcing the launch of the RAISE THE WAGE MICHIGAN BALLOT COMMITTEE, which will be driving a campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all workers, including tipped workers, with tips on top.”