Making the minimum difference:

Working Partnerships celebrates
implementation of higher minimum wage

Cindy Chavez, Working Partnerships executive director, is interviewed at the press conference marking the implementation of San Jose's minimum wage increase. See a slideshow of the event here.

With a downtown press conference March 11 as San Jose's higher minimum wage took effect, Working Partnerships Executive Director Cindy Chavez told the cheering crowd at Philz Coffee that it's time to spread the new minimum beyond San Jose.

"Working Partnerships is exploring ways to make this happen throughout California," Chavez said.

Following the minimum wage victory in San Jose, which 60 percent of voters supported, President Barack Obama took up the cause and mentioned it in his State of the Union speech last month, saying "We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day's work with honest wages," which echoed the rationale of the local campaign Working Partnerships helped lead.

Philz hosted the press conference because it was one of the small businesses that backed the $2 increase to $10 an hour backed by 60 percent of the voters last November. Its owner, Nick Taptelis, Ben Field of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council and Scott Knies of the San Jose Downtown Association also praised the increase and promoted San Jose as a better place to work and shop because of it.

See a slideshow of the event here.

Video coverage:



Press coverage:

San Jose minimum wage workers get hefty raise, KGO-TV.

Philz Coffee already hiring after San Jose minimum wage increase, Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Starving and homeless skilled workers in Silicon Valley amidst billionaires, The Examiner.

Low-wage workers turning to voters for pay raises, Los Angeles Times.

Student class project leads to San Jose minimum wage jump, KTVU.

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