Common Sense Kids Action Blasts Chamber of Commerce for Labeling Landmark Minimum Wage Bill a Job Killer

Statement from James P. Steyer, Founder and CEO and Common Sense Media
Common Sense Kids Action
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

San Francisco, CA – Today Common Sense Kids Action founder and CEO James P. Steyer released the following statement in reaction to the Chamber of Commerce “job killer” list featuring California's landmark $15 minimum wage agreement.

"We are saddened, but not surprised, that the California Chamber of Commerce has coldly affixed its self-styled 'job killer' label to California's historic minimum wage agreement before the ink is even dry. At a time of growing economic insecurity, when nearly half of all children in California live in families that are in or near poverty, our leaders did exactly what they should have done: act.

“Once again, the Chamber is putting politics and profits before the people of California and ignoring the facts. Raising the minimum wage is one of the most effective ways to support California's kids and make our state stronger, which is good for families and businesses.

“We are confident that legislators and the Governor will see the Chamber's careless marketing ploy for what it is and act 'For Kids' by enacting Senate Bill 3. We look forward to working with advocates in the weeks ahead to ensure our leaders know they have the support of California kids and families.

“Kids should be the state's top priority and we trust that the legislature and governor agree and will quickly pass the minimum wage law that will set an example for the entire nation."

Background
Common Sense Kids Action awarded the minimum wage agreement with a "For Kids" designation as part of its Legislative Ratings program because raising the minimum wage is one of the most effective ways to support California's kids. 

Consider the following facts:

  • A December PPIC report found that 40.8% of state residents were poor or near poor in 2013, using the California Poverty Measure they developed with the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality.
  • Nearly half of all children in California live in families that are in or near poverty.
  • Over 80% of these children live in families with at least one adult working. 
  • Women make up nearly 60% of all minimum wage earners in the state, and most of them are the sole or co-breadwinner for their families.
  • Annual income of full-time work at minimum wage in 2016 at $10 per hour: $20,800.
  • Annual income of full-time work at minimum wage in 2022 at $15 per hour: $31,200.
  • The Federal Poverty Level for 2016 is for a family of four: $24,300.
  • A $15 minimum wage would have a tremendous impact on working families. For example as stated above, the average mother who works full-time in 2016 at $10 per hour brings home $20,800, which is $3,500 under the federal poverty level for a family of four. A wage of $15 per hour would allow her to bring home $31,200. 

To learn more about Common Sense Kids Action please visit www.commonsensekidsaction.org.

About Common Sense
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families and educators thrive in a world of media and technology. We rate, educate, and advocate on behalf of kids, families, and schools. Common Sense Media, which facilitates the consumer website, offers the world's largest and most trusted library of age-based ratings and reviews of all types of content targeted at kids, and our research-based curriculum and tools are used in over 100,000 U.S. schools. For more information, go to http://www.commonsensemedia.org.

Press Contact:
Lisa Cohen, 310-395-2544
[email protected]

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