Mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle applauds Illinois Senate and Governor JB Pritzker’s commitment to a wage increase for the state of Illinois. Preckwinkle has already announced her plan to make a $15 wage a reality in Chicago. Unlike her opponents, Toni believes the City must also act now.
The most recent jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that despite a low unemployment rate, wage growth remains the American economy’s biggest weakness. This holds true in Chicago, home to roughly 400,000 minimum wage workers. Illinois’s state minimum wage has not been raised in 13 years and is lower than Missouri’s.
Toni’s plan would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021, through 50 cent increases every six months. Her proposal would incorporate annual reviews by the Office of Labor Standards and would provide an analysis of economic conditions in the City and make recommendations of future wage increases.
No other mayoral candidate has proposed a plan to raise the minimum wage, or a timeline:
Susana Mendoza supports what is essentially a wage freeze for Chicago’s workers. She has indicated the state, not the city of Chicago, should make this change and that the City’s wage should not be higher than the state’s.
Gery Chico has indicated support for a $15 minimum wage but did not explain how it would be done and when it would be accomplished.
Willie Wilson commented, “I believe the current minimum wage is OK.”
Studies have shown that workers are more likely to move to communities offering higher wages.
“Thank you to Gov. Pritzker’s commitment to a wage increase for Illinois workers and I’m proud to stand up for Chicago’s workers with a plan of my own,” said Preckwinkle. “Unfortunately, none of my opponents have a plan to raise the minimum wage, to the detriment of Chicago’s workers and our economy. The candidates who are refusing to commit to this necessary policy goal are not only perpetuating a system of income inequality, but they are failing to attract new business and new residents to the city.”