WHAT: Press Conference prior to Evanston City Council meeting
SPEAKERS: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin
Evanston Alderman Cicely Fleming
Open Communities Justice Team Member Elliot Zashin
WHEN: Friday, June 29, 2017, 9:30 am
WHERE: Evanston Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave., Evanston, IL, Rear Entrance
The City of Evanston called for a last-moment City Council meeting to discuss opting out of the Cook County ordinances of an increased minimum wage and paid sick days. Despite public support for the ordinances, this is being conducted on the last day before it is to take effect, during work hours on a Friday before a holiday weekend. In recent referendums, residents of Evanston voted 88% in favor of an increased minimum wage and 89% is favor of paid sick days.
The lead sponsor of the ordinance, Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, explained, “The minimum wage ordinance was passed to correct a two tier pay scale, with Chicago workers currently making $10.50 an hour and Suburban/Evanston workers making $8.25 an hour for the same job.”
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky stated, “As a 45 year resident of Evanston, I join most Evanstonians in taking special pride that we live in a strongly progressive community where people stand up for each other and work hard to improve the wellbeing of all. Evanston has always stood out among suburban Chicago municipalities as a community that celebrates and cherishes its diversity — racially, ethnically, religiously and economically. It is in that spirit that I implore our City Council to embrace the opportunity to help our struggling neighbors improve their livelihood and their lives.”
An evidence-based study
from the National Employment Law Project study from has shown that municipalities which have passed minimum wage increases have in fact had business activity increase
in comparison to those on their borders that haven’t done so. This concurs with the premise that workers spend their wages in the communities where they live and work.
Elliot Zashin, an Evanstonian and member of Open Communities’ Evanston Justice Team and The Peoples Lobby, argues that, “A variety of arguments have been offered in other suburbs to justify opting-out, but they merely serve as excuses not to take action to assist working people.”