The following elected officials released a statement in response to reports that Evanston will consider opting out of the Cook County minimum wage increase: U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky, State Representative Laura Fine, State Representative Robyn Gabel, Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, Committeeman Eamon Kelly, Democratic Party of Evanston, and State Senator and Democratic candidate for governor Daniel Biss. 

“We’re learning today that Mayor Steve Hagerty has proposed an emergency city council meeting to consider opting Evanston out of the Cook County minimum wage increase and earned sick leave measure the day before these policies were to take effect. As strong supporters of the wage increase and sick leave, we oppose any opt-out in the strongest possible terms.

“Evanston has long led the charge in fighting for progressive causes, from civil rights to environmental sustainability to economic justice. Blocking these pro-worker policies would not only be inconsistent with our values: it is an insult to Evanston’s working families and an affront to our community.

“With Chicago’s minimum wage set to increase to a higher rate than even what the Cook County ordinance provides for, Evanston must do its part to raise standards of living and enable our local businesses to attract skilled workers rather than follow a self-defeating and divisive race to the bottom.”