July 27, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Minneapolis, MN – Organizers campaigning to get Minneapolis to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour have submitted enough petition signatures to get the issue on the ballot in November, city officials said July 20.
The city clerk’s office found that the organizers—a coalition including 15 Now, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha, and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change—had turned in about 8,400 valid signatures, safely over the 6,869 needed to qualify. The initiative, an amendment to the city charter, still faces several legal obstacles before it can be placed on the ballot. City Attorney Susan Segal is scheduled to deliver an opinion July 28 on whether the proposal concerns a basic function of government, which can be part of the charter, or is an ordinance that must go through the City Council. The council will vote Aug. 5. If the initiative is approved for the ballot, the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce might file a lawsuit contesting its validity; if it isn’t, its supporters “would be prepared to take legal action,” said Ginger Jentzen, executive director of 15 Now Minnesota. Mayor Betsy Hodges has said she does not support raising the city’s minimum wage. Read more