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The fight for $15 minimum wage in Tucson: Q&A with the campaign manager

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Your vote counts! (Illustration by Molly Cline | Daily Wildcat)

C.J. Boyd is the campaign manager for raising Tucson’s minimum wage to $15. This raise in minimum wage would not be right away. It would be a series of gradual increases and by 2025, Tucson’s minimum wage would be $15. 

The campaign’s goal is to reach 30,000 signatures by July 2, and the movement is in need of more volunteers. The Daily Wildcat spoke to Boyd via email to find out the motivation for the campaign.

Daily Wildcat: Why is it important to advocate for a $15 minimum wage by 2025?

CJ: We advocate for a living wage because we believe everyone should have the dignity of earning enough to live without needing to work more than 40 hours per week. Sadly, even $15 is not enough for a single parent or even a couple of working parents with more than one child. We fight for a $15 minimum wage because it is achievable now, and afterwards we will keep fighting for more. 

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A $15 minimum wage will directly increase the paychecks of 85,000 Tucsonans currently making less than that. And this in turn will raise the wages of many more people already making $15 or more, as industries adjust to the wage floor being raised.

DW: Besides an increase in real estate costs, what other major factors lead to people needing to get paid more?

CJ: The unfortunate fact is that the cost of nearly everything increases steadily, and yet it takes an act of government to help the wages keep up with rising prices.

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DW: How can people sign the petition?

CJ: The only way to sign the petition is in person. We have a list of upcoming events where you can sign at parks around the city

You can always sign at Five Points Market or Exo Coffee, where the employees are circulating the petition during their business hours.

DW: What can people be doing to help spread the word?

CJ: A great place to start is by sharing our events on social media. But I can't stress this enough, what we really need is more volunteers.

DW: How many signatures have been collected thus far?

CJ: At about a month in, we have collected around 3,000 signatures. We need to collect 30,000, so we still have a long way to go. My hope is that as more folks get vaccinated, there will be more volunteer signups, and we can close the gap and make sure to get this important bill on the ballot.


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