TUCSON (KVOA) - A coalition of Tucson-based non-profit organizations including the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Primavera Foundation, Our Family Services, Southwest Fair Housing Council, People’s Defense Initiative, YWCA Southern Arizona, and others, alongside labor unions including Pima Area Labor Federation, have launched a campaign called the Tucson Fight for $15 to collect 30,000 signatures from registered voters with the goal to bring a November, 2021 ballot initiative that would, over the course of four years, raise the minimum wage inside Tucson city limits to $15.
The group said dozens of volunteers and paid signature gatherers are fanning out across the city every day to meet the 30,000-signature goal by the July 2nd filing deadline. This weekend, Tucson Fight for 15 said it invites the public to sign the petition at the following locations:
- Saturday, April 3rd at Armory Park (6th Avenue & 13th Street), 12:00 - 6:00pm
- Sunday, April 4th at Himmel Park (Tucson Blvd. & 2nd Street), 12:00 - 6:00pm
If passed, the Tucson Minimum Wage Act will mandate a pay raise for approximately 85,000 local workers currently earning the statewide minimum wage of $12.15. The bill would gradually increase the minimum wage starting on April 1, 2022. Under the proposal, the citywide minimum wage would reach $15 by 2025.
The group cites a recent study, claiming a Tucson worker earning the current minimum wage needs to work 61 hours a week to afford a 2-bedroom home in a city experiencing unprecedented increases in monthly housing costs.
In addition to increasing the minimum wage, this initiative will: prevent “misclassifying” workers as independent contractors, prevent employers from “shaving off” time from a shift, provide workers with more stable work hours, and create a city office of wage enforcement.