June 3, 2014

Minimum Wage Working Group Announces Location of First Public Hearing and Launches Online Forum for Public Comment

Mayoral Task Force Sets Public Hearings and Launches New Website to Give All Residents a Voice in the Process of Developing a Balanced Plan to Increase the Minimum Wage in Chicago

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The Minimum Wage Working Group tasked by Mayor Rahm Emanuel last week with creating a consensus plan to increase the local minimum wage today announced the first of five hearings to solicit public input will be held at Kennedy-King College on Monday, June 9 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. The remaining four hearings will take place throughout June on the North, Northwest, West and Southwest sides of the City. The Group has also launched a website to serve as an additional forum for public comment and information.

“Raising the minimum wage would have a game changing impact for thousands of working families in Chicago and we are committed to running an inclusive, balanced process to develop the working group’s proposal,” said Alderman Will Burns (4th), co-chair of the Minimum Wage Working Group, “We look forward to hearing from residents, business owners, and other stakeholders over the coming month as we consider this important issue.”

To ensure that its recommendations reflect the broadest range of input, the Working Group has agreed to hold public meetings throughout the City and consult an array of experts and stakeholders across business, community, labor and civic areas. Dates and times for the four remaining hearings will be announced on the Group’s website this week.

“I called on this Working Group to take a critical look at the minimum wage and evaluate an increase so that more of Chicago’s working families have a shot at the middle class,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Chicagoans deserve a raise and I strongly encourage residents across the City to make their voices heard over the coming weeks.”

In May, Mayor Emanuel announced the Minimum Wage Working Group of community, labor and business leaders to develop a balanced plan to increase the minimum wage in Chicago. The Group has been tasked with evaluating options for both short and long-term wage increases for Chicago’s workers to ensure every working Chicagoan has a shot at the middle class. A final report including recommended real wage increases for minimum wage employees and tipped employees is due to Mayor Emanuel in early July.

The Minimum Wage Working Group is chaired by John Bouman, President, Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law, and Will Burns, Alderman of the 4th Ward.