Making Democracy Work

Social Policy

Focus of the Social Policy Team

The Social Policy Team has three main areas of interest:
  • Immigration: Read our position here. We studied the rights of noncitizens, including undocumented immigrants, in Boulder County, and presented our findings to League members and the public at two meetings in November 2016. You can read our remarks in the section "Noncitizen Rights," below.

  • Meeting Basic Human Needs. Individuals and families "have the right to an income and/or services sufficient to meet their basic needs." We advocate a Living Wage for municipal employees in Boulder County. Read our position on Minimum / Living Wages here - scroll down to bottom of page.

  • Equality of Opportunity. We are looking at privilege and oppression, and at institutional injustice affecting People of Color in Boulder County. We are looking at diversity and at ways to achieve inclusion in our county and in our League.

Join Us

We meet on the third Sunday afternoon of most months, from 1:30pm to 3:30pm.
Like all League Issue Teams, we welcome new participants! You don't have to be an expert--or even a League member--to attend on of our team meetings and learn more. Contact Social Policy Team Leader for meeting location and more information about our agenda.

Our Studies

Noncitizen Rights: To read the results of our team's study of the rights of noncitizens in the U.S., including unauthorized immigrants, click here to download the eight-page PDF.

Living Wage in City of Boulder

Boulder City Council has adopted Living Wage in the proposed 2017 city budget.

At their meeting on Tuesday evening, February 16, 2016, council adopted a revised Resolution 926 to expand Living Wage beyond full-time employees. Council also considered hiring janitorial and landscape workers directly, rather than through contractors. These workers are paid minimum wage, receive no benefits, and typically work 30 or fewer hours per week. Read the report in the Camera.
Read the pre-meeting coverage in the Camera.

Council also requested more information about Living Wage and Self-Sufficiency in time for their 2017 budget process.

For a summary of LWV proposals and council action in February, click here.

At their June 14th, 2016, study session council members discussed the analysis they requested in February and staff delivered in early June. The meeting was reported in the Camera.

The Camera published our letter of appreciation.

In advocating a Living Wage for city of Boulder employees our organization joined Self-Sufficiency 2016, a coalition of concerned organizations and individuals.

On January 19, 2015, the Camera published the League's letter advocating repeal of the state law that prohibits local governments from setting an adequate wage for that locality.

Resources on Raising Minimum Wages

Living Wage and the Self-Sufficiency Standard

What is "living wage"?
In contrast to minimum wage, living wage ordinances establish a wage floor above the state or federal minimum wage. The wage floor is based on the hourly wage that a full-time worker would need to support her family at some multiple of the federal poverty guidelines. The aim is to protect workers by setting minimum wages that exceed the poverty level and to strengthen the local economy.

The Self-Sufficiency Standard (SSS) measures how much income a family of a certain composition in a given place needs to meet their basic needs adequately, without public or private assistance. For example, the SSS in Boulder County for a family with one adult and one pre-schooler is $56,718 annually ($26.86 hourly.)