In recent years, LWVBC has been successfully involved in Boulder and Longmont to help increase the wages of municipal workers and contractors to a living wage. Since 2019, Colorado law has allowed local governments to raise the minimum wage for all workers, not just municipal employees. Now an effort is underway to increase minimum wage to a self-sufficiency level throughout Boulder County. The Boulder County Consortium of Cities, which is made up of elected officials, is facilitating the effort. So far, the Boulder County Commissioners and the city councils of Boulder, Lafayette, Longmont, and Louisville have agreed to participate in the process.
Our LWVBC board has voted to join the Boulder County Local Wage Coalition, the advocacy group of labor organizations, nonprofits, and other community organizations that support the Consortium's efforts. Peggy Leech has been attending Coalition meetings and she spoke on behalf of LWVBC at a Louisville City Council meeting. If you would like to help with advocacy, please contact Peggy (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Deborah Hayes (email@example.com) for more information. Opportunities include emailing local elected officials, speaking at city council meetings, and writing letters to the editor. This would all be as individuals, not speaking for the League unless authorized. League members are invited to sign this petition.
What are the target wages? The current Colorado minimum wage is $13.65. According to research by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, an average self-sufficiency wage in Boulder County is now $21.41. (Self-sufficiency wage is the amount that a worker needs to earn to pay basic living expenses without assistance.) Several potential targets for a new minimum wage in Boulder County are under consideration. The Boulder County Self-Sufficiency Wage Coalition's proposal would gradually raise the minimum wage in Boulder County to $25/hour by 2028. (See the coalition factsheet.)
By law, various stakeholders—groups that are impacted by the outcome of this effort--are required to participate in the process before the minimum wage can be raised. Stakeholders include chambers of commerce, small and large businesses, businesses that employ tipped workers, workers, labor unions, and community groups.
All are invited to attend a community event on August 9, Making Ends Meet in Boulder County: Self Sufficiency and Our Community. Register here!