Supporters for minimum wage hikes closer to goal

Posted at 8:33 PM, May 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-02 20:33:51-04

People in favor of raising minimum wage to $15 might be one step closer to achieving their goal.

The Now's Lauren Wilson was at City Hall today where one of the main groups in Cleveland rallying support on the issue held a press conference demanding city council to act.

Nearly 100 protesters from the group ‘Raise Up Cleveland Movement’ marched into City Hall today to deliver their petition signed by more than 28,000 people, way over the 5,000 amount of signatures required for city council to take action on the proposal. Members of the group said this is a monumental step in the right direction.

“This fight for 15 has been my heartbeat. A lot of people said you’re not going to get 5,000 signatures, well today we proved them wrong,” said Artheta Peters, active member of Raise Up Cleveland Movement as she helped turn in the multiple boxes full of signed petitions to the clerk’s office.

She's a home care worker for more than 15 years and told me she just wants equality for the hard work she does.

“Although we’re doing all the same work, the wages are very different. And the wages are so low that if forces most of us to be on public assistance,” said Peters. “When you can’t afford to meet your basic needs, it does something to your self-esteem.”

Anthony Caldwell, the leader and spokesperson for Raise Up Cleveland Movement, said he’s overwhelmed with the amount of support.

“Today is a victory. It’s really impressive; the energy behind me has been magnified in the communities.”

Minimum wage has been a point of contention across the nation for the couple of years, with major cooperators like McDonalds making adjustments and now supporters said it's time for Cleveland to jump on board.

“That’s what today’s all about, it’s about making sure people get their fare share, their fare shot and that helps build up their community,” said Caldwell.

“I think it’s past time that we give people a wage that they can actually live on,” Senator Sandra Williams said.

Caldwell expressed his optimism about the future and reality of this initiative moving forward.

“It’s just so impressive to see so many people who have just come out of everywhere to sign our petition and really want to be part of this historic movement.”

City council will have 10 days to review all the signatures and make sure they’re valid and then will vote on the proposal. If council rejects the proposal or is unable to reach an agreement with the petitioner committee, then the measure could appear on the November ballot for voters.