One Fair Wage: Calumet City
The facts are in: people with higher incomes live healthier, happier, and longer lives than low-income individuals. Health Equity means making sure that everyone has the economic resources they need to lead healthy lives--including wages that allow families to thrive.
Calumet City is located on the southern edge of Cook County on the Indiana border. Its population of about 37,000 individuals is predominately African American (70%), Latinx (15%), and White (15%). 22% of Calumet City residents live below the federal poverty line (compared to 17.4% nationally).
In the spring of 2017, SSU members successfully got over 1,400 signatures (1,000 more than necessary) in support of raising Calumet City's minimum wage to $15 per hour. On the April 4th election, over 80% of Calumet City residents voted in favor of this wage increase. Despite overwhelming resident support, the Calumet City Council voted against this wage increase.
Not to be discouraged, SSU organized an additional vote in July, this time showing that over 82% of Calumet City residents were in support of the increase. Yet again, the Calumet City Council defied the will of the people who elected them and rejected the wage increase.
Calumet City residents protesting at the Calumet City City Council meeting on September 28, 2017. The city council voted against the wage increase, 5-2.