Statement from School Board of Education President Steve Zimmer on new legislation that raises the state’s minimum wage

Today, I congratulate and thank Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro-Tem Kevin De Leon, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and their colleagues for passing and signing into law an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour in the state of California. This new law sets our state on a pathway to truly value the dignity of every worker and every working family. I am proud to be a Californian, and an Angelino, as I stand with the governor, our legislative leaders and labor leaders throughout the state.  

I am proud that L.A. Unified led by example in July 2014 by passing a resolution to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour for more than 33,000 workers in our school district. This effectively set a new standard for ending poverty and advancing the quality of life for within the L.A. Unified family. Gov. Brown’s signing of today’s bill is an act of economic justice, giving millions of working men and women a greater opportunity to lift their families out of poverty.  

Sen. Mark Leno deserves the highest gratitude for being the trailblazing author of this legislation. This victory would not have been possible without his leadership, and I am grateful for the collaborative support of labor leaders, workers and supporters from up and down the state who have made this legislation a reality.

Today’s historic moment is not a gift from the governor nor the legislature. It is a victory won in the fields and in the sweatshops. It is a victory won by janitors, fast food workers and security guards who have had the courage to speak out for respect and fair treatment. It is the beginning of the vindication for so many who have borne the burden of economic injustice for so long. And it is a victory for the power of organizing and collective action to bring about real change for families in real time.