Time for Palatine to revisit raising the minimum wage
On May 8, 2017, Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz and the Village Council unanimously opted out of the Cook County ordinances increasing the minimum wage and instituting paid sick leave, defying our community's majority support for both.
In the weeks before that shameful vote, I contacted Mayor Schwantz, as well as every member of the council, and asked to meet with just one elected representative to discuss my support for the measures.
Mayor Schwantz and the council members refused to meet, though they happily granted the Palatine Chamber of Commerce members generous time to voice their opposition.
The council meeting where members discussed the measures was farcical and the outcome predetermined. Members repeatedly declared their philosophical sympathy for both measures -- since arguing in explicit support of poverty wages and no paid sick leave is unpopular -- but insisted the localization of both measures would disadvantage our community in comparison with surrounding villages.
At that meeting, I said available data from other cities that have instituted similar policies proves such arguments to be false. I was right.
In July 2018, The Daily Herald reported the ordinances increased incomes for more than 330,000 workers, with the largest gains going to low-income workers, while the median income for all Chicago workers simultaneously increased.
The same data shows it has not had the negative effects on either businesses or job growth that detractors feared.
Mayor Schwantz and the Village Council should be mortified for defying our community's wishes in obstructing our access to family-sustaining wages and paid sick leave, defying their elected duties and basic human decency.
If they don't reverse course and rectify their serious mistake, I will lead the effort in facilitating the replacement of my district councilman Tim Millar, as well as Mayor Schwantz, in 2021.