On Saturday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed a measure that will raise the minimum wage in the city, currently $9 an hour, to $15 an hour by July 2020. The wage will increase to $10.50 in July 2016, then rise annually to $12, $13.25, $14.25 and finally $15. After 2020, the minimum wage would rise based on the cost of living. Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, surpassing San Francisco and Seattle.
Garcetti’s action follows Wednesday’s 12-1 vote by the L.A. City Council approving the wage hike; only Councilman Mitchell Englander voted against it, ABC 7 reported.
Garcetti told the crowd of over 500 people that hiking the wage would help over 600,000 residents.
“This is about the idea, that American ideal, that when someone works hard, they should be able to support themselves, and they should be able to support their families,”Garcetti said, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Times reported that Laphonza Butler, president of the Service Employees International Union chapter that represents home care employees, intoned, “For every young person that has watched your mother struggle to put food on the table… welcome to the revolution.”
Garcetti had originally wanted for minimum wage to reach $13.25 by 2017, but the council altered the plan. The hike is staggered so that businesses with 26 or more employees will reach that level by 2018 and companies with 25 or fewer workers will reach it by 2019.