You recently reported that Foster City could be increasing its minimum wage (“Foster City looks to minimum wage hike” from the Daily Journal Nov. 25 edition). The California minimum wage is set to be raised to $15 per hour by 2023, although the Foster City councilmembers could pass that legislation sooner. However, they have not disclosed their opinions on the amount the wage should increase or the timeline for the increases.
As a student studying history at Dominican University of California, I have researched other instances of minimum wage affecting the cost of living in the Bay Area. According to a New York Times article, a family income of $117,400 is considered low income in the Bay Area, designating this region with the highest cost of living in the nation. Low income populations in San Francisco make $18,000 with assistance. In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted the National Industrial Recovery Act that raised wages during the Great Depression. While we are not living in the Great Depression, the cost of living in the Bay Area today is outpacing the wages of lower income residents, resulting in a housing crisis similar to the Great Depression.
I hope to see a rise in the minimum wage in Foster City. The cost of living in the Bay Area needs to be addressed, especially for lower income populations. Cities should look into the correlation between minimum wage rates and poverty to support their communities. How can one be expected to support themselves in this region if wages do not grant them the opportunity to succeed?