Flagstaff’s minimum wage will rise to $15.50 per hour on January 1, 2022. On January 1, 2026 the tipped minimum wage, which is currently $3 less than the full minimum wage, will match the full minimum wage. Do you support the minimum wage ordinance that was approved by Flagstaff voters?
Yes. Flagstaff’s cost of living is higher than any city in Arizona. The $7.25 federal minimum wage has remained stagnant for 11 years, the longest stretch since the inception of a minimum. I am concerned about unintended consequences the new wage is having on organizations serving developmentally disabled community members as well as nonprofits. Since January of this year, nearly 200 disabled and direct care workers lost jobs and eight group homes relocated out of Flagstaff, forcing 26 individuals with disabilities to relocate. Perhaps a longer ramp up period may have allowed social service providers to better adjust and manage.
I support the minimum wage ordinance. Minimum wage is not a silver bullet, but it has shown to reduce poverty and improve the lives of many. It is also one of the few tools we have locally for systemic economic change.
Five years ago, I was serving tables trying to support my family in town. The friends I made in the service industry are better off than they were in 2016 (COVID aside). One was able to go back to school a semester early and just graduated. Another was able to get her child the dental care they needed. I have business owner friends who struggle with the wage adjustment, so I understand this is not a simple change for businesses to absorb.
Equity is at the heart for why I’m running for Flagstaff City Council which also includes wage equality. I support a livable wage for Flagstaff. Beyond that I am honored to live in a community that values all of its members and will stand up to support those most in need. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the concerns from all sides of our community regarding this increase. But I advocate we come together, as a community, to find the best implementation of this increase with the least negative impacts to our local businesses/non-profits. We’re all one!
I supported the minimum wage initiative in 2016 because I have worked at the minimum wage and realize that people have to live on it. I support the stepped increases because they are reasonable and because I respect the will of the voters. I admit that the higher wages are difficult for some businesses, but healthy businesses will survive. The penalty being imposed by the state legislature is another example of the state talking in favor of local control, but then thwarting it. (We need to elect Babbott, French, and Evans so that LD6 can get some better representation.)
Yes. I supported the minimum wage item twice as I could see cost-of-living and inflation factors increasing at a rate exceeding the wages of many workers, especially within hospitality firms. Aspen, CO provides a good example of workers who cannot afford to live in the city they work and we’re heading in that direction. For example, since 2014 rental prices have gone up by ~20% and for those living paycheck-to-paycheck at the previous minimum wage this would price them out of the market. Without rent control or other measures to keep costs down, wages needed to go up.
The minimum wage ordinance is the law of the land decided by the voters twice. I will not make any effort to overturn the ordinance.
Yes. I voted in favor of the minimum wage increase. In Flagstaff, less than half of residents own their homes, nearly half of residents spend more than 30% of their income on housing, and the average rent of a two-bedroom apartment requires an individual to make around $30 per hour in order to spend less than 30% of their income on housing. For this reason alone, it’s imperative for Flagstaff’s working class to make more money each paycheck.
As a small business owner I may have a different perspective on the minimum wage. I have grappled with how I will make minimum wage work for my business. I have had to pivot, remain flexible, and think outside the box regarding COVID-19 and now a substantial minimum wage increase that will be hitting us in January. I respect the voters decision on the wage increase and will work to not only honor the increase, but will celebrate it. I hope to remain a business leader working with others to help navigate the new wage increase.