CNN: Minimum wage activists look to 2020 ballots after midterm success

By Caroline Kelly
CNN, November 9, 2018

...Voters in both Arkansas and Missouri, two states that went strongly for President Donald Trump in 2016, passed ballot initiatives to increase the state minimum wage during Tuesday's midterm elections.

Initiatives in Florida, Nevada and North Dakota are already in the works for the presidential ballot in 2020. ...Minimum wage ballot initiatives have also won handily in red and purple states, such as South Dakota, Nebraska and Arizona, in the past two election cycles.

Feet on the ground

More than 700 Missouri businesses supported the measure and 25 Arkansas businesses and community organizations supported the wage increases.

"Every part of mobilizing the campaign was through the coalition-- faith organizations, nonprofits, and businesses," said Kristin Foster, campaign director of Arkansans for a Fair Wage, the local organizer for the measure. ...

Opponents in Missouri echoed concerns that the pay bump would lead to fewer jobs and hours for workers. ...

But Lew Prince, founder and former co-owner of St. Louis record store Vintage Vinyl, argued that a wage increase for low wage workers would actually help state businesses by going right back into the local economy.

"Workers are customers," said Prince, who campaigned for the Missouri ballot measure with the advocacy group Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. "Increasing the minimum wage is a great way to boost small business and the economy, because low wage workers turn right around and spend their much needed wages -- they spend them on Main Street." ...

Wages on the ballot in 2020?

... "The lesson of 2018 for us is that we can run initiatives in dark red states," [Jonathan] Schleifer [executive director of The Fairness Project], said. "People were skeptical of Missouri and Arkansas for the minimum wage. What we proved this cycle is that even during one of the most partisan political cycles, voters want to do what's right."

Read more

Copyright 2018 Cable News Network

Share +