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Minimum Wage Working Group

On May 20th, 2014, Mayor Emanuel established the Minimum Wage Working Group to develop a balanced plan to increase the minimum wage in Chicago. The Group was tasked with evaluating options for both short and long-term wage increases for Chicago’s workers. The group of business, labor, advocacy and elected leaders on the working group have developed a plan that ensures Chicago can move forward with a balanced proposal that gives a boost to all workers, small business owners and the City. The Mayor asked that the group study other wage increase plans pursued by other cities to create a proposal that includes a real wage increase for all minimum wage employees in the short term; accounts for cost of living increases by tying future increases to inflation; and covers tipped employees.

On July 8th, 2014, the Working Group submitted its final report recommending that the City establish a minimum wage of $13 by 2018. This increase would raise wages for approximately 410,000 workers and add $800 million to Chicago’s economy over four years. The full report is available HERE.


Public Engagement Process

The Mayor requested that the Working Group facilitate for robust public input and deliver a final report in July. To solicit input, the Working Group hosted a series of public meetings on the following dates:

  • Monday, June 9, at Kennedy-King College (6301 S Halsted St), 7-9pm.
  • Thursday, June 12th, Malcolm X College (1900 W Van Buren St), 7-9pm.
  • Thursday, June 19th, Truman College (1145 W Wilson Ave), 7-9pm.
  • Tuesday, June 24th, Arturo Velazquez Institute (2800 S. Western), 7-9pm.
  • Thursday, June 26th, Roberto Clemente Community Academy (1147 N Western Ave), 7-9pm.

Working Group Members

The Minimum Wage Working Group is chaired by John Bouman, President, Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law, and Will Burns, Alderman of the 4th Ward. Members include:

  • Deborah Bennett, Senior Program Officer, Polk Bros. Foundation
  • Matt Brandon, SEIU Local 73
  • Carrie Austin, Alderman, Alderman of the 34th Ward and Chairman of the City Council Committee on the Budget and Government Operations
  • Walter Burnett, Alderman of the 27th Ward and Chairman of the City Council Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety
  • Sol Flores, Executive Director, La Casa Norte
  • Theresa Mintle, CEO, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
  • Emma Mitts, Alderman of the 37th Ward and Chairman of the City Council Committee on License and Consumer Protection
  • Joe Moore, Alderman of the 49th Ward and Chairman of the City Council Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation
  • Ameya Pawar, Alderman of the 47th Ward
  • Maria Pesqueira, Mujeres Latinas en Accion
  • Ariel Reboyras, Alderman of the 30th Ward and Chairman of the City Council Committee on Human Relations
  • JoAnn Thompson, Alderman of the 16th Ward
  • Sam Toia, President, Illinois Restaurant Association
  • Tanya Triche, Vice President and General Council, Illinois Retail Merchants Association
  • Andrea Zopp, President and CEO, Chicago Urban League