City Council: Johnson Calls for Raise in Minimum Wage; Jones Introduces Commerce Hearing Resolution

Johnson Supports Minimum Wage Increase

Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson introduced a resolution “urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to act on Governor Shapiro’s call to raise the state minimum wage to $15 (per hour.)”

The resolution cites Philadelphia’s status as the poorest big city in America, with a poverty rate of 23%, and the fact that the minimum wage in Pennsylvania has not been increased since 2009, when it was raised to $7.25 per hour as the rationale for the increase.

Since the 2009 increase, the Consumer Price Index has risen by almost 40%, making the $7.25 figure worth less now than it was in 2009, creating a serious chasm between the cost-of-living and economic conditions in 2023. When compared to other American cities, Philadelphia has the fourth-lowest minimum wage when considering the cost-of-living.

According to the resolution, rents have increased in Philadelphia by 8.5% from 2021 to 2022 alone, which is, on average, a $197 per month increase for renters. Rents have increased by 19% since 2018.

Councilmember Johnson compared Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to bordering states, saying Pennsylvania is behind it’s neighbors and that a raise is overdue.

“As of this moment, Pennsylvania is one of 20 states nationwide with a minimum wage of no higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, which was set 14 years ago in 2009,” Johnson said. “Every state that borders Pennsylvania has already raised its minimum wage.”

Jones Calls for Commerce Hearing

Councilmember Curtis Jones introduced a resolution authorizing the committee on Commerce and Economic Development to hold a hearing regarding “the progress and backlog of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certifications in the region in anticipation of increased capital projects coming from the City of Philadelphia, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the School District of Philadelphia.”

Defined as a business that is 51% owned by a disadvantaged community, the city’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goal is 35%. Included in the DBE definition are “minorities, women, those who are economically disadvantaged, and disabled individuals.”

According to the resolution, businesses that obtain DBE certifications are able to access opportunities otherwise unavailable. With increased capital funding in the upcoming fiscal year, the current backlog of DBE applications can be remediated, and new applications can be expedited.

Legislation Passed by City Council

Resolution No. 230193

Authorizing the Philadelphia Land Bank to dispose of 911, 913, 915, 919, 921, 923, 925 W. Auburn Street located in the 5th Councilmanic District in accordance with the terms of Chapter 16-700 of The Philadelphia Code. Click here to learn more.

Resolution No. 230194

Declaring March 18, 2023 “Public Defender and Participatory Defense Day” in the City of Philadelphia to honor the dedicated work that the Defender Association of Philadelphia and Participatory Defense Hubs do for Philadelphians. Click here to learn more.

Resolution No. 230199

Authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to execute and deliver to the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority deeds conveying fee simple title to 3903 Wallace Street in the Third Councilmanic District of the City of Philadelphia and further authorizing the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority to transfer to the Philadelphia Land Bank fee simple title to such properties pursuant to Section 16-405 of The Philadelphia Code. Click here to learn more.

Bill No. 220517-AA

Authorizing the installation, ownership, and maintenance of various encroachments in the vicinity of 1 Convention Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104, under certain terms and conditions. Click here to learn more.

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