Flagstaff’s minimum wage law of 2016 that gave workers incremental raises capped in 2022 is under a severe, determined and well-funded campaign of propaganda and fear.
“Yes of 418” signs blanketing the city proclaim: “Keep Flagstaff Affordable and Working.” Affordable for whom? And working for what?—a reduced wage set to the state level, which the passage of Yes on 418 would do. How cruel is that?
Those behind the move to undo the Flagstaff minimum wage law want us to believe that the law is a disaster for everyone and everything, from skyrocketing prices to out of control healthcare costs to the unaffordability of seniors to retire comfortably in Flagstaff. There’s no evidence to support any of this; the real intent behind such propaganda is to turn back the clock on low wage earners, who saw a glimmer of hope of receiving a living wage in Flagstaff with the passage of 2016 law.
As shown on a list of contributors to Yes on 418, the website of “Flagstaff Needs a Raise” reveals the biggest single contributor by far was a Phoenix based non-profit group called American Encore, which has ties to the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity. American Encore gave nearly $18,000 to fund the passage of Prop 418. The outside influence on this issue is a serious and nefarious undertaking; and the candidates running for the city council who support the efforts to undo the law need to consider what their views mean for the thousands of low-wage employees here. Little if anything has been said about them, or on the positive effect of greater spending power of higher wage earners on the local economy.
While there is no doubt that legitimate concerns of small businesses and organizations, including non-profits, need addressing, the higher priority, I believe, is in following the wishes of the voters who spoke loudly in 2016. Passage of Prop 418 would be a giant regressive step for a city that tries to look out for its own.
Vote No on Prop 418.