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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The ‘Raise the Wage’ Coalition in Los Angeles: Framing Opportunity Against Corporate Power


Over the last six years, the “Raise the Wage” coalition has campaigned for raising the minimum wage and reducing the prevalence of wage-theft in Los Angeles. This campaign was successful with the passage of ordinance #183612 on June 10th, 2015, which set the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by the year 2020. More recently, the coalition successfully campaigned for a similar ordinance at the county-level. Despite the success of the “Raise the Wage” coalition in Los Angeles, opponents of these ordinances advanced powerful rhetorical frames of how minimum wage and labor enforcement harms small business. This policy brief examines these frames to better conceptualize possible responses to the counter-mobilization of employers against minimum wage. Additionally, the brief outlines how the coalitions may use this momentum to address other labor issues while offering strategies for similar campaigns across the country.

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