Raise the Wage! 

    NBJWJ on the night of their victory passing our Min Wage Ordinance in the City of Sonoma


We are currently moving a regional campaign called Raise the Wage! to ensure no worker throughout the Bay Area is making less than $15/hour, a low bar for the high cost of living in this region of the country. San Francisco moved to $15/hr this year and it is already too low for workers in the North Bay! Help us ensure a better standard for workers across the North Bay. 

Scroll to the bottom to see our Reports and resources. 


Currently, we are working with the six city councils to pass our $15 Citywide Minimum Wage Ordinance

  1. Petaluma City Council         PASSED! 
  2. Sonoma City Council           PASSED! 
  3. Cotati City Council               Online petition to come         Download a copy of the petition HERE
  4. Santa Rosa City Council      Sign the petition HERE          Download a copy of the petition HERE
  5. Novato City Council             Sign the petition HERE          Download a copy of the petition HERE
  6. Sebastopol City Council      Sign the petition HERE          

For all other cities in Sonoma: 

Sign the online petition for the County of Sonoma here: 
Download a copy of the Sonoma County petition HERE
For all other cities in Marin: 
Sign the online petition for the County of Marin here: 
Download a copy of the Marin County petition HERE

What is included in our $15 Citywide Minimum Wage Ordinance?

1) Wage phase-in timeline:

             Oct 1, 2019 $12.75 an hour

             Oct 1, 2020 $15.00 an hour

2) Annual cost of living increase every year after $15 based upon the Bay Area Consumer Price Index (between 2.8% - 3.5%)

3) All workers employed 2 hours a week inside city limits are covered except for pre-established State exemptions (student learners and certain disabled workers; government workers including federal and state employees; and employees of public higher education and school districts)

4) No tip credit: an employer may not deduct tips or gratuity from an employee’s base hourly wage (This is based on CA law)

5) Collective bargaining opt-out: Unionized workers earning less that $15 an hour can choose to forego coverage and bargain for total compensation–including both wages and benefits–above $15 an hour (based on a majority vote of the workers)

6) Enforcement: Covered workers provided protection from retaliation and entitled to right of private action and attorney fees. City Councils have the authority to asses fines and liquidated damages or withold business licenses and permits. 

Our proposed ordinance is similar to the City of Cupertino (2016) and ordinances in 7 cities in Santa Clara County mandating $15 an hour minimum wage January 1, 2019. 

Hit the "Get Involved" button on the top right to join our campaign and hear about upcoming actions to Raise the Wage! 



Summary of NBJwJ's proposed Minimum Wage Ordinance for North Bay cities

Minimum Wage Fact Sheet

Minimum Wage Q & A

League of CA cities report: Local Minimum Wage Laws & the Challenge of Balancing Interests

UC Berkely Labor Center report: Estimated Impact of a Proposed Minimum Wage Law for the North Bay


Background Information:

Comparison chart for 2.3 vs 3.5 CPI HERE

Chart of Living Wage Increases HERE

CPI Indices for Western regions HERE

For NBJwJ's Minimum Wage Fact Sheet, Q&A, and other materials, click HERE



To Make Housing Affordable Raise Wages
By Martin J. Bennett
The Press Democrat
Friday, March 22, 2019


Why adopt $15 by 2020 and Bureau of Labor Statistics Bay Area CPI?

 1) $15 by 2020 is essential because the rent can’t wait. Raising the minimum wage is an essential component of a multi-faceted approach to making housing affordable for working people in the Sonoma Valley.

2) There is a displacement crisis among low income families and we need to provide increased income to these working families as soon as possible. Approximately 2000 workers will receive an annual wage increase of $2900 by 2020 when the Jobs with Justice proposal is phased in and when the CPI is applied the purchasing power of the minimum wage will not erode because the Bay Area CPI reflects the true cost of living in this expensive region.

3) Large companies (with more than 100 employees such as CVS, Staples, Safeway, Lucky’s, Jack in the Box, Whole Foods, Peet’s, Starbucks) employ more than half of the 2000 workers who will be covered in the City of Sonoma minimum wage and these employers are enjoying robust profits. Large employers can boost their wages to $15 by 2020. Small employers (with fewer than 25 employees) have an extra year to phase in to $15.

4) The Federal and state minimum wage has declined over time as neither is automatically adjusted for inflation. For the first time in California history the $15 by 2023 minimum wage bill approved by the legislature in 2016 has an automatic COLA for the entire state but this does not reflect the cost of living increase in the North Bay (or elsewhere in costly coastal California).

5) The annual CPI must reflect regional differences in the cost of living or else the new minimum will erode again over time.

6) Petaluma will pass a minimum wage ordinance likely by July 1st, 2019—and $15 by 2020 and the Bay Area CPI will be included in the ordinance (neither is controversial there). If Sonoma implements anything less than $15 by 2020, the city will be an outlier compared to other cities with minimum wage laws in the region. Experience elsewhere suggests that there are enforcement challenges if multiple cities in a region have different phase-in and wage levels.

7) Minimum wage legislation for the City of Sonoma should be consistent with City of Sonoma Living Wage Ordinance passed in 2004 that makes annual adjustments based upon the BLS Bay Area CPI. Please see the language and schedule for annual cost of living increases for city workers and workers covered by the City of Sonoma Living Wage law here: https://www.sonomacity.org/documents/current-living-wage-calculation/


Improving our Living Wage Ordinance in Sonoma County

We are currently working with the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to ensure the protection and advancement of the Living Wage Ordinance by increasing the amount of paid sick days. You can read the current Living Wage Ordinance here, and read more about why we believe our County should provide more paid sick days here: 

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors should add paid sick days - By Marty Bennett


More Resources: County of Sonoma Living Wage Ordinance

Calculating A Living Wage

Living Wage Documents

Living Wage Fiscal Impact Reports and Legislation

County of Sonoma Living Wage: Endorse and Sign Petition