The City of Las Cruces has approved NM CAFé’s minimum wage ordinance language, which means that they can begin to collect signatures to put a minimum wage increase on the ballot. It would increase the city's minimum wage to $10.10/hour by 2017.
CAFé first submitted their draft ordinance to the City of Las Cruces onApril 10, which was 49 days ago. After submitting several revisions as per City Attorney Harry “Pete” Connelley’s recommendations and meeting with city officials, the petitions were released Thursday. Faith leaders are gathering at 3:00 pm inside Las Cruces City Hall to be the first to sign the petitions.
“Our faith leaders and congregations are ready to begin gathering signatures,” stated Angelica Rubio, campaign manager. “We’ve been ready since May 1st, which was the target date to begin collecting signatures” she added.
Susan Fitzgerald, a congregation team leader stated, “I’m pleased that voters and my congregation in Las Cruces will finally get to participate in the democratic process and have their say in this issue. Our struggling, hardworking individuals and families have been waiting for this day. We’re one step closer to creating the city we want to live in, with an economy that works for all of us.”
CAFé met Wednesday night to assign shifts to collect signatures. Volunteers will be at the Farmer’s Market this Saturday, at their congregations on Sunday, and in their neighborhoods. Their goal is to collect 4,000 signatures in the next 24 days. CAFé must submit about 2,300 valid signatures for the minimum wage increase to be placed on the ballot, and is proposing a concurrent special election with the County in November.
Another minimum wage ordinance has been proposed by city councilors Miguel Silva and Ceil Levatino. It would increase the city's minimum wage to $8.50/hour by 2016.