The Labor Coalition sent the following questions to all of the City Commission candidates in the upcoming March 15, 2016 election. Below are the responses that we received from City Commission District 4 candidate Adrian Hayes-Santos. Please be sure to get involved in this important City election!
- Do you support updating the current City of Gainesville Living Wage Ordinance so that it:
- Closes the current loopholes that allow contractors to pay their employees below a living wage?
Yes, I think that city contractors should pay a living wage to their employees. I’m running for Gainesville City Commission District 4 to protect our neighborhoods, promote an economically vibrant downtown, and preserve our natural environment. We set an example for the region, state, and nation in our community with our world-class higher education system, arts, culture, parks and green-spaces. These world-class amenities exist thanks to the hard work of our city employees and contractors. That’s why I believe it is essential that we invest in our workers and should make sure our contractors pay a living wage to their employees. As a city, we should be setting an example for a living wage, not creating loopholes and exemptions for select categories of businesses.
b. Applies to all city workers – both part-time and full-time?
Yes, all city workers should be paid a living wage. We’ve already seen Alachua County Board of County Commissioners and the University of Florida begin steps towards ensuring no one makes under $12/hour thanks in large part to the awareness and advocacy efforts of the Alachua County Labor Coalition. I believe the City of Gainesville needs to join two of its key partners in making sure all city workers are paid a living wage.
c. Increases the current rate to 125% of the Federal Poverty Level (currently $14.57/hour)?
Yes, this is one way that we can help alleviate the growing income inequality gap at the local level. Our policies need to reflect the current economic environment, not one from days long past. Implementation of those policies needs to be done in a way that gives our businesses time to adjust, but doesn’t give them so long that our residents suffer. I support increasing the living wage rate to 125% of the Federal Poverty Level and once on the city commission, will use my business experience to collaborate with businesses owners towards a path to reduce the income inequality in our community.
2. Do you support the Alachua County Labor Coalition’s campaign asking the 10 largest employers in Alachua County to pay a living wage of 125% of the Federal Poverty Level by 2020?
Yes, having our 10 largest employers pay a living wage will have a huge impact on the livelihood of thousands of employees and their families. With my background in business, I know first-hand the challenges of balancing payroll with the company’s bottom-line. Because of that experience as a past business owner, I know that investing in a team is a choice, and that raising wages doesn’t have to mean fewer jobs. In fact, raising wages often means those employees reinvest back in the company or in the community, making a business stronger and healthier. I support the Living Wage Campaign, and I want to collaborate with our 10 largest employers to implement our goal of bringing living wages to their employees and their families. I want those families to be economically empowered, not weighed down by living paycheck-to-paycheck as the wage gap continues to grow.