As attorney Paul Sonn, who defended the living wage ordinance, said "Its one of the first appeals court rulings that addresses a local wage ordinance. Its a sweeping confirmation that cities have the power to raise wages to protect local workers. Its a real important ruling. It will be looked to across the country."
Remember, though, the fight to raise workers' wages always faces incredibly steep odds. New Mexico is one of the poorest states in the nation, and yet, even there corporate interests are willing to openly fight tooth and nail to stop any wage increases, whether it means going to court as with the Santa Fe example, or spending gobs of cash to defeat minimum wage ballot initiatives.
You may recall, corporate interests narrowly defeated Albuquerque city councilman Martin Heinrich's (D) effort to raise the minimum wage in his city a few months ago. National right-wing outfits like the so-called "Employment Policies Institute" (which is funded by corporate interests) got heavily involved, spreading all sorts of lies and half-truths in an effort to hide the clearly positive effects of living/minimum wage laws have on local economies.
This is exactly the kind of right-wing nonsense the Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) is going to fight. It is why PLAN was created in the first place - to support those state legislators who are going to fight against all of the corrupt, bought-off public policies that are bleeding working people dry. With the money-drenched politicians in Washington, D.C. still refusing to support a federal minimum wage increase, it is time to take our battle to the states. Today's court ruling - along with the courageous efforts of some other states - should give us hope that at the state and local level we can prevail.
New Mexico Court of Appeals rejects effort to terminate Santa Fe's living wage:
Corporate interests narrowly defeat Albuquerque's minimum wage referendum:
The "Employment Policies Institute" is a corporate-backed front group:
"Employment Policies Institute" spreads lies/half-truths about wages:
The clearly positive economic impact of minimum/living wage laws:
ALEC's model bills:
Georgia's governor preempts Atlanta's living wage efforts:
The Progressive Legislative Action Network:
Courageous efforts of other states on wages: