Thanks to our economic success, Silicon Valley has grown to be a very expensive place to live. In 2015 & 2016, it has been a priority of the Cities Association of Santa Clara County on which Rod serves. In mid-2015, Mountain View and Sunnyvale were moving forward to raise the minimum wage. Rod heard from those concerned with the effects on small businesses and on loss of jobs for the working poor. He joined with the mayors of Campbell, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Monte Sereno, Palo Alto, San Jose and Santa Clara in calling for a county-wide study of impact on businesses, jobs, income and overall economy.

Rod was appointed as the Cities Association representative to the Minimum Wage Advisory Team, working alongside Matt Mahood of the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, Bob Brownstein of Working Partnerships and the economic development team of the City of San Jose to ensure that the study was fairly bid and the scope complete, and drove the addition of an employer survey.

Key findings of the study showed that increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019 in our County would:

  • Increase earnings for 250,000 workers
  • Raise average annual earnings of affected workers by 19.4 percent, or $3,200 (in 2014 dollars)
  • Increase average prices in Santa Clara County by 0.2 percent over three years Have a net effect on employment that is slightly negative at the county level (1,450 jobs) and close to zero at a 10 county regional level

  • The study assumed these steps, which land at $15 one year after Mountain View and Sunnyvale, and three years before the State of California, and this was the adopted recommendation of the Cities Association at its June 2016 meeting:
  • $12.00 on 1/1/2017
  • $13.50 on 1/1/2018
  • $15.00 on 1/1/2019
  • Minimum Wage Study Kicks Off - Mercury News Sept 17, 2015

    Read the September 3 2016 press release (download 1.8MB PDF)

    Read the presentation co-authored by Rod (download 1.0MB PDF)

    Read the joint June 16 2016 press release (download 1.8MB PDF)

    City of Cupertino's page with links to full study and survey