Minimum Wage

COPS/Metro Alliance

It started as an experiment - community organizing in San Antonio's low income, underserved neighborhoods. It ended up shaking up the city - and giving voice to the many forgotten working families in the city. People who didn't have drainage, paved streets or sidewalks, people who lacked access to water and even less access to economic opportunities. For the last 40 years Communities Organized for Public Service COPS was at the center of many of the fights at city hall, but does the city today still need COPS?


Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

The same day the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) was scheduled to launch a campaign to push the city to raise pay for 3000 to $15 an hour, city officials proposed raising the hourly pay to $13 across the board.

The city budget for the next fiscal year is introduced this week. 

COPS/Metro Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group based in San Antonio, has been trying to get the wage lifted to this rate for more than a year. They first pushed at the County Level last summer.  

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 since 2009. That amount, or something less for exempted positions, is what 3.3 million Americans earn per her hour across the country. Many believe it is time to raise the minimum wage to a livable wage, or a wage that raises a person out of poverty. 

Providence Public Library (

Last week the City of Houston adopted a strict ordinance that will disqualify businesses found guilty of criminal wage theft from city contracts or from operating in the city.  Officials have said criminal convictions rare in these instances, but the city contends it makes a powerful statement.

Flickr user Trisha Weir / cc

In the first segment:

An Ohio Wal-Mart is having a food drive so that needy employees can have a good Thanksgiving. McDonald's has a phone resource line directing its full-time employees to public services like food pantries, SNAP, and heating assistance.