Letter to Friends

Please copy and paste this boilerplate letter to spread the word by emailing your friends. Justice takes a village!


Dear Friends,

Those of us who care about income inequality have a rare chance to make a difference in our local community. On Tuesday, May 15, at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, Wilmette’s trustees will decide whether to reconsider their decision last summer not to follow Cook County’s minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinances. A big turnout is vital to let trustees know the community cares about this issue.

At 6:30 that evening we’ll also hold a rally and news conference in front of Village Hall to show our support.

Please come to the meeting and rally if you possibly can and also email the trustees at the following addresses (individual emails to each one have more of an impact than one mass email):

Senta Plunkett plunketts@wilmette.com

Julie Wolf wolfj@wilmette.com

George Pearce pearceg@wilmette.com

Kathy Dodd doddk@wilmette.com

Dan Sullivan sullivand@wilmette.com

Joel Kurzman kurzmanj@wilmette.com

Board President Bob Bielinski bielinskib@wilmette.com

You can also join us for a family friendly postcard-writing and poster-making party from 4-7 p.m. Friday, May 11 at the Park District Community Recreation Center. Pizza will be served.

Western Springs recently reversed its decision and is now complying with the Cook County ordinances as our Evanston, Winnetka, Kenilworth, Glencoe and Skokie neighbors are already doing. We can do the same.

For more detailed information, see below. Thanks so much for your help!

For those who want more information:

 On May 15, trustees will receive a final report from the Working Group they appointed to study minimum wage and paid sick leave. They’ll then decide whether they should vote again on this issue. Among the Working Group’s findings:

  • 1,347 workers in Wilmette, about one-fifth of all employees in the village, make less than $1,250 a month at their primary job. That’s well below a living wage in Cook County, according to an MIT study.
  • Between 70 and 80 percent of those low-wage workers in Wilmette are working to support families, and 250 live in the village.
  • In a survey commissioned by the Working Group in April, 66.4 percent of residents said they want Wilmette to adopt Cook County’s higher minimum wage ordinances. The telephone survey of 303 randomly selected adults also showed that 67 percent of residents support the county’s paid sick leave ordinances.
  • The current state minimum wage has been stuck at $8.25 an hour since 2010. In other words, it’s been losing value to inflation for 8 years.
  • The Cook County Board voted in 2016 to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour starting last July. The minimum wage then goes up $1 each year until it reaches $13 in 2020 after which it’s indexed for inflation. Workers under age 18, seasonal employees, independent contractors and people in training program are exempt from the law.
  • The Cook County sick leave ordinance allows workers to earn one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked to a maximum of 40 hours per year. Businesses that already offer the equivalent number of hours in paid time off don’t need to offer the sick leave.
  • Chicago, which passed similar minimum wage and paid sick leave laws in 2014, enjoyed higher job growth last year than nearby suburbs that opted out of the Cook County ordinances.

Wilmette trustees voted 6-1 last June not to follow the Cook County minimum wage ordinance and 5-2 not to follow the sick leave ordinance. Trustees said they wanted to study the issue further before deciding, which is why they appointed the Working Group, which consisted of village residents and business owners. Now let’s help the trustees decide to do the right thing.