Austin City Council Passes Living Wage Requirement for Economic Incentives to Community Acclaim

Austin Interfaith applauds the Austin City Council for adopting a $15 an hour living wage floor requirement as a key feature of its expanded Economic Development Incentive Program.

Says David Guarino of All Saints Episcopal Church, “Austin Interfaith recognizes Mayor Steve Adler, City Manager Spencer Cronk and the members of the City Council for hearing and acting on our concerns.”

“Austin Interfaith is especially appreciative of Council Members Greg Casar and Sabino ‘Pio’ Renteria for co-sponsoring the amendment that guaranteed living wage requirements for firms receiving incentives.”  Mayor Adler and Councilmembers Flanagan, Kitchen and Pool spoke in favor living wages as a key community value for Austin.  Mayor ProTem Kathie Tovo and Council Member Pool thanked community leaders for working with the council and city staff on the new policy.

Austin Interfaith, an organization of 37 local congregations, schools, nonprofits and labor organizations, worked hard to ensure that the City Council required living wages for employees of firms receiving future tax incentives.

“Tonight, the Austin City Council has set a national standard for urban economic incentive programs by recognizing that people deserve the dignity of a living wage from employers who receive economic incentives,” Guarino.

Austin Interfaith has worked years to encourage the city toward the $15 an hour living wage standard for city-subsidized companies.

Said Reverend Sandy Jones from Mount Olive Baptist Church, “Austin Interfaith also applauds City Manager Cronk for recommending a $15 an hour living wage floor for city employees and contractors as part of the city’s budget process.”

Support Your Local and Small Businesses, Austin Chronicle

Council Set to Approve Incentive Plan to Help Local, Small Business, CBS Austin

Council Considers Which Strings to Attach to Corporate Incentives, Austin Monitor

Video of Austin Interfaith Testimony