Council salary raise is big deal for hard hit community

‘Small percentage’ would go far with neighborhood services

Minimum wage advocates were fighting for “$15 NOW,” but city council members did not see it that way; they gave workers $15 an hour in five years. But when council members gifted themselves a $10,000 raise, which will give them each a salary of $100,000, they will get it now, not in five years. Why? Well, times are tough, life is expensive; the price of everything keeps going up. Council members wanted their raise now. Now can they see how unfair they have been?

Council members claim it is no big deal because “the raise is such a small percentage of the city budget,” Star Tribune. Many young Somali American students need after-school tutoring and the East Lake Street Library offers it, but the library closes at 5 pm on many nights — I am told because of a lack of funds to keep the East Lake Library open later a few more nights of the week.

Extending library hours would give these students of color somewhere to go to get help. The funds would be “such a small percentage of the city budget.” What “small percentage of the city budget” is most important, getting the council members a $100,000 a year salary or getting kids a safe place to learn?

Gift yourself a raise, but don’t try to justify it.

 

Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.