Jane Kim understands that a growing inequality gap threatens to drive low-income and middle class families out of our region. According to Brookings Institute, in San Francisco, the average household income for the top 5% is $383,202, while the bottom 20% has an average household income of $26,366.
Jane feels the City is at the point where it’s not a matter of talking about the rich and the poor – it’s a divide between the ultra-wealthy and everyone else. Teachers, fire fighters, small business owners, dentists and other working class San Franciscans are being priced out at a faster rate.
Jane is dedicated to closing the income gap. She authored the Minimum Wage Ordinance ballot measure to increase San Francisco’s minimum wage to $15/hour. This is the most progressive wage increase in the country and was passed overwhelmingly in November 2014.
Organized labor has been a constant vanguard when it comes to social justice and progressive policies. In the Bay Area alone, our history has been enriched by the work of labor champions such as Harry Bridges, with his personal and public battles with the U.S. government for fair immigration policies, eradicating anti-miscegenation laws and workers’ rights to Pam Tau Lee and her pioneering advocacy to make workplace safety – especially in hazardous occupations, as well as in workplaces dominated by workers of color – recognized as an environmental justice issue.
Jane spearheaded several pieces of workers’ rights legislation during her first term on the Board of Supervisors. This included the Fair Chance Act which reformed the use of criminal background checks in employment and housing.
Jane also authored the Job Security for Hospitality Workers legislation that protects hospitality workers in restaurants, concessions and hotels from being summarily dismissed in the event of a change in ownership or management. The legislation allowed workers to keep their jobs for 90 days to give them the opportunity to showcase their skills to the new management or to secure new employment.
Before Jane’s legislation, there was no existing San Francisco law protecting the jobs of over 84,000 hospitality workers in this multibillion-dollar industry. When the industry as a whole is succeeding, the workers should be protected and afforded the opportunity to also thrive.
Protecting Local Manufacturers
In order to sustain a stable middle class in San Francisco, Jane Kim calls for protecting local manufacturers. Many of San Francisco’s production, distribution and repair businesses – like plumbing supply stores or furniture makers – are being forced out of the City. These businesses support good blue collar jobs that are crucial to protecting the middle class.
This year, Jane Kim proposed Proposition X, which would protect space for manufacturing, artist and community uses amid the development boom. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved it 7 to 4 to place it on the ballot in November 2016.
Fair Sharing Economy
The Fair Sharing Economy makes sure that as one part of San Francisco succeeds, we all share the benefits. It includes an Ultra Luxury Housing Fee that will increase by 0.25% the transfer tax paid on buildings, luxury homes and condos that sell for more than $5 million and by 0.5% for property selling for more than $25 million.
The revenue will be used to improve services, develop new affordable housing and help house homeless families. And this revenue will allow San Francisco to make City College free once again.