Mayor Taylor Addresses Gov. Chris Christie’s Veto of the $15 Minimum Wage Increase

Credits: John Henry - SOTI

EAST ORANGE, NJ - Gov. Chris Christie got it wrong.

On Tuesday, August 30, 2016, days before the nation recognizes Labor Day,  a federal holiday created by the labor movement to celebrate the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country, Gov. Christie denied a living wage to thousands of hardworking New Jerseyans with his veto of the $15 minimum wage bill.

The bill proposed to increase the state's minimum wage in yearly increments, reaching up to $15 an hour by 2021. Gov. Christie called such an increase "radical," but residents may disagree. In 2013, voters agreed to a wage hike to address the high cost of living in the state of New Jersey, and I believe that these same voters are anxious for another opportunity to voice their support for a fair and livable wage for working families.

Sign Up for E-News

Although an increase to the minimum wage has never been intended to be a fix-all solution, it is the responsibility of good government to create legislation so that every citizen has the tools to become economically self-sufficient. In communities much like East Orange, men and women are working 40 or more hours a week, only to struggle to make an income of $17,400. That's several thousand dollars below the federal poverty threshold for a family of three and an amount nearly impossible to live on without substantial federal assistance.

In New Jersey, municipalities have already taken action where Gov. Christie has refused to do so. In January, East Orange was the first in the state to increase the municipal minimum wage across the board. Working with our largest labor union, Communication Workers of America (CWA), we negotiated a contract through collective bargaining that provides a fair and livable wage of $15 an hour for union members to support themselves and loved ones.

Neighboring communities in Essex County such as Bloomfield, which passed a resolution to increase its own municipal minimum wage to $15 an hour, are making similar gains. These negotiated agreements and policies set a local precedent and demonstrate unified support for good government. As illustrated in Benjamin Barber's groundbreaking book If Mayors Ruled the World, my peers and I are sharing the best of urban practices and representing the new paradigm of governance in our country. We are embodying Barber's theory that cities can collectively impact global change.  

It has taken far too long for our leaders to have a real conversation about the economic disparity facing millions of Americans every day. Now is the time for solutions; not promises or ideological pandering about the role of government. The $15 minimum wage bill may have been defeated, but our ongoing efforts to fight for the rights of working families in New Jersey - whether it be at the local or state level - must carry on.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

East Orange/Orange

Man Charged with Crashing Truck into East Orange Planned Parenthood Clinic

February 18, 2018

EAST ORANGE, NJ - Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino and East Orange Public Safety Director Sheliah Coley announced Friday that Marckles Alcius, 31, with a last known address in Lowell, Massachusetts, has been charged with carrying out a truck attack on the Planned Parenthood East Orange Health Clinic on February 14, 2018, using a stolen bakery delivery truck.

Alcius has ...

Mayor Green and the City of East Orange Hosts A Black History Debate

February 19, 2018

EAST ORANGE, NJ - Mayor Ted R. Green, East Orange City Council and Department of Recreation & Cultural Affairs will host a reenactment of the age-old debate between Booker T. Washington and Dr. W.E.B. DuBois on Thursday February 22, 2018 at the East Orange Campus High School Auditorium.

The debate which pits those in favor of Washington’s philosophy of self-help and racial solidarity ...

Essex County Freeholders Celebrate African-American History Month

February 22, 2018

NEWARK, NJ – At its 2018 African-American History Month Celebration on Wednesday at the Hall of Records in Newark, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders commemorated the heritage, culture, resilience, and spirit of the African-American community.

Brendan Gill, board president and Freeholder At-Large, first acknowledged African-American contributions, both past and present, in ...

Procrastinating About Keeping Up to Date on Your Data Entry

Last time we talked about maintaining good records and saving receipts; this time we’ll focus on why you should not procrastinate on your data entry.

Taxes are on a pay-as-you-go basis. You owe taxes every quarter on your earnings minus your expenses. If you’re not doing your bookkeeping as needed, including reconciliation of accounts and closing out accounts, then you’re ...

Not Saving All Receipts and Keeping Good Records

We talked last time a little bit about overstating income and not counting the deductions that you can. We also talked a bit about receipts. But, it’s so important that we’re going to bring it up again here.

Keeping receipts and keeping good records is an important thing to do for your business because it’s going to make a lot of difference when you look at your financial ...

Cheating Yourself Out of Money

Do you have a system in place for saving relevant receipts for your business? If not, you need to get one. One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is avoiding saving receipts in an organized manner, which forces them to end up not deducting what could be deducted. This can cause you to overstate your business income, and consequently, you’ll end up paying more taxes.

The best ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, February 26, 6:00 PM

Lincoln Avenue School Gymnasium , Orange

Football Lovers, the Season Is Not Over: Orange ...



Thu, March 1, 6:00 PM

Lincoln Avenue School Gymnasium , Orange

Football Lovers, the Season Is Not Over: Orange ...