Earlier this year, a coalition of labor and activist groups came together to form Lift Up Oakland with the goal of qualifying a measure for the November ballot that would raise the minimum wage in Oakland to $12.25 an hour, starting in March 2015. And the effort was an overwhelming success. The coalition quickly gathered more than 33,000 petition signatures — far more than it needed to qualify for the ballot. If voters pass the measure, Oakland will have the highest minimum wage in the East Bay, and low-income workers will see a collective wage increase of about $1 billion over the next five years. The measure is also tied to inflation, meaning that the minimum wage would increase each year to keep up with the cost of living. The new minimum wage also would be approximately equal to about $25,000 a year for those working 40 hours a week — an amount that experts say is a living wage for a single person working full-time in Oakland.
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