That's what Nicholas Ivan Caleb did when the deadline for filing for Portland City Council got down to a few hours, and he saw no candidates addressing what he sees as the two intimately intertwined challenges facing the city: low wages and the rising cost of housing.
With rapidly rising rents and property taxes combined with stagnant wages, the working poor are being forced to the margins of the city at an unprecedented pace. A $15/hr living wage is essential if we're to start to deal with Portland's problem of wealth inequality. At the same time, communities must have legal powers to control what sorts of developments are welcome in their neighborhoods. While increasing affordable housing, we must also curtail rapidly rising rents. If we do not, the people who make Portland the friendly, vibrant, culturally rich place it is today will no longer be able to afford life in this city.At the press conference opening his campaign, Caleb laid down an aggressively progressive platform centered around the plank for raising the minimum wage in Portland from the second highest in the nation to $15 an hour.
Since Nicholas Caleb entered the race, Oregon candidates across the board have begun lining up behind him on this issue.
[incumbent] Saltzman’s opponent, Concordia University professor Nick Caleb, launched his campaign last month by calling for Portland’s lowest-wage workers to earn $15 an hour. Saltzman followed by participating in a rally Tuesday aimed, in part, at supporting a repeal of the state preemption.The Wall Street Journal has taken notice that the failure on the Federal level to raise the minimum wage has shifted the spotlight to the local level across the nation.
Nick Fish, who is also seeking re-election has said he would support a statewide push to raise the wage, as well as a push to remove the preemption.
Nick Caleb, a city council candidate in Portland, Ore., launched his campaign with a promise for a $15 wage floor, only to discover that the state with the second-highest minimum wage, at $9.10 an hour, forbids local standards. That hasn't stopped Mr. Caleb, who is now pitching a tax on businesses that pay less than $15 an hour.Nicholas Caleb outlines his plan for this low-wage business tax in his Blue Oregon column article--$15 How:
You could call this the reverse WalMart policy. Instead of big corporations paying employees so little that they have to rely on government services, you tax large corporate employers who won't pay $15/hr to subsidize our city's small businesses who would love to see their employees' quality of life improve..