Hannah Michelle Bussa
A new collective, Power of People Omaha, is working to get the minimum wage raised to $15 in Douglas County.
“It was started by a few workers in Omaha who were tired of feeling underrepresented and their interests always being disposable,” they said as a collective.
They said it felt like a slap in the face when they were told what they do and don’t deserve while they put hard labor into jobs to survive and provide for their families.
“We saw we couldn’t rely on our elected officials to make changes for our workers on a grand scale, so we decided to take matters into our own hands,” they said. “We currently have five people working on this campaign on a significant basis and we are hoping for 50 more by the start of summer.”
Raise the Wage Nebraska, a coalition of Nebraska partners and advocates, is also working on a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026 for the entire state of Nebraska. Nebraska Appleseed is part of this coalition.
“We are actually working very closely with Nebraska Appleseed and the coalition on their statewide initiative and they are doing the same for us,” Power of People Omaha said.
These groups are collaborating and working on both ballot initiatives together.
“Our initiative is almost identical to the statewide initiative,” Power of People Omaha said. “The only difference is ours covers tipped workers and adds them in the fight for $15.”
Power of People Omaha’s campaign kick-off event is on Saturday, Oct.16 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Culxr House.
“People can expect live performances, free food and drinks, speakers, education on $15 minimum wage and opportunities to sign up for volunteer opportunities for signature collections,” they said.
The group encourages people to come to the event and learn more about opportunities to work on this campaign.
“If you want to be a part of something huge that would benefit tens of thousands of people in Omaha, this is for you,” they said. “If you want to get your foot in the door through the political process and handling initiatives, this is for you. If you are ready to learn and want to find out more on the minimum wage, this is for you.”