Sierra Jackovics and Milan Adaea Zavolta
We worked together this semester for One Fair Wage (OFW), a national organization started by UC Berkeley’s Saru Jayaraman seeking to end the subminimum wage for tipped workers, which is federally only at $2.13. Aside from addressing income inequality, OFW’s mission also mitigates sexual harassment in the workplace. Not only does the restaurant industry (home to most subminimum-wage tipped workers) face the highest rate of sexual harassment than any other industry, but full wages with tips on top are the best way to reduce
sexual harassment since workers do not have to tolerate it (or even encourage it) to make a living wage in tips. Over the course of the semester, we both closely collaborated with each other to complete many tasks for Lenore Goldman, the Policy and Legislative Coordinator at OFW. We made a master 2022 Election Calendar for all 25 priority states OFW will be campaigning in; conducted subminimum wage research by each state for various sub-groups like students, workers with disabilities, and farmworkers; put together democratic candidate spreadsheets for US Congress, State Executive, and State Legislature races happening in priority states with upcoming primary elections; and crafted/sent out candidate questionnaires for all of those candidates who are uncontested Democrats asking about their support for OFW initiatives. Overall, while this work was very nitty-gritty, it was rewarding to know we produced tangible tools that Saru herself and the rest of the OFW organization will use to drive forward large-scale policy change across numerous states in the U.S. This partnership allowed us to participate in working toward a better, more equitable food system for not just farm and
restaurant workers, but all low-wage workers who are forced to survive in America without a living wage at all.