Director’s Corner : A Message from our Executive Director

Rents in Sunnyvale went up 40% in just three years!

It’s Time to Raise Sunnyvale’s Bottom Line!

Sunnyvale Community Services and community leaders have come together to support raising the minimum wage in Sunnyvale. The proposed ordinance will increase the minimum wage for workers in Sunnyvale to $10.15/hour, matching the minimum wage in San Jose, with increases tied to the annual Consumer Price Index. Sunnyvale City Council will vote on the planned ordinance in the coming months. If approved, the ordinance will make Sunnyvale the third Bay Area city, after San Jose and San Francisco, with a local minimum wage.

This is great news for low-income workers and for Sunnyvale’s economy!

At $10.15/hour, a full-time worker making minimum wage in Sunnyvale can earn $21,112.00 per year before taxes. This is above the new California State minimum wage of $9.00/hour effective July 1st.

The new minimum wage can’t come too soon for low-income workers. Average “fair market” rents in Sunnyvale are now $2,129 a month. Rents in Sunnyvale went up 40% in just three years! Housing Trust Silicon Valley calculated that it takes more than three current minimum wage jobs to afford housing and other basic needs in Santa Clara County.* One worker would have to work 155 hours a week, 52 weeks a year (no vacation, no time off for illness) to afford the current fair market rents in Silicon Valley. That leaves just 13 hours a week to sleep!

With rents this high, food becomes a luxury for low-wage earners. Many minimum wage earners participate in the weekly produce and monthly food programs at Sunnyvale Community Services.

The local increase from $9.00 to $10.15/hour can mean $184 more gross income every month for a full-time job. What can a Sunnyvale family do with that much money? After paying their taxes, the working poor have to spend it—right away—in the local community. Any increase in pay will go towards rent, utilities, food, gas and car repairs, shoes for their children, and maybe even a needed dental exam. Their purchases will generate local sales tax revenues in our community. Most importantly, they will have a chance to live in the community in which they work and keep food on the table for their family.

We hope that our community will support a local ordinance to increase the minimum wage to $10.15/hour and tied to the Consumer Price Index. If you’d like to show your support, we encourage you to contact members of the Sunnyvale City Council and let them know you support increasing the minimum wage here in Sunnyvale!

Once again, Sunnyvale is living up to its name as the “heart” of Silicon Valley!

*Source: Housing Trust Silicon Valley