Evanston’s Human Services Committee voted unanimously Monday night to postpone action on a proposal to hike the minimum wage and eliminate the lower tipped wage until October.

Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th) said she believed the wage hike “can certainly work” but that having it apply in Evanston but not in neighboring Skokie and Wilmette would disadvantage restaurants here.

Ald. Juan Geracaris (9th) said he would support the wage hike if it applied at the state level. “But we’re not operating in a vacuum,” he added, saying he’s already heard from at least one business owner that would possibly move of Evanston if the rules were imposed here.

Krissie Harris.

Ald. Krissie Harris (2nd) said she’s “hearing all day from business owners” who feel that “we’re just nickel and diming them” with one one new rule after another.

“I also see that some people have to have three jobs just to live,” Harris added, but if the city loses businesses, then it will also lose jobs.

Devon Reid.

Ald. Devon Reid (8th), who proposed the wage hike, said Chicago is considering a similar measure and that enough aldermen there have indicated support for it that it is expected to pass by October.

Acting now, he said, would give Evanston the chance to be first.

But Harris said, “Being first comes with a lot of burdens. We’ve done a lot of firsts. I want to do the right thing, whether first or last, and don’t want to have to apologize for the decision we make.”

“If Chicago is going to make that move, we’re not that far away that we can’t pivot quickly,” she added.

Related: How pay minimums would compare under the wage-hike proposal

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *