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Ensuring Communities’ Ability to Advocate for Equity

The expert testimony, research, scholarship, and lived experience collected by the Commission revealed the following:

  • In July 2015, Governor Jay Nixon vetoed HB 722, a bill that would have, among other things, prevented cities from raising employment benefits above state and federal standards (Missouri House of Representatives, 2015). Governor Nixon noted:“House Bill No. 722 is a clear example of unwarranted government intrusion – in this case, interference with the policymaking of local governments and the abandonment of the principle of local control… Because I support local control, I will not approve House Bill No. 722” (Nixon, 2015).
  • Estimates place the hourly living wage in the St. Louis region roughly between $10 for a single adult to $30 for a family of one working adult and three children (Glasmeier, 2015).
  • The threshold for minimum wage is set at the federal level at $7.25, but states have the right to create legislation above this standard. Missouri’s minimum wage beginning is currently $7.65.
  • Collective bargaining, is the practice of organizing workers into a single voice, usually in the form of a labor union, to advocate on the behalf of their colleagues in negotiations with employers. Research has shown the impact of deunionization:
    • “From 1973 to 2011, the share of the workforce represented by unions declined from 26.7 percent to 13.1 percent” (Mishel, 2012).
    • “Deunionization explains about three-fourths of the expanded wage gap between white- and blue-collar men and over a fifth of the expanded wage gap between high school– and college-edu­cated men from 1978 to 2011” (Mishel, 2012).
    • “Deunionization can explain about a third of the entire growth of wage inequality among men and around a fifth of the growth among women from 1973 to 2007 (Mishel, 2012).

These factors promoted the Commission to affirm the ability of local governments and workers to advocate for equity.

To that end, the Commission issues the calls to action found below. 

Take Action

Support increased access to care

Contact your local state legislator to express your support for Medicaid expansion. Join local or state advocacy organizations to get involved.

Tags Opportunity to ThriveIncreasing Access to Care
Take Action 

Suggested Reading List


  1. Barclay, T. (2015). Mid-Missouri Organizations and Residents React to HB 722 Veto. KOMU-8. Retrieved from:
  2. Corrigan, D. (2015). State vs. Local Control. Webster-Kirkwood Times. Retrieved from:
  3. “Here are Two Bills that Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri should Veto.” (2015). The Kansas City Star. Retrieved from:


  1. Aaronson, D., & French, E. (2013). How does a federal minimum wage hike affect aggregate household spending? (Chicago Fed Letter). The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Retrieved from:
  2. Allegretto, S., Doussard, M., Graham-Squire, D., Jacobs, K., Thompson, D., & Thompson, J. (2013). Fast Food, Poverty Wages. The Public Cost of Low-Wage Jobs in the Fast-Food Industry. Retrieved from:
  3. Belman, D., & Wolfson, P. J. (2014). The New Minimum Wage Research. Employment Research Newsletter, 21(2), 2.
  4. Card, D., & Krueger, A. B. (1994). Minimum wages and employment:A case study of the fast food industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from:
  5. Dube, A. (2013). Minimum wages and the distribution of family incomes. A Paper Series Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 172.
  6. Dube, A., Lester, T. W., & Reich, M. (2010). Minimum wage effects across state borders:Estimates using contiguous counties. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 92(4), 945–964.
  7. Dube, A., Naidu, S., & Reich, M. (2007). The economic effects of a citywide minimum wage. Industrial & Labor Relations Review, 60(4), 522–543.
  8. Fuller, S. S., Bedsole, P., & Nystrom, S. (2014). The Impact of Raising the Minimum Wage on the Maryland Economy. Annapolis, MD:The Maryland Foundation for Research & Economic Education.
  9. Glasmeier, A. (2015). The Living Wage Calculator, “St. Louis City.” Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved from:
  10. Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon. (2015). To the secretary of state of the state of Missouri. Office of the Governor. Retrieved from:
  11. Mishel, L. (2012). Unions, inequality, and faltering middle-class wages. Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved from:
  12. Missouri House of Representatives. (2015). HB 722. Retrieved from:
  13. Neumark, D. (2012). Should Missouri Raise the Minimum Wage? St. Louis, MO:Show-Me Institute.
  14. Neumark, D., & Wascher, W. (1995). The Effect of New Jersey’s Minimum Wage Increase on Fast-Food Employment:A Re-Evaluation Using Payroll Records (Working Paper No. 5224). Cambridge, MA:National Bureau of Economic Research.
  15. Nixon, J. W. (2015). Letter to the Secretary of State of the state of Missouri. Retrieved from:
  16. Potter, N. (2006). Earnings and Employment:The Effects of the Living Wage Ordinance in Santa Fe, New Mexico. University of New Mexico. Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Retrieved from
  17. Reich, M., Jacobs, K., & Bernhardt, A. (2014). Local Minimum Wage Laws:Impacts on Workers, Families and Businesses. UC Berkeley. Retrieved from
  18. Reich, M., & West, R. (2014). The Effects of Minimum Wages on SNAP Enrollments and Expenditures. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from:
  19. Stigler, G. J. (1946). The economics of minimum wage legislation. The American Economic Review, 358–365.
  20. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014). Occupational employment statistics. U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved from:
  21. U.S. Congressional Budget Office. (2014). The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income. Retrieved from
  22. U.S. Department of Labor. (2015). Minimum Wage Laws in the States – Wage and Hour Division (WHD) – U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved from: