Petitions to raise minimum wage in Mahoning County fall short for ballot


A proposal, backed by a group of Youngstown Democrats, to increase the minimum wage in the city to $10.10 an hour, effective Jan. 1, has fallen short of the needed valid signatures to get on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The group turned in 1,751 signatures and needed 1,259 to be valid to be certified as a charter amendment proposal during the upcoming election.

However, the group is short by about 100 signatures, Thomas McCabe, Mahoning County Board of Elections deputy director, said Tuesday.

Board employees will double-check the petitions today, but it’s an almost certainty that the effort still won’t have enough valid signatures, McCabe said.

Jamael Tito Brown, director of programs and operations at the county treasurer’s office and a member of the committee that obtained the signatures, said he heard the effort fell short by about 200 valid signatures.

“This is the same initiative throughout the nation to give people a livable wage,” said Brown, the county Democratic Party’s vice chairman of minority affairs and a former city council president. “Youngstown has a 40 percent poverty rate, the sixth worst in the country. It’s time to start raising the bar in Youngstown. It’s something we need in the city.”

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