Week 14: Hero – Governor Jerry Brown

by George_East on April 24, 2016

US_HeroThe Hero of the Week Award for Week 14 went to Democratic Governor of California, Jerry Brown (and the Democratic controlled legislature)

I am Governor Jerry Brown, my aura smiles, but never frowns….’

So goes the first line of California Uber Alles the blistering first single from West Coast Hard Core legends, The Dead Kennedys. The song, an attack on smug liberal complacency, was directed at then governor Jerry Brown’s administration.   In one of the most extraordinary come backs in American political history, Jerry Brown, who served as Governor of California from 1974-1982 (being elected at the age of 36) returned to the Governor’s office in 2010 and is now the longest serving governor in Californian history, continuing to have very high approval ratings.

But it is not for his historical significance or his reference in one of the great American punk records for which he wins our weekly Hero award. The reason he wins the award is rather that California passed one of the best minimum wage laws in the United States, requiring the minimum wage to be raised by increments from its current $10 per hour to $15 per hour in 2022 (this compares to a federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

The law passed the California legislature on a party line vote, having been introduced to the Assembly by Brown’s administration.

$15 per hour in 6 years time may seem instinctively low from European eyes. For the United States it is truly remarkable.

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