Legal advice often came out of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University's law school, where a lawyer named Paul Sonn helped write wage ordinances and ballot measures for various states and cities.
Paul Sonn, the lawyer at the Brennan Center at New York University who wrote the Santa Fe ordinance, had enlisted Sidney Rosdeitcher, a partner at Paul, Weiss, to be lead counsel for Santa Fe's defense.
The long-run trajectory, Paul Sonn
told me, is for cities and states to create enough pressure to ultimately force a raise on the federal level.
Or to put it another way, the hope is that raising wages across the U.S. will ultimately demonstrate to voters and to Washington lawmakers both the feasibility and the necessity of a significantly higher minimum wage.
In the meantime, Sonn
says, cities like Santa Fe play an important role in policy innovation, "really as sort of laboratories of economic democracy.
And it's why, also in December, Paul Sonn
was helping to write an ordinance for Lawrence Township, N.J., aimed at forcing the city's big-box retailers like Wal-Mart to pay a higher wage (more than $10 an hour) and to contribute a larger share of employee benefits.
Last month, Sonn
also pointed out to me that Santa Cruz, Calif., was considering plans to introduce a measure that would establish a minimum wage of $9.25 an hour.