Santa Cruz County is the 5th most expensive rental market in the country

Santa Cruz County is the fifth most expensive rental market in the country (National Low Income Housing Coalition). According to the 2014 Santa Cruz Community Assessment Project, 36.2% of all county households fall below the self-sufficiency standard (SSS) - this includes 63% of all Latino households compared to 26.2% of white households.

This reality means that thousands of county residents are juggling 2-3 jobs, struggling to care for their children, crammed into inadequate housing, trapped in vicious cycle of poverty and inequity. We are answering these harsh realities with a call to action for economic justice.

We are answering these harsh realities with a call to action for economic justice. 

Working for Dignity Study 

The Working for Dignity: Low-Wage Worker Study of Santa Cruz County survey produced by the UCSC Center for Labor Studies in 2015 revealed that workers in our county experience wage theft and other forms of discrimination on a regular basis. Workers do not necessarily know what rights they have on the job or are too afraid to demand their rights for fear of retaliation from their employer. The survey also showed that many workers experience wage theft, discrimination, health and safety risks, and retaliation. 

38%

of low wage workers did not receive overtime wages to which they were entitled to 

71%

of low wage workers report not getting breaks or not getting paid for breaks 

58%

of Latinos report report working overtime and not receiving overtime pay, in contrast to 28% of whites who report not receiving overtime pay

I think he wants us to stay overtime without paying us... I worked three extra hours this week and I was trying to speak with him about my concerns. However, he left the store and never came back... I need the job, but I don’t want him to take advantage of me...

-Marcos, Grocery Store Cashier
— http://workingfordignity.sites.ucsc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/192/2015/11/Working-For-Dignity-Final-Report.pdf