New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation on Monday that will gradually raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024.
“No family in New Jersey can live on our current minimum wage,” said Giovana Castaneda, Make the Road NJ youth leader and senior at Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy. “As a teen worker who fought hard with young people across the state not to be left behind, I am proud that teen workers are included in the minimum wage hike. Our work has value and contributes to our families' income and allows us to save for college. "
Students Jose Analco, Jesus Hernandez, Genessey Jimenez, and Alejandro Rodriguez-Buseman of Hamilton Preparatory Academy; Jefferson-Bellatrice Lavendes and Johana Chacon of J. Christian Bollwage Finance Academy; and Edwin Amaya, Bridget Barragan, Nathaniel Cordero, Fiona Joseph, Rudy Joseph, Xenia Rivas, Natalie Roman, and Angie Ruiz of Elizabeth High School – Frank J. Cicarell Academy were also key contributors in advocating for this bill.
Among their contributions was an article written by Ruiz that was featured in NorthJersey.com in which she detailed the importance of raising the minimum wage and how it affects New Jersey working families. She also helped to make sure that New Jersey teens would be included in the minimum wage raise.