Update on Project Activities
We sent out direct emails to businesses we previously visited in order to remind them about the surveys and ask them to promote to the employee survey, in particular. We also mentioned we will return to Mountain View over the break, so any businesses who would like to talk with us in person can do so. Alex Andrade offered some information regarding the city’s past with regards to housing, and we plan to heavily incorporate this element into our paper and accompanying presentation. Our surveys themselves unfortunately lack relevance right now due to only 34 responses, but we hope to exceed 75 or 100 responses by the end of the break so that we can feel confident making conclusions with our data.
What We Observed and Learned
After sending many individualized emails to business owners in Mountain View, we learned that many do not even employ minimum wage workers. Despite Alex’s news that one tech job creates five service sector jobs, we did not receive information about these employees from big name companies in Mountain View. We will either need to change our approach with these companies or focus on the smaller businesses where almost, if not all, employees work for minimum wage.
During the Salinas presentation in class, we noted many useful tips on how to interact with and present to another community. First of all, we realized we need more pictures of Mountain View’s business layout and (if allowed) workforce so that city managers understand the stakeholders in the minimum wage situation and what they bring to the city. We also decided we should highlight direct quotes from workers and business owners in our presentation and paper in order to make our work more relatable and in order to let the citizens of Mountain View, rather than a group of outsiders from Stanford, explain the circumstances they face daily.
Critical Analysis/Moving Forward
Since our entire team will stay on campus over the break, we plan to dedicate our time to finishing our surveys, meeting two more times with workers and business representatives in Mountain View, and drafting our final deliverables. We will plan our visits around Thanksgiving and go during morning hours in order to increase the probability that business representatives and employees can make time to speak with us.
Throughout the week we will also make a final push with the ongoing online surveys on social media, email and any other outlets we can find. We must greatly expand our results before the end of the break or we will not obtain an accurate representation of the city’s thoughts on both sides of the minimum wage ordinance.
We will also try to meet with Alex again in order to establish a specific timeline for presenting to the Mountain View city council. We will also verify his expectations for our paper so that we can put our best feet forward when we begin drafting over the break. We will make sure to use our voices not to tell Mountain View what to do but rather to offer the city council enough evidence to make its own conclusions.
Finally, we will focus our break on taking pictures and gathering direct quotes from citizens affected by the minimum wage ordinance so that their stories speak for themselves. Literature review on other high-minimum-wage cities should help us in making comparisons and projections for Mountain View’s future.