The Problem

Urbana’s current leadership does not acknowledge that we have a poverty and income problem in our city. With more than 2,250 Urbana citizens or about 1 in 5 people living in poverty (that’s nearly double Urban’s poverty rate at the 2000 census), our team believes that the leadership has a responsibility to address the problem.

This data is from the United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) in 2017. The ACS helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is public information and can be easily be accessed at (easy visualization) or at

In addition to Urbana’s high level of poverty, we also have more than half (53%) of our students in Urbana City Schools who are classified as disadvantaged by the Ohio Department of Education. That’s more than 1,155 kids.

From poverty to disadvantaged students, Urbana is facing some big challenges. Raising wages is just part of the solution. The Urbana Wins platform has been uniquely crafted to address the issues facing our community and provides a plan for a stronger Urbana.

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A Higher Standard of Living

Raising wages will enable people of Urbana to secure a better life and it will encourage our best workers to stay here at home. Inflation and the cost of living have both outpaced wage growth which has left many of us struggling to get by. Justin, Candidate for Mayor, owns a small business and knows that raising wages will need to be offset by fostering a better community for businesses.

  • Incentivize businesses to raise wages to at least $12/hour and raise wages for all workers through tax programs

    • Encourage new families to move to Urbana by becoming competitive with wages

    • Attract new businesses to the area by creating a skilled and growing workforce

  • Create a career placement program in coordination with Urbana City Schools, Urbana University, and local businesses to select, train, and place our youth into good careers

    • Establish a continuing education program to help current workers acquire new skills as needed

    • Provide access to ongoing resources from the state and federal governments for training and career advancement

When the Baby Boomers were working their first jobs, many of their wages (relative to their cost of living) were the equivalent of nearly $18/hour today. Simply put, many of our citizens are trying to build a great life on less than half of what their parents made. Check out the map below for a state by state breakdown.

Looking for more details on how the Urbana Wins team will raise wages? We’ve got the process outlined here.

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