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This Restaurateur Wants Your Vote for a Higher Minimum Wage

He urges all to vote yes on Amendment 70

Edwin Zoe and his mother
Edwin Zoe and his mother

Edwin Zoe, founder of Zoe Ma Ma, a casual modern Chinese restaurant with an original location in Boulder and a second one in Denver, is urging everyone to help increase the minimum wage by voting yes on Amendment 70. The proposed measure, which is on the ballot this fall, would increase Colorado minimum wage from the current $8.31/hour to $12 by 2020.

Here's his plea, which he posted on Facebook:

Hello Everyone,
I am asking for your support on amendment 70 to increase Colorado minimum wage from the current $8.31/hour to $12 by 2020. Here are the reasons why I feel strongly that this is the right choice:
1. It's good for the local economy. Unlike tax cuts for the ultra-rich, low-income families put most of their money right back into the local economy instead of offshore tax havens.
2. It's good for workers. At the current minimum wage of $8.31/hour, a full-time worker's take home pay is about $300 per week. That is just not enough to make ends meet. If one thinks otherwise, I'd think that person has been to one of our Mile High City's recreational dispensaries once too often. When someone works a full time job, I think that person has earned the dignity to not have to ask for welfare assistance to make ends meet.
3. It's good government. "What?" You might ask. Well, when we raise the minimum wage above poverty levels, two things happen. First, the affected workers no longer need government assistance. Second, the government effectively stops subsidizing businesses that pay poverty wages.
4. It's good for socially responsible businesses. When we raise the minimum wage, it levels the playing field so socially responsible businesses are not at a competitive disadvantage against the likes of Wal-Mart that sell products cheaper at the expense of their workers.
I, along with like-minded business owners, had the honor of meeting the U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez to voice our support for amendment 70 in Denver today. To our entrepreneurial and local business friends, please go to to show your support. And, to all our friends, please share this to build awareness and support for amendment 70.
Best regards,
Edwin Zoe
Founder, Zoe Ma Ma

This is not the restaurateur's first attempt to correct what he sees as injustices in the way hospitality workers are paid. In order to even out some of the front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house inequity in pay, when he opened the Denver outpost of Zoe Ma Ma he did away with traditional tips. Instead, he implemented a 15 percent surcharge, which diners can chose to opt out of.  Under this more predictable income format, Zoe feels like he can provide staff with a sustainable wage.

Want more? We had a talk on the pros and cons of tipping three years ago.

Zoe Ma Ma

2010 10th Street, , CO 80302 (303) 545-6262 Visit Website