Pasadenans Organizing for Progress is a multi-issue community organization whose mission is to make Pasadena a more just, fair, and inclusive city.
Pasadenans Organizing for Progress (POP!) is a multi-issue community organization whose mission is to make Pasadena a more just, fair, and inclusive city.
POP! emerged out of the successful movement for an increase in the city minimum wage. In 2015, Pasadena activists organized a broad coalition called Pasadenans for a Livable Wage (PLW) including community, faith-based and civic groups as well as workers’ rights, civil rights, and immigrant rights organizations. Hundreds of workers and residents became involved and mobilized for rallies and marches, told their stories at city council hearings, met with their council members, and educated the public about the needs and challenges faced by low wage workers. As a result, in March 2016, the Pasadena City Council voted 8-0 to adopt a minimum wage ordinance that began at $10.50/hour in July 2016 and includes a plan to increase in steps to $15/hour by 2020. PLW was also successful in getting the city to assign an enforcement manager to oversee noncompliance. In addition, PLW persuaded the city to subcontract with a non-profit to conduct outreach and education. The National Day Laborer’s Network (NDLON) was selected. POP! was officially formed in September of 2016.
The basic issue POP! addresses is the imbalance of power in Pasadena. Low income people, people of color, and Latinx immigrants, are exploited in the job market, unable to obtain affordable housing, targeted by the police, and lack quality education. POP! believes that these problems must be addressed by organizing community members, developing leadership among them, and using the power of organized and well-led people to achieve changes in policy and practice.