JG – Ben Boyce

Ben Boyce

2006 Jack Green Civil Liberties Award Honoree

Coordinator for the Living Wage Coalition of Sonoma County, Ben Boyce is our 2006 Jack Green Civil Liberties Award Honoree. A Sonoma resident, Boyce volunteered his time for more than two years before being hired by the Living Wage Coalition (LWC) in 2004. His focus is to improve the Living standards for working people through the structural, economic, and spiritual transformation of American society to create a shared prosperity for all.

During his tenure at the LWC, he has helped spur passage of a living wage ordinance in the cities of Sebastopol and Sonoma, and is currently directing his energies toward a similar ordinance in Petaluma. The ultimate goal is to pass a countywide living wage measure.

Boyce has also been engaged in forming an effective alliance of environmental, labor and progressive advocacy groups to promote socially responsible development and affordable housing. The group, the Accountable Development Coalition, has succeeded in moving the county Board of Supervisors to pass a jobs-housing linkage fee that will generate a substantial fund for low-income housing. He also negotiated a community benefits agreement with the SMART train board for the major Railroad Square project in Santa Rosa.

In addition, Boyce has been active in supporting workers rights through community support for union organizing campaigns. He helped enlist local clergy and organize community groups to support the successful union drive at the Sheraton Hotel in Petaluma, the first union hotel in Sonoma County.

Last November, he was the principal organizer for an Interfaith Council at Community Baptist Church in support of workers at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. The Council was composed of prominent clergy and lay members from the social justice committees of Sonoma County churches and synagogues.

A local activist and ACLU member, he has engaged in social justice work since his youth in Tucson, Arizona, where he was a member of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at his high school. Over the years, he has participated in rallies and marches to end wars, for farm worker justice, labor rights and civil liberties. A resident of Sonoma County for 18 years, he received an M.A. from Sonoma State University in 2004.

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