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Entries in AUFC (31)

Friday
Jul252014

AUFC - Senator Kelly Ayotte Challenged to 'Live The Wage'

 

Would Ayotte Still Say No to Raising the Minimum Wage If She Tried Living on $77 for a Week?

 

Washington DC – On the fifth anniversary since the last federal minimum wage increase, Americans United for Change dared Senator Kelly Ayotte to take the ‘Live The Wage Challenge’.  The challenge: step into the shoes of a minimum wage worker, live on just $77 for a week, and then see if she still opposes giving 28 million workers an overdue raise. Earning just $7.25 an hour, the average full time minimum wage worker struggles to survive on only $77 a week after paying taxes and housing expenses. Earlier this year, Ayotte voted to squash even having a debate on legislation raising the minimum wage to $10.10.

SEE: ABC News: ‘Members of Congress Plan to Live on Minimum Wage for a Week’


Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change, the group behind the national ‘Give America a Raise Bus Tour’: “To Senator Ayotte who draws a six-figure government salary and says $7.25 an hour is a livable wage, I say walk the walk. Ayotte should try living the minimum wage if she’s going to keep voting against raising it for others, many of whom are struggling to support a family. Now five years after the last minimum wage increase, Ayotte may not have noticed that the prices of food, utilities, and basic necessities never stopped going up.  But minimum wage workers certainly have. A frozen minimum wage combined with inflation is why more and more Americans are falling into poverty even while working full time, and that’s wrong.”

 

History has shown time and again that raising the minimum wage is one of the best ways to jumpstart the economy and create jobs, unlike proposals Ayotte supports to minimize taxes for millionaires and corporations that ship jobs overseas,” added Woodhouse. “Putting more money in the pockets of minimum wage workers makes them stronger consumers, which leads to more hiring to meet a greater demand for goods and services.  Businesses like Costco and GAP have proven that investing in workers and paying a livable wage is a recipe for success.  Senator Ayotte has an opportunity to gain a little perspective on how difficult it is for minimum wage workers to stretch so few dollars and make choices between basic necessities. If she’s not willing to take the challenge, why not? What is she afraid of?”


Top 10 Reasons to Raise the Minimum Wage to $10.10:

 

  1. Nationally, raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 would boost the wages of 28 million workers by $35 billion, generate $22 billion in economic activity, and support the creation of 85,000 new jobs.
  2. In New Hampshire, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would increase wages for 113,000 workers by $143,575,000

 

  1. The 13 states that didn’t wait for Congress to act and raised their minimum wages on January 1 have since seen higher average job growth than neighboring states that kept theirs at the same rate.
  2. More than 600 economists and business leaders agree it’s time to raise the minimum wage.
  3. Nearly a quarter of all of minimum wage workers - including child care providers, janitors, and nursing assistants - are the primary bread winners in their family. 35 is the average age of workers who would benefit from raising the minimum wage to $10.10; 88 percent are older than 20, one third are over 40. 
  4. Full time minimum wage workers earn just $15,080 a year. According to MIT, the living wage in New Hampshire is $20,140 to be able to afford housing, medical care, transportation and food. If full-time Granite State workers made $10.10 an hour, they would earn $21,008 a year.
  5. Raising the minimum wage would reduce government spending on Food Stamps by $46 billion over the next decade. 
  6. Low Wages Cost Taxpayers A Quarter-Trillion Dollars Every Year.
  7. Six In Ten Small Business Owners Want A $10.10 Minimum Wage. Only 20% of Americans think they could live off Minimum Wage.

10.  Workers making the minimum wage have been facing a continual pay cut since July 2009 as inflation has eroded the purchasing power of the minimum wage. Cumulative loss is over $6 billion.

Saturday
May172014

AUFC - NEW VIDEO: 'Senator Ayotte: Give New Hampshire a Raise. Give America a Raise' 



Watch It Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGXLO-YXUxs&feature=youtu.be

Washington DC – After 4 weeks and 35 events in 22 States with local small business owners, faith and labor leaders, mayors, state representatives, and minimum wage workers struggling to survive on $15,000 a year, Americans United for Change’s ‘Give America a Raise’ bus tour accomplished its mission: making clear to voters in key states which of their Representatives in Congress are willing to help lift millions of working Americans out of poverty by raising the minimum wage to $10.10 -- and which ones are taking their orders from the Tea Party and the billionaire Koch Brothers. 

With the backdrop of a 45’ long, 16 ton anti-poverty billboard on wheels and with invaluable support from NH Citizens Alliance for Action, AFSCME, and Granite State Progress, the  bus tour made a stops in Nashua to call on Senator Kelly Ayotte to help boost New Hampshire’s economy and help hard working Granite Staters climb one rung closer to the middle class.

Sadly, when given the chance on April 30, Senator Ayotte toed the Tea Party line and voted to squash even having a debate on H.R. 1010.  Ayotte didn’t even want to hear the facts that raising the minimum wage would increase wages for 113,000 workers in New Hampshire by $143,575,000 if the minimum wage is raised to $10.10, and that this wage increase would generate $90,883,000 of economic activity in the Granite State.

Ayotte’s refusal to listen to the clear majority of Granite Staters that want to see the minimum wage raised is why Americans United for Change is releasing new video today with highlights from the ‘Give America a Raise’ tour stop in New Hampshire.   Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGXLO-YXUxs&feature=youtu.be

If Ayotte Won’t Listen to Granite Staters, Will She Listen to Fellow Republicans?
Cracks are forming in the Republican wall of opposition to raising the minimum wage with former GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Tim Pawlenty all recently coming out in favor of increasing it.

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “Senator Ayotte claims to be focused on jobs, but she turned her back on generating over 90 million dollars in economic activity in New Hampshire alone and creating tens of thousands of jobs nationally.   Ayotte claims to be a fiscally responsible lawmaker, but she just passed up a golden opportunity to save taxpayers $46 billion by dramatically cutting down on the need for food stamps.  Meanwhile, Ayotte is a reliable vote for more tax breaks for millionaires and for minimum tax responsibility for corporations that outsource U.S. jobs.”

“But the Harkin-Miller $10.10 bill is not just an anti-poverty and fiscally responsible bill, it’s also a jobs bill.  30 million people with more money to spend on goods and services means businesses will need to hire more workers to meet the demand.  Decades’ worth of research done after previous minimum wage increases shows nothing but net economic benefits as a result, which is why so many successful business leaders and over 600 economists are calling on Congress to raise it again now.  Minimum wage workers include child care providers, janitors, and nursing assistants and are 35 years old on average. According to MIT, the living wage in Nashua is $21,422 a year to be able to afford housing, medical care, transportation and food. If full-time New Hampshire workers made $10.10 an hour, they’d earn $21,008 a year.”

“On the road, we met with many small business owners who are on the forefront of this movement and didn’t wait for Congress to act – who are proving Tea Party rhetoric wrong: that you can pay your workers a fair wage and still be successful.  One by one they said, ‘It’s common sense, the current minimum wage will get you minimum work and a higher minimum wage gets you less turnover and more productivity.’  Businesses need customers to survive, so why won’t Senator Ayotte help create more of them: by raising the minimum wage and putting more money in the pockets of 30 million consumers.”

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Wednesday
Mar262014

AUFC - The "Give America a Raise" Bus Tour Comes to the Granite State 

Link: http://www.raiseto1010.com/newhampwrapup

With Too Many Working Granite Staters Struggling to Survive on $15,000 a Year,
New Hampshire Faith Leaders, Labor Leaders, Low-Wage Workers Join Stop Along 11-State Tour Sponsored by Americans United for Change, Call on Senator Kelly 
Ayotte to Vote to Raise the Minimum Wage to $10.10


[Click Here to See More Pics from the Nashua Tour Stop]


[LEFT: Click for Vine at Ayotte’s Office; RIGHT: Video of Pastor Kinney’s remarks]


www.Raiseto1010.com

#RaiseTheWage

Washington DC – Americans agree: No one who works should live in poverty. Yet that’s exactly what’s happening to workers around the country earning the current minimum wage. While the federal minimum wage has stayed the same since 2009, the price of food, gas, utilities, and basic necessities certainly has not with inflation, making it nearly impossible to live anywhere in America on $7.25 an hour or $15,000 a year.  It’s long past time for Congress to give America a raise.  And to help drive the point home, Americans United for Change has hit the road with the 11-State “Give America a Raise” Bus Tour supporting President Obama’s plan to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.  The latest stop: Nashua, NH outside the public library.  With the backdrop of 45’ long, 16 ton anti-poverty billboard on wheels and with invaluable support from New Hampshire Citizen Alliance for Action, Granite State Progress, and AFSCME, Americans United was joined by Obama administration official Laura Fortman, Gail Kinney, pastor of the South Danbury United Church of Christ and a local low-wage worker, who urged Senator Kelly Ayotte to help hard working Granite Staters climb out of poverty and one rung closer to the middle class over by voting to boost minimum wage.  The tour will end outside the U.S. Capitol on April 3. 

According to MIT, the living wage in Nashua is $21,422 a year to be able to afford housing, medical care, transportation and food. If full-time New Hampshire workers made $10.10 an hour, they’d earn $21,008 a year.   A new report out today from the Center for American Progress Action Fund finds that raising the minimum wage would increase wages for 113,000 workers in New Hampshire by $143,575,000 if the minimum wage is raised to $10.10, and that this wage increase would generate $90,883,000 of economic activity in the Granite State.

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “After the recession, the economy is starting to pick up. Businesses are doing better. The stock market is doing better, but wages for 30 years, overall for most workers, have been flat.  It’s been more than five years since New Hampshire minimum wage workers have gotten a raise – workers that include child care providers, janitors, and nursing assistants and who are 35 years old on average.  It was hard enough to live on $15,000 a year in 2009, and it’s near impossible in 2014. What stands today in the way of stronger economy built from the middle out are Tea Party Republicans in Congress who only seem to care about voting for minimum tax responsibility for huge corporations that outsource jobs. Raising the minimum wage would provide a needed boost not just for the millions of struggling low-wage American workers that can barely survive on $7.25, but for the U.S. economy as a whole. Now the last time I heard anything from Senator Ayotte on the minimum wage was when a constituent asked her about it at a town hall meeting and her answer- if you can even call it an answer since she didn’t say what she would or wouldn’t vote for – is that she’d rather work to create jobs. Then her big job creation idea was to repeal a tax on medical devices. Enough said.  Let’s be clear Senator Ayotte:  A bill to raise the minimum wage is a bill to create jobs.   It will create jobs because it puts more money in the pockets of workers who will quickly inject it back into the economy.   Millions of people with more money to spend on goods and services means businesses will need to hire more workers to meet the demand.  Decades worth of research done after previous minimum wage increases shows nothing but net economic benefits as a result, which is why so many successful business leaders and over 600 economists including seven Nobel Laureates are calling on Congress to raise it again now.”

 

Laura Fortman, U.S. Labor Department's Principal Deputy Administrator, Wage and Hour Division: “Workers have seen a real significant decline in the purchasing power of the minimum wage for more than 45 years.  Real people have experienced this. We’re not just talking about teenagers. The average age of a minimum wage worker is 35. We’re talking about working adults – the people who drive our kids to school on the bus, serve us our food in restaurants, the people who clean our schools and our places of business, assist us in hospitals.”

Gail Kinney, pastor of the South Danbury United Church of Christ: “Every low wage worker in this state and in this country who work full time yet remains trapped in poverty is left behind in our economy and is being treated in our economic system as the last and the least. We as a nation can do better than this. It is not only a moral imperative; it is an economic imperative.  We MUST do better than this if we are to preserve our democracy and repair the destructive and explosive economic divide in our nation between the haves and the have nots. Whether you are 16 or 66, if you’re on your feet all day or night cooking or serving so-called fast food; or stocking grocery shelves; or running a cash register; or cleaning bed pans or hotel rooms; or caring for two-year-olds or for someone’s grandmother – that all work has dignity and value. That work deserves respect. And that work, in this day and age, is worth more to our society than $7.25 per hour.  When we find ourselves, as religious leaders, repeatedly having to minister to individuals in our own pews who are frightened – and worse – by their inability to “make it” despite working as hard and as many hours as they possibly can – it’s time to raise the wage.”

Anita Mendes, a low-wage worker from the Mondandock region: "The things that are different in my life are that I have less social ability. I can’t go and meet somebody for lunch. That means, for me, that I don’t get to say hello, I don’t get to check in, I don’t get the emotional support.  On Sunday, when I went to my Quaker meeting, I didn’t just think about getting from my house to the Quaker meeting, but what can I do in between? I loaded the laundry, brought the grocery list, and made all of those stops so that I could save my gas.  Yes I dry my clothes at the laundry; I don’t dry them all the way. I take them half-wet home, hang them up on a clothesline… If we had a bigger minimum wage, I might be able to afford those last three quarters."

§  FACT SHEET: The Economic Case for Increasing the Minimum Wage: State by State Impact

§  Economic Policy Institute: ‘Raising the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Lift Wages for Millions and Provide a Modest Economic Boost’

§  Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Proposal to Strengthen Minimum Wage Would Help Low-Wage Workers, With Little Impact on Employment

§  National Employment Law Project: ‘The Most Rigorous Research Shows Minimum Wage Increases Do Not Reduce Employment’

§  Center for American Progress Action Fund: ‘Raising the Minimum Wage Would Help, Not Hurt, Our Economy’

§  Think Progress: ‘A $10.10 Minimum Wage Would Make A DVD At Walmart Cost One Cent More’

§  Think Progress: ‘Real World Evidence That Increasing The Minimum Wage Doesn’t Cost Jobs’

§  New York Times: ‘The Clear Benefits of a Higher Wage’

Monday
Mar242014

AUFC - MARCH 25, 9:30AM: The "Give America a Raise" Bus Tour Comes to Nashua, NH 

With Too Many Working Granite Staters Struggling to Survive on $15,000 a Year,
Obama Administration Official Laura Fortman to Join New Hampshire Faith Leader and Low-Wage Workers in Stop Along the 11-State Tour, Appeal to Senator Kelly 
Ayotte  to Vote to Raise the Minimum Wage to $10.10

 

www.Raiseto1010.com

#RaiseTheWage

Washington DC – Americans agree: No one who works should live in poverty. Yet that’s exactly what’s happening to workers around the country earning the current minimum wage. While the federal minimum wage has stayed the same since 2009, the price of food, gas, utilities, and basic necessities has, with inflation, made it nearly impossible to live anywhere in America on $7.25 an hour or $15,000 a year.  It’s long past time for Congress to give America a raise.  And to help drive the point home, Americans United for Change has hit the road with the 11-State “Give America a Raise” Bus Tour supporting President Obama’s plan to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.  Next stop: Nashua, NH in front of the Nashua Public Library on Tuesday, March 25 at 9:30 AM ET.  With the backdrop of 45’ long, 16 ton anti-poverty billboard on wheels, Americans United will be joined by Obama administration official Laura Fortman, Gail Kinney, pastor of the South Danbury United Church of Christ and a local low-wage worker, to call on Senator Kelly Ayotte to help hard working Granite Staters climb out of poverty and one rung closer to the middle class over by voting to boost minimum wage.  The tour will end at a rally outside the U.S. Capitol on April 3. 

It’s been more than five years since these workers have gotten a raise – workers that include child care providers, janitors, and nursing assistants and who are 35 years old on average.  It was hard enough to live on $15,000 a year in 2009, and it’s near impossible in 2014.  All that stands in the way of stronger economy built from the middle out are Tea Party Republicans in Congress who only seem to care about voting for minimum tax responsibility for huge corporations that outsource jobs. Raising the minimum wage would provide a needed boost not just for the millions of struggling low-wage American workers that can barely survive on $7.25, but for the U.S. economy as a whole.  It will create jobs because it puts more money in the pockets of workers who will quickly inject it back into the economy. Millions of people with more money to spend on goods and services means businesses will need to hire more workers to meet the demand.  Decades’ worth of research done after previous minimum wage increases shows nothing but net economic benefits as a result, which is why so many successful business leaders and over 600 economists including seven Nobel Laureates are calling on Congress to raise it again now.

President Obama’s opportunity agenda will be on full display Tuesday in Nashua, New Hampshire. To fulfill the promise of President Obama’s opportunity agenda, we need to keep creating jobs and give American workers the skills and training they need to succeed in those jobs, but we also have to do everything in our power to ensure those job’s reward an honest day’s work with a fair day’s pay. No one who works a full-time job should have to live in poverty.

According to MIT, the living wage in Nashua is $21,422 a year be able to afford housing, medical care, transportation and food. If full-time New Hampshire workers made $10.10 an hour, they’d earn $21,008 a year.

WHAT:         11-STATE ‘GIVE AMERICA A RAISE’ BUS TOUR STOP IN NASHUA, NH

WHO:           Laura Fortman, U.S. Labor Department's Principal Deputy Administrator, Wage and Hour Division

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change

Gail Kinney, pastor of the South Danbury United Church of Christ

Anita Mendes, low-wage worker

WHERE:       Nashua Public Library, 2 Court St, Nashua, NH

WHEN:         Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 9:30 AM ET

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

 

§  FACT SHEET: The Economic Case for Increasing the Minimum Wage: State by State Impact

§  Economic Policy Institute: ‘Raising the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Lift Wages for Millions and Provide a Modest Economic Boost’

§  Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Proposal to Strengthen Minimum Wage Would Help Low-Wage Workers, With Little Impact on Employment

§  National Employment Law Project: ‘The Most Rigorous Research Shows Minimum Wage Increases Do Not Reduce Employment’

§  Center for American Progress Action Fund: ‘Raising the Minimum Wage Would Help, Not Hurt, Our Economy’

§  Think Progress: ‘A $10.10 Minimum Wage Would Make A DVD At Walmart Cost One Cent More’

§  Think Progress: ‘Real World Evidence That Increasing The Minimum Wage Doesn’t Cost Jobs’

§  New York Times: ‘The Clear Benefits of a Higher Wage’

Wednesday
Mar122014

AUFC - The Hill: Dems see healthcare opening on Medicaid 

Key Point: “Every incremental gain in the push to expand Medicaid is cheered by Democrats, who view the state-level victories as furthering the primary goal of ObamaCare, which is to extend coverage to as many of the uninsured as possible.

“Lives will be saved, health will be improved, and insurance premiums will come down in New Hampshire as a direct result of what the state Senate did today, and they should be proud,” Americans United for Change president Brad Woodhouse said in a statement on Thursday after the Granite State’s GOP-controlled Senate sent a bill to the Democratic governor to accept additional federal funds for the program.”

 

The Hill: Dems see healthcare opening on Medicaid

States run by Republican governors and legislatures are slowly adopting the Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare, boosting Democratic hopes they can run on the issue in the midterm elections.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has launched a petition on her website urging Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) to agree to the expansion, which she argues would bring health insurance to more people who cannot afford it.

The issue is giving Landrieu a chance to run not only against her GOP opponent Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who opposes the extension, but against Jindall as well. She argues the expansion would close “the Jindal Gap.”

“Our governor may not like the president, but this is not about the president,” she writes. “It's about providing health coverage for 240,000 Louisianans who work 40 or 50 hours a week, but still make too little to qualify for assistance in the new marketplace — and too much to qualify for Louisiana’s current Medicaid.”

Democrats have seen a number of states embrace the Medicaid expansion, including a number run by Republican governors, including Chris Christie (N.J.), Susanna Martinez (N.M.), Brian Sandoval (Nev.) and Jan Brewer (Az.).

In total, 25 states and the District of Columbia have said they will either expand Medicaid outright or work with the administration to design a more politically-palatable workaround.

An additional five states – Utah, Missouri, New Hampshire, Arkansas and Pennsylvania — are considering some sort of expansion, and a sixth, Virginia, is reconsidering its initial rejection now that a Democratic governor has been elected.

Every incremental gain in the push to expand Medicaid is cheered by Democrats, who view the state-level victories as furthering the primary goal of ObamaCare, which is to extend coverage to as many of the uninsured as possible.

“Lives will be saved, health will be improved, and insurance premiums will come down in New Hampshire as a direct result of what the state Senate did today, and they should be proud,” Americans United for Change president Brad Woodhouse said in a statement on Thursday after the Granite State’s GOP-controlled Senate sent a bill to the Democratic governor to accept additional federal funds for the program.

Republicans downplay any benefits to Democrats from the strategy.

“To me, ObamaCare is 1,000 times bigger than the Medicaid issue,” said GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak, who described Medicaid is a peripheral issue.

“It’s kind of like when you’re drowning, you grab for anything you can,” he continued. “So they’re pulling out minimum wage, equal pay, violence against women, and their other go-to issues. But to me, ObamaCare is so much bigger than all that.”

But polls show widespread support for the Medicaid expansion, even in some parts of the Deep South, where governors and statehouses have rejected the possibility outright.

While Republicans have already begun hammering Landrieu and fellow vulnerable Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), and Mark Begich (Alaska) for supporting ObamaCare, Democrats believe they have an opening on the issue to potentially neutralize that advantage.

Landrieu’s race is perhaps the case study for how this will unfold.

Republicans have zeroed-in on the Louisiana Democrat as one of their primary targets in the 2014 election cycle, and Landrieu has responded by seeking to create as much space as possible between herself and the unpopular healthcare law.

She’s become one of the most vocal Democratic critics of the botched ObamaCare rollout, and has sponsored legislation to delay the individual mandate and to allow consumers to keep their old healthcare plans, even if they don’t meet the minimum requirements under the law.

But Landrieu is equally as vocal about her support for Medicaid expansion under the law.

While the polling in Louisiana is sparse, a Pew study released last year showed that 63 percent in the state support an expansion.

The fight is already playing out among outside groups in Louisiana.

Americans for Prosperity, the group backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, is making opposition to the expansion a top priority through a “Stop the Madness” ad campaign.

The liberal nonprofit group MoveOn, meanwhile, has launched a campaign targeting some of the highest profile Republican governors in the country, including Jindal, over their continued opposition to expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare.

Some other Democrats on the vulnerable list are also embracing the Medicaid issue.

In New Hampshire, Shaheen lauded he legislature’s work this week to advance a bill, and in Virginia, Warner is pressuring the legislature to work with Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) on an expansion, while accusing the GOP in the state of “putting a right ideological agenda over the well-being of their constituents.”

The fight is also playing out nationally.

Last month, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius lashed out at the governors in four Southern states that have some of the highest levels of uninsured: North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Texas, among others, for “playing politics with people’s lives” by refusing to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare.


Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/200239-dems-see-healthcare-opening-on-medicaid#ixzz2vZHLJWia
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