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Entries in AUFC (33)

Tuesday
Oct072014

AUFC - The National 'Put the Middle Class First' Bus Tour Rolls Into the Granite State, Joined by Congresswoman Shea-Porter 

 

18-State Tour to Underscore Clear Choice Voters Face in November:
Democrats’ Middle-Out Approach to Building an Economy That Works for Everyone vs. Scott Brown and Frank Guinta’s Top-Down Approach That Works Only for the Wealthy Few & Big Corporations

 

[Left, Manchester stop; Right, Nashua stop]

More Pictures from Today’s Events in NH: http://www.middleclassfirst.com/tagged/pictures
Video: Congresswoman Shea-Porter’s remarks: http://youtu.be/QUAW4fD5CiQ 
Video: Pastor Gail Kinney’s remarks: http://youtu.be/nGVL8OXdTyE 
Video from Nashua: http://youtu.be/_3eK2k-ehFI

www.MiddleClassFirst.com
#MiddleClassFirst

Washington DC – Americans United for Change has hit the road with the national “Put the Middle Class First” bus tour to help drive home the clear choice before voters on November 4 between having a Democratic Congress that works for them or a Tea Party Congress that works for corporate special interests like the Koch brothers. With the backdrop of a 45’ long ‘fair shot advocate on wheels’ and with invaluable support from the NH Democratic Party and Alliance for Retired Americans, the tour kicked off in Manchester and Nashua, NH today and was joined by Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, as well as local faith leaders, safety net advocates, and seniors who agree that a strong economy can only be built to last from the middle out.  The alternative? : the top-down Tea Party approach espoused by Frank Guinta and Scott Brown (R-MA) of giving more tax breaks to millionaires that never manage to create jobs but always manage to undermine middle class priorities like education and Medicare.

Highlights from Remarks Made at Manchester Stop:

U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-1st): "Something has gone terribly wrong for New Hampshire families, for our young people and our old people, and we know what it is that happened: D.C. Republican politicians have stopped working to support the middle class and bring the next generation forward. New Hampshire Democrats know how to jumpstart the middle class: we need to ensure that families earn a livable wage, that young people can afford their education, and that our seniors can count on their earned benefits in retirement. That's why the middle class needs to practice self-defense and vote on November 4th."

 

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley: “Up here in New Hampshire we’re all too familiar with the stakes this November. We’re up against Republican opponents backed by the Koch brothers, Wall Street and big oil interests who want to roll back decades of progress that democrats have made for Granite Staters, seniors, small businesses, students, women and middle class families.  This year we’re taking on Scott Brown. Over the last several months since he moved up here from Massachusetts, we’ve gotten to know that Scott Brown only works for Scott Brown. Just last week Scott Brown said that women’s health and equal are not “issues that people care about” here in New Hampshire. And how can we forget the time that Scott Brown hid in a bathroom to avoid reporters’ questions about the Hobby Lobby decision that allows bosses to come between women and their health care decisions. He even voted to give tax breaks to protect big oil companies, yet he doesn’t support giving 110,000 hardworking Granite Staters a needed raise by increasing the minimum wage.  Frank Guinta too is only interested in moving the Tea Party agenda forward and America backwards. Guinta’s record in the two short years he was in Congress was abominable. He voted against New Hampshire one-hundred percent of the time. In fact during those two short years, he managed to be voted one of the ‘Most Corrupt Members of Congress’.”  

 

President of the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans, Lucy Edwards: “New Hampshire senior citizens and their families and neighbors should do their homework this year and vote in self-defense on November 4th. One in five New Hampshire residents got social security benefits in 2013. Over 231,000 in New Hampshire received Medicare benefits allowing us to remain healthy and contribute to our communities. These earned benefits mean that families and communities to not have to worry about carrying the full cost of housing, food and health care for those who are retired and disabled. The incomes from these benefits are spent in our communities. And healthy and secure seniors provide many hours of volunteer time in the community, the unpaid work that New Hampshire depends on for many of our town governments among many other projects.”

 

United Church of Christ Pastor, Gail Kinney: “I want to say a few words about ‘Beloved Community’, because that is what’s at stake in this election in 2014. Beloved Community means that no person who works full time should be relegated to a life of poverty. Beloved Community means that no senior citizen who has worked hard and played by the rules should end up living in economic insecurity and health insecurity. Beloved Community means that women and men who perform the same work, should be treated equally at work.  We should strive to be prophetic witness on November 4th, 2014.”

 

Highlights from Remarks Made at Nashua Stop:

Nashua State Senator Bette Lasky: “There’s been a lot of talk lately by a former Senator from Massachusetts about the issues he thinks are important, or aren’t important to the citizens of New Hampshire. What Brown doesn’t is realize that not only are women disproportionately affected by the minimum wage, many are mothers trying support families and feed their kids. So encourage everyone to get out there and vote for the people that will keep New Hampshire moving forward, not backwards.”

Alderman, and Candidate for Executive Council Diane Sheehan: “It’s important that we remember what’s at stake in this coming election. And what’s at stake is us, in the middle class, and those trying to get into the middle class. My opponent has defunded Planned Parenthood. I’ll tell you that I lost my mother to breast cancer which was discovered at stage four, and I understand the importance of early detection for cervical and breast cancer and the important role that Planned Parenthood plays. My opponent also called Medicare and Medicaid “welfare”. We need to remind people that good early access to healthcare costs everyone less and leads to better outcomes. I’ve been getting things in the mail saying “right to work”. If my mother was not a member of a union when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she would have lost her job and lost her healthcare and I would still 14 years later be paying off her medical bills. There is a reason we have unions. We need to remind people of the stakes so that they show up on November 4th.”

United Steelworkers District 4 Director, John Shinn: “We’re tired of corporate greed. The Koch brothers have enough money, I think we can all agree on that. CEO’s are more concerned about Wall Street, but this about Main Street. This is about hard working people getting their fair share.”

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “A healthy economy depends on having a strong and growing middle class.  And while we’ve seen the economy pick up speed the last 5 years, many American families still feel like they’re spinning their wheels. And it’s no wonder why: incomes have been stagnant or even shrinking for more than a decade at the same time the cost of food, child care, college, housing, retirement security, and basic necessities has soared.  The good news is it’s a problem we know how to fix: by making critical investments in education and infrastructure that will create more jobs, opportunity, and an economy that works for everyone. But instead, Tea Party Republicans have stood in the way of every reasonable proposal made by President Obama and Democrats to move the country forward and instead have made sure this Congress has been the least productive and most beholden to the special interests in U.S. history. This election is about a choice between having Democratic Congress working to level the playing field for the middle class versus a Tea Party Congress willing to shut down the government and hurt the economy to keep the game rigged for the wealthy special interests.”

 

Four years in a row, House Republicans passed a budget plan that voucherizes Medicare, slashes Medicaid, Pell grants and child care services, and shortchanges badly needed repairs to America’s crumbling bridges and roads. At the same time the Ryan budget, which Frank Guinta voted repeatedly for, protects Big Oil subsides and gives away $5 trillion in new tax breaks for millionaires and corporations that outsource U.S. jobs. Not to be outdone, Republican Governors are enacting their own Robin Hood in Reverse policies, from tax breaks geared towards the super-wealthy, to gutting public education, to refusing to accept available Medicaid resources to cover thousands of vulnerable citizens including Veterans who living one health emergency away from bankruptcy. The Koch brothers, Big Insurance and Wall Street are clearly satisfied customers judging by the millions of dollars they continue to funnel into Republican campaigns like that of Guinta and Scott Brown.


In contrast, Democrats in Congress have a detailed set of proposals that put the middle class first, giving more Americans a fair shot at getting into the middle class and achieving the American Dream, including: Ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work; Making college affordable; Raising the Minimum Wage; Creating jobs by investing in infrastructure; and Protecting Social Security and Medicare from benefit cuts, voucherization or privatization schemes.

Sunday
Oct052014

AUFC - Mon., Oct. 6 in Manchester & Nashua: U.S. Rep. Shea-Porter to Join the National 'Put the Middle Class First' Bus Tour 

The National ‘Put the Middle Class First’ Bus Tour Headed to the Granite State, To Be Joined by Congresswoman Shea-Porter 

18-State Tour to Underscore Clear Choice Voters Face in November:
Democrats’ Middle-Out Approach to Building an Economy That Works for Everyone vs. Scott Brown and Frank Guinta’s Top-Down Approach That Works Only for the Wealthy Few & Big Corporations

 

www.MiddleClassFirst.com
#MiddleClassFirst

Washington DC – Americans United for Change is hitting the road with the national “Put the Middle Class First” bus tour to help drive home the clear choice before voters on November 4 between having a Democratic Congress that works for them or a Tea Party Congress that works for corporate special interests like the Koch brothers. The tour kicks off in New Hampshire on October 6th, first in Manchester at 10 a.m. ET followed by Nashua at 1 pm ET.  With the backdrop of a 45’ long ‘fair shot advocate on wheels’ and with invaluable support from the NH Democratic Party and Alliance for Retired Americans, Americans United will be joined by U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in Manchester and State Senator Bette Lasky (D-NH District 13) in Nashua, as  well as local faith leaders, safety net advocates, and seniors who agree that a strong economy can only be built to last from the middle out, not the top down as Frank Guinta and Scott Brown (R-MA) insist. *SEE DETAILS BELOW.


While the economy is picking up speed, many American families are still struggling to climb into the middle class and stay there. The reason: incomes have been stagnant or even shrinking for more than a decade at the same time the cost of food, child care, college, housing, retirement security, and basic necessities has soared. That’s why all eyes are on Washington to make critical investments in education and infrastructure that will create more jobs, opportunity, and an economy that works for everyone. But instead, Tea Party Republicans have stood in the way of every reasonable proposal made by President Obama and Democrats to move the country forward and instead have made sure this Congress has been the least productive and most beholden to the special interests in U.S. history.

Four years in a row, House Republicans passed a budget plan that voucherizes Medicare, slashes Medicaid, Pell grants and child care services, and shortchanges badly needed repairs to America’s crumbling bridges and roads. At the same time the Ryan budget, which Frank Guinta voted repeatedly for, protects Big Oil subsides and gives away $5 trillion in new tax breaks for millionaires and corporations that outsource U.S. jobs. Not to be outdone, Republican Governors like Scott Walker and Rick Scott signed into law their own Robin Hood in Reverse policies, from tax breaks geared towards the super-wealthy, to gutting public education, to refusing to accept available Medicaid resources to cover thousands of vulnerable citizens living one health emergency away from bankruptcy.  The Koch brothers, Big Insurance and Wall Street are clearly satisfied customers judging by the millions of dollars they continue to funnel into Republican campaigns like that of Guinta and Scott Brown.

In contrast, Democrats in Congress have a detailed set of proposals that put the middle class first, giving more Americans a fair shot at getting into the middle class and achieving the American Dream, including: Ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work; Making college affordable; Raising the Minimum Wage; Creating jobs by investing in infrastructure; and Protecting Social Security and Medicare from benefit cuts, vouchers that don’t keep pace with seniors’ health costs, or privatization schemes.

STOP #1 : THE ‘PUT THE MIDDLE CLASS FIRST’ BUS TOUR COMES TO MANCHESTER

 

WHO:             U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-1st)
Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change

NHDP Chairman Raymond Buckley

Gail Kinney, Pastor, South Danbury (NH) United Church of Christ

Lucy Edwards, President of the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans

WHERE:       Veterans Memorial Park, 889 Elm St, Manchester, NH

 

WHEN:          Monday, October 6, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. ET

 

STOP #2 : THE ‘PUT THE MIDDLE CLASS FIRST’ BUS TOUR COMES TO NASHUA

 

WHO:             State Senator Bette Lasky (D-NH District 13)
Alderman Diane Sheehan

Brad Woodhouse, Americans United for Change

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley

 

WHERE:       Parking lot outside Nashua Public Library, 2 Court Street, Nashua, NH

 

WHEN:          Monday, October 6, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. ET


###


Americans United for Change, known formally as Americans United to Protect Social Security, is a 501c4 issue-advocacy organization established in 2005 to beat back President Bush’s effort to privatize Social Security and that has been working ever since to advance a progressive agenda in Congress including Wall Street reform, protecting Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security from benefit cuts, and requiring millionaires and big corporations pay their fair share in taxes.

 

 

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’