NELP Convenes Minimum Wage Activists from Around U.S.
to Strategize Next Round of State & Local Campaigns
Campaigns for higher wage floors gain momentum at federal, state & local levels
With the economy growing but most jobs paying very low wages, a new wave of campaigns for higher minimum wages is gaining ground across the country.
This month, President Obama endorsed the Congressional Democrats’ call for a $10.10 federal minimum wage, and the Senate is expected to vote on it after Thanksgiving. California approved a $10 minimum wage in September, and proposals to raise the minimum wage to $10 or more are advancing in Massachusetts, Illinois and Maryland. And in the wake of a ballot initiative to establish a $15 minimum wage for airport-related jobs in SeaTac, Washington, campaigns for significant city minimum wage boosts are now underway in the District of Columbia, Seattle and other cities, powered by low-wage-worker organizing drives in fast food, retail, hotels, airports and other fields.
We at NELP are excited to be supporting these efforts, which are poised to make real progress in restoring a significantly higher wage floor for the first time in decades. Last week, this movement came together at the first national convening of state and city minimum wage campaigns, which NELP was pleased to host in Washington, D.C. Participating were organizers from roughly 20 states and cities where 2014 campaigns are underway or being planned, together with experts on polling, communications, campaign strategy, research and business support.
Attendees shared strategies and discussed the challenges and opportunities they face in the field. The conversation illustrated how the new wave of organizing by courageous fast-food workers, Walmart workers and other low-wage workers is changing the political landscape, and creating new opportunities to win significantly stronger minimum wages as the nation struggles with growing inequality and the direction of our economy.
It’s an exciting movement and great moment of opportunity for this work. NELP is proud to be partnering with so many dedicated advocates around the nation, and we look forward to even bigger wins in the coming year.
NELP is grateful to the Ford, Public Welfare, Surdna, and Discount Foundations, the Moriah Fund, and the AFL-CIO, for financial and in-kind support that made the convening possible.
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