White House Honors NELP’s Christine Owens for Efforts to Raise Wages

Washington, DC—On Tuesday, July 22, 2014, the White House will honor National Employment Law Project (NELP) Executive Director Christine Owens and eight other advocates, business owners, and workers as “Champions of Change” for their efforts to raise wages for working women and men around the country.

“With the middle class eroding and income inequality exploding, raising wages should be a national priority,” said Owens. “Tens of millions of full-time workers are struggling just to get by, and we need to return to the basic rule of ‘a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.’ That’s why NELP is fighting to raise the minimum wage at the federal level and in states, counties, and cities around the country. It’s time we lift wages across the bottom of the labor market and help build a robust and sustainable economy that benefits us all.”

Owens serves as executive director of the National Employment Law Project, a leading workers’ rights advocacy organization that brings cutting-edge legal and policy research and organizing support to campaigns to lift wages and improve jobs for all of America’s workers.

Grounded in deep policy expertise and guided by the belief that anyone who works for a living should earn a decent living from work, NELP has played a major role in the federal minimum wage campaigns of the past two decades, starting with Ms. Owens’s leadership of the coalition that won the 1996 increase and extending to NELP’s coordination of the current campaign to raise the federal minimum wage to a historic high of more than $10.

NELP has also played a pivotal role in key state and local campaigns over the past decade, including ten successful ballot initiatives, numerous state legislative efforts and virtually all of the nation’s city-level minimum wage laws. NELP’s support for efforts nationally and in the states has helped win higher minimum wages for tens of millions of the nation’s lowest-paid workers and their families. In the past year alone, 12 states along with nine cities and counties have passed minimum wage increases, with a number of states approving rates of more than $10 per hour and Seattle enacting a groundbreaking $15 hourly rate—victories that are changing the nation’s wage-policy landscape.

The White House “Champions of Change” event will be live-streamed on the White House website on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 1pm ET. To watch this event live, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live.

Emma Stieglitz
(646) 200-5307

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