Bed-StuyBlogCommunityCrown HeightsEconomic Justice
Peanut2_MedRes
January 30, 2013

Demand A Living Wage in New York!

Last year thousands of MomsRising.org members told Governor Coumo that NY’s outdated minimum wage hurts working women and families. Along with our partners, we kept the pressure on and last week during the State of the State, the Governor joined our call and declared, “The current minimum wage is unlivable.”

He’s right! Full-time working New Yorkers earn $7.25 an hour if they make minimum wage. This is only $15,080 for full-time, year-round work. And get this, of the more than 880,000 members of New York’s workforce who earn minimum wage, MOST OF THEM ARE WOMEN!

New York, a state that has one of the highest costs of living in the nation, has a minimum wage that is the same as Nebraska’s–a state with one of the lowest costs of living in the country. And, there has only been a 10 cent increase of minimum wage in the last five years.

We have Cuomo’s attention, now it’s time for the state legislature to act!

*Tell the New York State Senate and Assembly to pass legislation this session raising the minimum wage to at least $8.75 per hour and indexing it to rise automatically with the cost of living. 

Raising a family on just $290 per week in a state that has one of the highest costs of living in the United States sounds impossible. But, that’s exactly what some full-time working New Yorkers try to do if they earn the $7.25 an hour minimum wage.

A higher minimum wage will help the state’s lowest-paid workers make ends meet, and indexing the minimum wage to rise automatically with the cost of living will protect the purchasing power of the minimum wage from eroding as the price of basic goods rises. With the cost of food, rent, and utilities always on the rise in New York, it’s impossible for the minimum wage to remain stagnant.

Eighty percent of all New Yorkers want to raise in the minimum wage. And for good reason: A yearly income of $15,000 puts a single mom with two children under the federal poverty line. That’s bad for the economy.

*Tell the Senate and Assembly to help our economy and stand up for working women and families. Raise New York’s minimum wage to at least $8.75 per hour, with indexing to establish annual increases that keep pace with inflation.

Raising the minimum wage DOES NOT result in job loss. The most rigorous research conducted over the past 15 years, including studies comparing job growth trends in neighboring counties across state lines with different minimum wages, have found that higher minimum wages do not result in job losses.  Importantly, this research shows that these trends are the same even for minimum wage increases implemented during weak economic periods, such as the 2009 federal minimum wage increase.

Contrary to myth, the minimum wage is chiefly about large corporations, not mom-and-pop businesses. Large chains employ two-thirds of all low-wage workers in the country.  In retail, New York’s largest low-wage industry with 269,000 employees, the data show that large chains are paying substantially less than smaller retailers – on average, a stunning 23% less.

Women business leaders get it! Margot Dorfman, CEO of the US Women’s Chamber of Commerce, with over half a million members said, “The number one problem for our member businesses is that the recovery is slow because sales are still weak. Too many of their customers have been out of work or are working for lower pay or are fearful about their economic future, and as a result have cut back on their spending. Raising the minimum wage puts dollars in the pockets of the workers who are by necessity most likely to spend them immediately in the local economy.”

*It is time to act! It’s wrong to expect people to work full-time and live in poverty. Tell the NY Senate and the Assembly to increase the minimum wage and index it to rise with the cost of living. 

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have higher minimum wages than New York. This includes neighboring Connecticut ($8.25), Massachusetts ($8.00) and Vermont ($8.60). Even much lower-cost-of-living sunbelt and Midwest states like Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Illinois, and Montana have higher minimum wages than New York. In Washington State, the minimum wage is $9.19 – nearly $2 higher than New York.

Unlike New York, ten states automatically update or “index” their minimum wages each year to keep pace with the rising cost of living. If New York’s minimum wage had kept up with inflation over the past forty years, it would be approximately $10.70 per hour today. New York’s minimum wage has only gone up 10 cents in the last five years.

The bottom line is this: Raising the minimum wage will strengthen New York’s families. When our families are strong our economy benefits!

Together we are a strong force for women and families.

Like what we’re doing? Donate: We’re a bootstrap, low overhead, mom run organization. Your donations make the work of MomsRising.org possible–and we deeply appreciate your support. Every little bit counts.

About this author

Monifa Bandele

Monifa Bandele

Monifa Akinwole-Bandele is a blogger, human rights activist, community engagement consultant, and a co-founder and coordinator for 10 years of the Black August Hip Hop Project, an international activist/artist alliance, with ties in Cuba, South Africa, Tanzania, Venezuela and Brazil. Black August is one of the many programs of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM). As an activist with MXGM, Monifa works on issues of police brutality and political prisoners. Monifa currently serves as the food and economic security campaign director for MomsRising.org, an organization of more than one million members, and the senior training advisor for the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP). Prior to joining NCBCP she led a national campaign to expand voting rights to people with felony convictions in 15 states as the national field director for the Brennan Center for Justice Right to Vote Campaign (RTV) effectively expanding voting rights to more than 250,000 people. A little known fact about Monifa is that her first husband was the artist formerly know as Prince! ;)

0 comments

There are no comments for this post yet.

Be the first to comment. Click here.

Bed-Stuy
 
Listen to Manny W. talk about how a constant police presence...
 
As I approached the corner of Throop Avenue and Van Buren...
 
On July 21st 2013 Kyam Livingston, a 37 year old African...
 
Listen to Ricky S. talk about the misplaced priorities of the...
 
Raise your hand if you’re jaded by elections. You should be....
 
Few people consider voting subversive activity. In fact, we think of...
 
  The race to represent District 36 in the NYC Council...
 
Listen to Malcolm S. talk about the various constitutional violations inherent...
 
Charla Harlow (of the Harlow Project ) was with us at the Chalk...
 
Marc K. believes the NYPD are directly targeting communities of color....
 
Listen to Michael talk about the consequences of taking a plea...
 
Listen to Miles K. talk about how angry it made him...
 
In this episode of “On The Block”, BMC sits with Chelsea...
 
Listen to Milton P. talk about being beaten ruthlessly by the...
 
Think you’re a Taboo champ? PROVE IT! Come with a team...
 
By: Kirsten John Foy Can you imagine needing a service with...
 
Last year thousands of MomsRising.org members told Governor Coumo that NY’s...
 
Natasha was on her way to the library when she was...
 
After a year of research and conversations with hundreds of local...
 
By YK Hong Dedicated to all of those who walk down...
 
By John Raskin Brooklynites are working together to win a better...
 
Oliver S. talks about racial profiling in this sound bite about...
 
Listen to Oscar C. talk about his encounters with the NYPD...
 
Listen to Paulene J. talk about the time her grandson was...
 
By: Leon Johnson As a child the primary location of refuge,...
 
By: Byron Hurt The food we eat is as critically important...
 
Listen to Ricky S. talk about the misplaced priorities of the...
 
It was a moment many had expected for years, ever since...
 
Listen to Roland L. talk about how gay and queer people...
 
Listen to Roy F. talk about how the police can get...
 
In this podcast, hear Samuel break down the real issue of...
 
Although New York City public schools progress reports for academic year...
 
By Rachel M. Kleinman & Damon T. Hewitt Each year, nearly...
 
Think Stop & Frisk is only a problem for men? Think...
 
The Brooklyn Movement Center has teamed up with the Brooklyn Community...
 
“Just because they have a badge or a uniform they think...
 
The  Center for Constituational Rights  has created a podcast of New Yorkers telling their stories...
 
This Wednesday, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), fellow advocates, and...
 
Wednesday, October 3rd at 6 p.m., Executive Director, Mark Winston Griffith...
 
On this one year anniversary of the birth of Occupy Wall...
 
The security guards at New York City Hall were overwhelmed, not...
 
<a href=”http://brooklynmovementcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/dnainfo.jpg”><img class=”size-medium wp-image-409″ src=”http://brooklynmovementcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/dnainfo-300×224.jpg” alt=”Bk stoop” width=”300″ height=”224″ /></a> BK...
 
<strong>By Lindsay Kalter</strong> <a href=”http://brooklynmovementcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/photoadayintersections.jpg”><img class=”size-medium wp-image-417″ alt=”photo a day garden”...
 
On the Block with BMC is a monthly video series profiling...
 
The Brooklyn Movement Center believes everyday people are the true witnesses...
 
Are you going to be a high school junior or senior...
 
A tiny burst of energy is enough to get any ball...
 
  Please come out and check out this important film being...
 
Daily Press , a coffee shop on Franklin & Hancock in Bedford-Stuyvesant, is...
 
By Maitefa Angaza – The Pratt Center for Community Development, Pratt’s Initiative...
 
Our very own Mark Winston Griffith was on NPR with Brian...
 
Several stores in the Bed-Stuy community have a new product on...
 
Over 150 Frederick Douglass Academy IV (FDA IV) and P.S. 26 parents, alumni,...
 
Executive Director Mark Winston Griffith joined Arva Rice, the president and CEO...
 
There are a lot of reasons for Central Brooklynites to not get involved...
 
You know Mary Ward.  She is in all of our families....
 
“Get on the bus!” That was my clarion call for the past...
 
In partnership with 500 Men Making a Difference, and the administration...
 
New details are emerging on the Department of Education’s decision that...
 
After only a few short months on the job, Cathie Black...
 
They’re super schools sent to save America’s neediest children.  Or they’re...
 
Congressman Anthony Weiner recently  released a report   that found that since 2006, the...
 
The state and city budgets contain nothing but bad news for...
 
Two years ago, Boys and Girls High School got a D...
 
Today on our website, the MC’s journalism intern Patrick Wall sounds...
 
Robert G. Thompson is a multimedia journalist, writer, and filmmaker, keeping a regular...
 
“I love the concept of change. Everybody’s in favor of change....
 
Robert G. Thompson is a multimedia journalist, writer, and filmmaker, keeping a regular...
 
The District 16 Project Bed-Stuy Patch/C.Zawadi Morris November 6, 2012  ...
 
Among the many items in this week’s news, there was one...
 
When times are hard, you discover who your real friends are....
 
The recent news that Mayor Bloomberg offered Jeffrey Canada, the founder...
 
No matter who you are, no matter what you do, there...
 
It’s no secret that Central Brooklyn is a poster child for...
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
Listen to Manny W. talk about how a constant police presence...