This is much needed legislation. It has been more than a decade since the federal minimum wage was increased. The longest period in U.S. history. The current wage of $7.25 is not livable. There is no place in America where a full-time worker making the federal minimum wage can afford rent, food, and other essentials. According to the Economic Policy Institute, even when working full time and year-round, “one in nine U.S. workers are paid wages that leave them in poverty.” Similar reports from the Congressional Budget Office say this wage increase would assist in lifting workers out of poverty, impacting 1.3 million Americans – 600,000 of which are children.
The Raise the Wage Act would give nearly 32 million Americans a raise and reduce racial and gender pay inequality. Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour is also a significant step that will help lift LGBTQIA+ people of color and LGBTQIA+ women out of poverty. About 37% of the LGBTQIA+ community identify as people of color. The Black Futures Lab found low wages are the biggest concern facing Black LGBTQIA+ people. According to reports from the Education and Labor Committee, “under the Raise the Wage Act, nearly one-third of all Black workers and one-quarter of Latinos would get a raise. In addition, women comprise nearly 60 percent of workers who would see their pay increase under the bill.”
Join the Office of Public Witness in Urging your Member of Congress to Support the Raise the Wage Act!
The “Social Creed for the 21st Century,” adopted by the 218th PC(USA) General Assembly, discusses the importance of “a living wage as a minimum in every industry and for the highest wage that each industry can afford.” Economic inequality and pay gaps render many people unable to afford basic necessities. As a Matthew 25 church, focused on eradicating systemic poverty, we are called to engage with the world around us by advocating for policies that will put an end to these injustices and lift the most marginalized populations. This call is especially important now.
Our new Congress must immediately address the needs of the American working people. Absent aggressive action, the economic crisis, and the inhumanness of experiencing poverty will continue to affect millions of people. We need legislation that is broad in scope and size to address the many facets of the complex American workplace.
We urge you to participate in this call to action by contacting your congresspersons directly, telling them to support the “Raise the Wage” Act.