Volunteer Call: Minimum Wage Petition
People interested in circulating this petition can join in the effort by meeting at National Avenue on Saturday mornings through the deadline date of May 6, 2006. Contact Kay Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org for dates, times and petition forms.
Here's what Rev. Ray has to say about this issue:
From the April 6, 2006 newsletter National Ave-News
A good working definition of the minimum wage is, I'd like to pay you less, but if I did, they would put me in jail. And another very real definition of a peasant is someone who has to do very hard labor, but who is still too poor to have a decent life. Put the two together in the USA of 2006 and what you get is the intentional creation of a peasant class in this democracy which came into exisence, in large part, to escape the tyrannical class oppression of Europe. Let me use my "pastor" voice to say this clearly, the creation of a class of poor people in America who cannot earn enough to havc a place to live, clothes to wear, and food to eat is a sin, it is evil, plain and simple.
There are a lot of things we could do as a society to lift the burden of poverty off of the growing millions who are employed but just not able to make it. I wish that our legislature would cap the interest rates these Payday and Car Title loan places could charge (some charge in excess of 1000% apr!!!). I wish that we had universal health care which would provide at least very basic health care for everyone(our legislature just cut another 5,000 children off of health care services). I wish that college education was made available to everyone who had the capacity to earn a college education (tuition rates are rising again this year, making education less and less avaiable to the poor, making it more likely that they will reamain poor).
But, there is nothing more basic to addressing povery thatn raising the salaries of those who labor at the very bottom of the pay scale. About seven million Americans work for minimum wage which is presently $5.15/hour. This has not been increased for the past nine years! How can this be? How can we fail to give even cost of living increases to the people who earn minimum wage in this country, a nation which is blessed with such abundance? How can decent people sit back and silenty accept the obvious abusive creaton of a peasant class all around us, cooking our food and caring for our elderly?
There is a movement in Missouri to get an increase in the minimum wage on our November ballot. The proposed increase is modest, probably too modest, but it is a start in the right direction. The proposal is to raise the minimum wage in Missouri to $6.50. Of course, no one could really live on that salary either, but raising the minimum wage usually pushes most other lower salaries up with it. It is not a solution to poverty, but it is one positive step and we can help to make it happen.
It will take 25,000 voters' signatures on petitions to get this measure on the November ballot and the signatures must be collected by mid-May. To help with this I'm asking anyone who is willing to help collect signatures...
As often as the question is asked, "Why doesn't someone do something?," isn't this a good time for all of us someones to do something? Please help.