"Wing of the Democratic Party made up of workingmen and reformers, opposed to monopolies and financial policies that seemed to them antidemocratic and conducive to special privilege. The Locofocos received their name when party regulars turned off the gas lights to oust the radicals from a Tammany Hall nominating meeting. The radicals responded by lighting candles with new matches known as locofocos and nominated their own slate." (From: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9048706 )

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I am husband and father in a family of four, wife Verna, son Thomas, and daughter Jennifer. We've lived in Springfield's 137th District for over ten years at 800 W Calhoun St, and love the Grant Beach area. I was born to a military family, my mother and father met at Ft Leonard Wood. I was born in Ft Hood Texas, and travelled throughout my childhood, with most of my time spent in any one place in the Rolla Mo area. When I completed my own four year hitch with the US Navy, I settled here in Missouri, living in Mt Vernon. I moved into Springfield in 1994 to attend (then) SMSU and stayed, finding our permanent home in the Grant Beach Park area.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Volunteer Call: Minimum Wage Petition

A group of about 40 people assembled to learn more about the minimum wage initiative Wednesday, April 12, at National Avenue Christian Church, 1515 S National. Rev. Roger Ray exhorted the group to help with the campaign by collecting signatures. Kay Mills (Mo Pro-Vote) and Clark Brown (SEIU) added information about how to gather signatures and outlined goals of the effort.
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 kmills_724@yahoo.com 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.


Blogger Michelle said...

Are these the people that were outside Hastings and Wal-Mart? Was there another issue they had petitions for? I could've sworn the person I talked to said something about two petitions. Do either of the organizations have websites?

Thanks, and sorry if I missed anything - getting ready to go to bed but I had to comment first because I'd probably forget if I left it 'til the morning.

9:16 PM  
Blogger LocoFocoRampant said...

Probably. A petition canvassing company is now at work in the area carrying two primary petitions, the Stem Cell initiative and the Minimum Wage initiative.

Typically, a company like this is hired to get a petition "over the top" for qualification, and they often like to carry more than one petition at a time.

In this case, this company's primary inititative is the Stem Cell one, with the Minimum Wage petition being carried "while we're at it..." Once the Stem Cell signature goals are met, the company will move on to some other area.

A second company is now in the area circulating other petitions as well. This company, National Voter Outreach, has a website, and is carrying the two previously mentioned petitions plus petitions concerning Eminent Domain, Tobacco Use, and a Tabor-like petition.

The people you met were likely from one of these two groups working the area.

4:15 AM  

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