Action Now and other community and labor organizations held a press conference to kickoff our campaign to create a $15 minimum wage in Chicago for big corporations that make over $50 million a year!
This week, both President Obama's "State of the Union" and Governor Quinn's "State of the State" addresses called for an increase in the minimum wage to fight the growing income inequality crisis.
On January 30, 2014, nine Chicago Aldermen attended our press conference in support of a $15 minimum wage as well as low wage workers and community leaders who spoke about the urgent need to raise wages for our lowest paid workers and their families.
McDonald's worker Janah Bailey, spoke courageously at our press conference, "It's not right that a majority of us are relying on public assistance to be able to eat or go to the doctor when these corporations make billions of dollars every year. It's time for people to speak out because these corporations just keep getting rich off our labor."
The economic rift between the billion dollar profits of downtown corporations and the paltry income of workers generating those profits is no more glaring than in Chicago's struggling communities. Neighborhood ills like foreclosures, closed schools, food deserts, violence and crime are all closely connected to a lack of living wage jobs.
"Raising the minimum wage will help improve my community because when people make a living wage, they have more money to spend at local businesses. It will help lift up the whole community," said Gloria Warner, Action Now's President and resident of the Englewood community.
Alderman Toni Foulkes (15th Ward) spoke about how she fought with us years ago to raise the Illinois minimum wage when she was a worker at Jewel, "I was with you in the past, I'm here in the present and I'll be with you in the future."
"Raising the minimum wage is long overdue," said Alderman Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward). "We need to give our workers an opportunity to earn a living wage."
The press event marks the beginning of a major push the Raise Chicago coalition of community organizations to educate and mobilize voters to pass the city referendums on the March 18th ballot. Early voting begins on Monday, March 3rd.
FOX News Chicago, "Aldermen, Action Now leaders call for $15 minimum wage"
- CBS 2/WBBM Newsradio, "Chicago Pols Push For $15 An Hour 'Living Wage'"
- DNA Info, "$15 Minimum Wage Backed by Aldermen, Rapped by Business"
- 89 WLS, "'Fight for 15' hits City Hall"
- WBEZ 91.5 FM, "$15 minimum wage in Chicago? Industry groups have mixed reactions"
- Huffington Post, "Chicago Minimum Wage Referendum Gets A Key Boost In Big Week For Advocates"
- NBC Ward Room, "Aldermen Back Referendum for $15 Minimum Wage"