Dear Friend,Here's more from tedkennedy.com.
Where I come from, what matters the most isn't how much you have, it's how hard you're willing to work. Work gives pride, dignity, and hope to our lives and our communities.
But too many families are working full-time and have nothing to show for it. They are raising their kids in poverty and living in fear that one health crisis or pink slip will drive them over the edge. A single mom with two kids who works full-time for the minimum wage is about $2,000 below the poverty line.
The minimum wage has been stuck at $5.15 per hour for ten years--while costs for health care, housing, child care, transportation and everything else have skyrocketed and executive pay has steadily increased. Executives have figured out how to pay themselves more, while paying their workers less. It's a disgrace--but not a surprise--that poverty is up for the fourth year in a row.
It is time--past time--to reward work with an increase in the federal minimum wage.
Senator Ted Kennedy is reaching out to us for help. He has sponsored a bill to increase the minimum wage in three increments to $7.25 an hour. And he's asking us to sign on as citizen co-sponsors of his bill to show the broad base of support in the country for increasing the minimum wage.
We can win this fight. Last year, we were able to get 46 Senators to vote in favor of increasing the minimum wage, even though some supporters were out of town at the time of the vote. We can pass Senator Kennedy's bill this year, but only if people across the nation show they care about the issue.
I was honored and excited that Senator Kennedy had learned about the power of our online community. He's put his faith in us. Now we need to deliver our signatures to him.
You've heard me talk about the two Americas. One America that does the work, another America that reaps the reward. One America that pays the taxes, another America that gets the tax breaks. One America that will do anything to leave its children a better life, another America that never has to do a thing because its children are already set for life.
These concerns are catching fire across the nation. Right now, coalitions are working to increase the minimum wage through ballot initiatives in Arizona, Michigan, Montana, Arkansas, Nevada, and Ohio. I am traveling to each of these states to work with local leaders and help energize support for these initiatives. And I want to take advantage of the momentum growing across the country to pass Senator Kennedy's bill at the national level. All workers--no matter where they live--need a boost in their wages.
Senator Kennedy and I plan to personally deliver your names to Republican Senate leaders. This effort is an important step toward creating One America. One America where you have something to show for it if you work full-time--a savings account, your own home, the chance to live in a good neighborhood with good schools, and the ability to afford college.
Believe me, the lobbyists for the business interests who oppose increasing the minimum wage have tremendous influence over Congress. A broad coalition of grassroots organizations, labor unions and religious groups are working hard to level the playing field. We need to show our strength in numbers--please encourage your friends and colleagues to become citizen co-sponsors of Senator Kennedy's bill as well.
Thank you for taking action and for all that you do.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
A National Disgrace
The latest from John Edwards...