Natchitoches, Louisiana It is exciting to read about a living wage movement in the New York Times or to hear that Oprah will be putting a human face on low wage work on her show today. It’s a lot more exciting though to be in the fight and see the progress everyday!
In recent weeks New Mexico ACORN was all over Santa Fe with members, friends, and allies to try to boost up a bill proposed by the Governor that would have created a $7.50 minimum with no indexing. ACORN wanted more! We have to have indexing to keep up with inflation, especially in these times of high fuel prices, which are not going to go down.
But, damn, $7.50 with indexing would still be a mountain higher than a basket full of states.
The fight we are engaged in now in fact is just that one. Seeing if we can get Ohio, Missouri, Arizona, and Colorado to follow the lead of Florida and raise the minimum wage throughout the state to a reasonable level. A level that would also include indexing, of course!
Incredibly, the battle was won–mostly–before the first shot was really fired in Michigan and Arkansas. Legislators there saw the writing on the wall, and passed wage increases in the past month, before the voters could beat them to it.
Not everyone is happy about this, but increasingly these fights are moving to center stage now that we are in 2006.
We need to start looking at what it takes to push wages up everywhere in America, and it really needs to happen now!
April 14, 2006