Today over 1,000 religious leaders from across the United States (including this blogging minister from Oregon) delivered a letter to Congress calling for an increase in the minimum wage.
Let Justice Roll reports:
Washington, DC -- Let Justice Roll, a nonpartisan coalition of ninety faith and community organizations, today sent a letter to members of Congress signed by more than 1,000 Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders from across the country. Anticipating House debate on minimum wage this Wednesday, Jan. 10, faith leaders urge congressional support for The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 (HR 2), which would increase the federal minimum wage to $7.25 from the $5.15 level set in 1997.
"As people of faith, we believe there is no better way to urgently address the poverty that afflicts so many low-wage working people and their families than by raising the minimum wage," said Rev. Dr. Paul Sherry, National Coordinator of Let Justice Roll and co-author of "A Just Minimum Wage: Good for Workers, Business and Our Future." Sherry added, "A job should keep you out of poverty, not keep you in it. That conviction is at the very heart of the faith we proclaim."
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, said, "We seek a just community for all people. We are a decade late in even beginning to raise the minimum wage toward a living wage. We call on Congress to remember the least among us, and raise the minimum wage without any further delay."
In December, the nation broke the record for the longest period in history -- more than nine years -- without a minimum wage raise, while Congress's ninth pay raise since 1997 is scheduled to take effect in February. Today, a full-time worker earning the federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour makes an unconscionable $10,712 annually. Although worker productivity and corporate profits are both way up, the buying power of today's minimum wage is lower than it was in 1950.
As the faith leaders' letter states, "The strong victory on all the minimum wage ballot initiatives is evidence that there is strong and widespread support from Americans for a prompt, clean minimum wage increase at the federal level."
Click here to see the list of religious leaders who have endorsed the letter.
Better yet: take action and call Congress on Tuesday, January 9th and tell your member to support The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 (HR 2). Click here for all the information you need to make that call.