Congressman Charles B. Rangel highlighted a new study released by Oxfam America, an esteemed international relief and development organization, showing the real benefits that raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour would have for workers in states and congressional districts across the country like Harlem. According to the report, “Working Poor in America,” raising the minimum wage would give 60,000 New Yorkers living the Thirteenth Congressional District a well-deserved and overdue raise.
Raising the minimum wage is a critical component of closing the opportunity gap and lifting nearly one million Americans out of poverty…
“Raising the minimum wage is a critical component of closing the opportunity gap and lifting nearly one million Americans out of poverty,” said Rangel. “People deserve a fair shot at building a brighter future and realizing the American Dream.”
Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would give at least 600 thousand hard-working Harlemites – including hard working moms – a raise, lift many thousands of people out of poverty in Harlem, and infuse more than $32 billion into our national economy.
Rangel joined 194 of his colleagues earlier this year in signing a discharge petition to force a vote on H.R. 1010, the Fair Minimum Wage Act. The bill increases the minimum wage over three years from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, indexes future annual increases to inflation, and gradually increases the tipped minimum wage to 70 percent of the national minimum wage.
“In America, the land of opportunity, no one who works fulltime should have to raise their family in poverty,” said Rangel. “Republicans in the House and Senate must allow a vote on this proposal to help reclaim an America where working men and women have a reasonable expectation that they can support their families, contribute to our economic recovery, and plan for the future.”
Rangel previously sent open letters to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the CEO of ABM Industries Incorporated demanding action that will lead to raising the wage for airport workers, and he was arrested for participating in a sit-in with members of 32BJ SEIU on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
For further info, also see OxFam America’s Interactive Map.
Editor’s Note: We agree, those who work should have a wage that brings them out of poverty, that increases their income to support health and wealth for families and give them a hand in saving for education tuition for their families. BUT we have to consider the effect on “the number one drivers of the American economy small businesses” in Harlem and across the nation.