Right now the economy isn’t working for everyone – too many Americans are working long hours for wages that are too low to support their families. The federal minimum wage is a poverty wage: $7.25 per hour, which is just $15,080 annually for a full-time worker and $4,000 below the poverty line for a family of three. More than four years after the end of the Great Recession, not only have wages for low- and middle-income workers failed to recover, but low-wage jobs have dominated job growth.
That’s why we must take action and support the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would raise the wage to $10.10 by 2016 and raise the minimum wage for tipped workers—currently a stunning $2.13 per hour—to 70 percent of the minimum wage. If the minimum wage from the late 1960s were indexed to inflation, it would now be well over $10.50 an hour. Raising the minimum wage would help 28 million American workers make ends meet, including 7 million women, and more than 21 million children have a parent who would get a raise.
Even though raising the wage would bring millions of families into the middle class and boost the economic recovery, many are fighting against it. We must push back against false claims and narratives that stoke fears about things like job loss, economic pain for small businesses, and higher consumer prices. The bottom line is we need to restore a strong minimum wage for America’s workers and provide millions of families relief from poverty – it’s time working families are given a raise!
Take action, share your story, and get your elected officials to listen. This toolkit provides several resources to help you take action with the media, other advocates, and your elected officials in support of raising the minimum wage, including:
- State-by-state and national data on the current state of poverty from Half in Ten and its partners
- Media talking points
- Questions and Answers
- Sample op-ed, press release, and letters to the editor
- Ways to hold members of Congress accountable for the Live the Wage Challenge
- State-by-state and national data on the effects of an increased minimum wage
- Ways to take action online—including use of infographics and social media—by joining the #TalkPoverty online community
- Ways to tell your story through Our American Story and make your voice heard in the media
- Other resources to help you organize and take action
DOWNLOAD the updated National Minimum Wage toolkit now (MS Word): helpful resources for advocates in any state