Why a Real Living Wage?

“The dignity of the individual will flourish when the decisions concerning life are in his own hands, when he has assurance that his income is stable and certain, and when he knows he has the means to seek self- improvement.” – Martin Luther King Jr. Aug 16, 1967

As people of faith who believe that all human beings must be treated with respect, justice and compassion, and that all work has dignity, we are committed to promoting economic equity for all New Yorkers through a new living wage of $20/hour.

Every day, millions of NYC workers are unable to feed their families; are homeless or living in shelters; have children living in a perpetual state of need. This has to change, and there is a solution: New York must become a living wage city, in which all workers are able to sustain themselves and their families, live with dignity and pride, and afford the necessities of life – a home with a warm hearth, food on the table, bills paid – and live in poverty no longer.

It is an assault on the conscience of all of us devoted to justice to live in a city where 42% of households live at or below the poverty level when so much wealth abounds.

Our faith-rooted moral values require us to launch a campaign for a New York City living wage.  We believe the minimum wage must be a living wage, so those paid the least no longer suffer, and New York becomes a city that is just, safe and humane for all.

As people of diverse faiths committed to using our creative minds – our justice imaginations – we are united in our determination to make this a living wage city, so all workers have the dignity and respect they deserve and the economic needs of all individuals and families are met; so all of us can live in a city in which the moral tenets of our diverse faiths – that we are all created one and equal – serve as guideposts for our city’s future.

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