For workers like me, $15 an hour means being able to feed my family without worrying that we're taking money we need for the gas or water bill or for bus passes. It means being able to see my kids grow up. It means real change in our lives.
In an economy where corporate profits are at record highs while average wages have stagnated for decades, we don't have to choose between economic justice and common economic sense. It is possible to improve living standards for workers without bringing business to its knees.
All throughout history, clergy of all faiths and denominations have been deeply involved in the fight for civil rights and for fair treatment for all people. Now faith leaders are helping to lead the fight against income inequality.
At a time when cities and states are working to address economic inequality and fight poverty by passing minimum wage increases, why would a state hamstring its cities from setting a higher minimum wage?
The need for reasonable wages that allow workers to live and support families in New York is real. These workers aren't asking to get rich, they just want to be able to work full-time and know that they can pay their bills.
Many companies stress the importance of "teamwork" as a vital practice for the success of their business -- and yet, far too many businesses hesitate to ensure that the values of collaboration and reciprocity are reflected in their pay scales as well.
Once, New York's minimum wage was a national leader, now our state must not fall behind and continue at the forefront of progressive policy initiatives. It's time to rebalance the scales. It's time for New York to raise the minimum wage.