Raise the Wage in Greensboro

Working America Member John Schoonover

I love living in Greensboro. When I moved here a little over three years ago, I found it easy to make friends and become part of the community. I especially liked the beautiful public parks and green spaces that the city offers its residents.

Even in a strong community like ours, however, I’ve seen people struggling. I joined Working America recently because I was tired of seeing elected officials pass policies that rigged the economy to benefit wealthy billionaires at the expense of working families. Fighting for good jobs and a just economy starts with paying workers fairly, and that’s why I believe it’s time to raise the minimum wage.

This is an important issue: Six years ago the federal minimum wage was raised to $7.25 an hour, and it hasn’t been touched since. Wages for North Carolinians have been stagnant since the minimum wage was last raised in 2009, while prices for life’s daily necessities have continued to go up. But we can do something concrete to address the problem: Raise the minimum wage for folks working for the city.

Many of the folks affected by the frozen minimum wage are the same ones who make Greensboro a great place to live. They’re city workers, and they keep our streets clean and safe. They maintain our parks and trails, and they run our libraries and clean our public buildings. Putting more money in their pockets immediately pumps needed dollars back into our local economy and helps keep our city beautiful. It’s a win-win, and it’s been proven in other places.

Working families are already struggling to make it in this economy. Everyone could use a raise, and paying low-wage workers, especially city workers, a family wage helps raise the bar and sets a powerful example for local employers. Six years is long enough – now is the time for the Greensboro community to do the right thing for working men, women and families and raise the minimum wage.

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October 5: National Day of Dignity and Respect Rally and Canvass for Working People

At 10 a.m. on October 5, faith, labor and civil rights groups in Greensboro will join in marches and rallies in over 40 cities calling for Congress to pass immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship that promotes family unity and protects workers’ rights. Participants will hold a rally speaking out on the importance of commonsense reform, followed by a canvass where they will encourage others in their communities to continue putting pressure on lawmakers.

“We ask everyone to come out and join us as we take to the streets by knocking on doors and encouraging people to reach out to Rep. Coble,” said Working America State Director Carolyn Smith. “We cannot let the work of obstructionist lawmakers result in more families being torn apart by deportation and more worker exploitation by abusive employers. It’s time to raise our voices and makes sure Congress hears our call for dignity and respect.”

Working America has 30,000 members in Guilford County, with 7,500 in Rep. Coble’s district.

What: Rally and canvass for immigration reform

Who: Working America, North Carolina State AFL-CIO, Teamster Local 391, State Employees Association of NC, SEIU, Guilford County NAACP

When: Saturday, Oct. 5, 10–10:30 a.m. rally followed by 11 a.m.–2 p.m. door canvass, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. site canvass

Where: New Light Baptist Church, 1105 Willow Road, Greensboro, NC

For more details on how to get involved please contact Carolyn Smith at (336) 392-2129 or by email [email protected]

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