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General News    H3'ed 7/24/14

The Grass Roots Fight For A Living Wage

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"When our governor (Scott Walker) decides to reject Medicaid expansion, real people die. Parents lose children and children lose parents. There are real consequences for the decisions made. What we do is train people to say, 'you don't have to just sit there and accept it. You can make life as uncomfortable for people making these decisions as they are for making your lives uncomfortable' so they come to the table to talk to you and bargain with you as an equal.

"That's what our ancestors did at the turn of the 20th century with what was then dangerous factory jobs in Milwaukee. People lost their lives and there was no workman's comp, but the workers turned those factories into providing the good and sustaining careers that we're all wishing would come back to the US. You look at those jobs and they were not what we all idolized. They were dangerous, dirty jobs, and we turned them--through the power of organizing collectively--into the engine that built the greatest middle class in history of the world.

"I look at the history of our country and I have studied the history of global social movements. If you look at it, the Supreme Court once decided that separate and equal was the law of the land and discrimination was OK. It took Brown v. Board of Education to overturn Plessy vs. Ferguson. At the end of day, you can't stop progress when people are in the streets. I just read an article written by a Seattle millionaire (Nick Hanauer: The Pitchforks Are Coming For Us Plutocrats) talking about how the millionaires and billionaires should get behind the $15 minimum wage before there is a real revolution of working people in the streets. And I think we've reached a tipping point already and that revolution is already happening. The more that people cover it and the more who are willing to stand up and support them, the greater chance we have of tipping the scales."

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Joanne Boyer is founder and editor of Wisdom Voices Press and Her first book is "Wisdom of Progressive Voices." Joanne has worked in professional communications for more than 30 years. Her career includes being the first (more...)
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