Rev. Sandy Damhof, Protestant Chaplain at University at Albany and pastor of Journey United Church of Christ, delivered the following benediction at the March 15 Fight for 15 Rally in Albany.
Leaders representing a diverse group of faith-based organizations voiced their support Wednesday for a statewide $15 minimum wage along with additional funding to human service providers to cover higher wages. Speaking outside the Senate chamber, the Catholic, Protestant and Jewish leaders made the moral case for living wages and spoke to the struggles of faith-based service providers stretched by increasing need among the working poor.
As long as work is the way that people meet their basic needs, how we value people’s labor is directly related to how we value people’s lives. Add your name to the petition to New York's legislature calling for an increase to $15 as soon as possible.
Last week was amazing. On Tuesday, New Yorkers all across the state came together to call for an end to poverty wages, racism, and the deportation of immigrants in the latest Fight for $15 day of action. To all of you who stood with workers in the streets or contacted your state representatives - THANK YOU!
On November 29, 2012, the Fight for 15 began in New York City when fast food workers walked off the job calling for a $15 wage and a union. Since then, the Fight for 15 movement has grown exponentially and has changed the public consciousness and political climate regarding the minimum wage and the treatment of low-wage workers in our economy. Here in New York State, the momentum for $15 has never been greater. Workers are now organizing in Rochester, Buffalo and Albany, in addition to New York City. Just a few weeks after the last day of strikes in April, Gov. Cuomo announced that he would convene a Wage Board to consider raising the wage for fast food workers. After four groundbreaking public hearings, at which workers shared over 20 hours or testimony, the Wage Board decided to gradually raise wages to $15 in New York. Then in September, Governor Cuomo announced a push for $15 for all workers.
A close ally of the Labor-Religion Coalition, the NYS Council of Churches, is seeking an Executive Director to lead the organization into its next phase of growth and accomplishment. NYSCC joins together Christians of many denominations across New York State to care for one another, safeguard the presence of vital Christian communities, provide hospitality to all, proclaim the Gospel boldly in each place, and declare God’s just will among the powers and principalities. Our mission goals focus on social justice witness and advocacy on state-level issues, such as income inequality, health care for all, earth care, and an end to mass incarceration; institutional pastoral care; and ecumenical cooperation in education, worship and action.