Support a Minimum Wage Increase in New York

Target: The New York State Assembly

Goal: Support a bill calling for an increase of the minimum wage in New York from $7.25 to $8.50.

Sheldon Silver, the Speaker for the New York State Assembly, is introducing a bill that would increase New York’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour. New York City is one of the most expensive places to live in the country, yet its minimum wage is lower than nearly all neighboring states. An increase in New York’s minimum wage is critical in addressing the ever-increasing gap between the rich and the poor.

An estimated one million New Yorkers would benefit from the proposed legislation, which also calls for adjustment each year for inflation. New York has not had a state legislature-approved minimum wage increase since 2004, and its current rate took effect three years ago as a result of federal law. The state’s minimum wage is lower than that of 18 states and the District of Columbia, yet Kiplinger ranked New York City as having the highest cost of living of any city in the country in both 2010 and 2011. Raising the minimum wage is critical for the many people struggling to survive in New York.

Opponents say the wage increase would hurt small businesses by raising the cost of doing business, which could lead to layoffs and store closings. However, the Fiscal Policy Institute argues that minimum wage earners tend to spend any extra money they get, which will pump money into the economy, creating jobs and benefiting small businesses.

New York is long overdue for a minimum wage increase. Living on $15,000 a year in New York City is nearly, if not totally, impossible. President Obama called the disparity between the rich and the poor the “defining issue of our time.” Please make modest steps to address this disparity by supporting the bill calling for a $1.25 increase of the minimum wage in New York.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear New York State Assembly Members,

New York is long overdue for an increase of the minimum wage. The last increase occurred due to federal law three years ago. New York’s minimum wage is not even keeping up with inflation.

A current bill, introduced by Sheldon Silver, proposes a $1.25 increase and annual adjustment for inflation. New York’s minimum wage is currently lower than that of 18 states and the District of Columbia, including almost all of its neighboring states. Meanwhile, Kiplinger cited New York City as the city with the highest cost of living in both 2010 and 2011. A wage increase is critical for the survival of so many New Yorkers.

President Obama called the disparity between the rich and the poor the “defining issue of our time.” Please pass the minimum wage increase to lessen this disparity and positively impact the lives of one million New Yorkers.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. I can’t even imagine trying to live with 8.50, let along 7.25. Great petition!

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Signatures

  • Johm Callaway
  • Stefano Serpico
  • Rich Alexandro
  • Hiten Shah
  • Lynn Elliott
  • Connie Raper
  • Daniel Partlow
  • Yvonne Fast
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