Tag Archives: Economic Justice
Sign reading "no more low wages"

Momentum Builds Toward National Policies for Worker Justice

Walmart, the largest employer in America, announced yesterday that they would raise company wide wages to a minimum of $10 an hour in 2016 for 500,000 workers. This boost can be attributed to many factors: a tightening job market, lower unemployment, higher turnover. However, Walmart’s CEO has been very outspoken about his desire to improve the company’s labor practices. Our Movement has long advocated for equal and fair wages for workers, most recently helping to pass a minimum wage bill in Nebraska in November. To see such a large organization setting the precedent for increasing the minimum wage is encouraging, as it will put pressure on other large employers, such as McDonald’s and Target, to do the same.

At its current rate of $7.25 an hour, the federal minimum wage is worth about 23% less than it was worth in the late 1960s. Minimum wage workers, on average, make a mere $15,080 a year; not enough to live on or to be considered as a living wage. Since workers are not paid enough, workers have to turn to federal safety net programs since they’re paid too little at work to make ends meet on their own.

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Lifting Children Out Of Poverty

Child poverty is a national scourge that must end in our generation. We must raise our voices to ensure that federal funding directed towards ending children poverty be increased to ameliorate a recent decline. Earlier this month, the Children’s Defense Fund released a report with new findings this issue, providing a key illustration of just how rampant this problem truly is.

In the United States of America, there are 14.7 million poor children and 6.5 million extremely poor children. This means that the number of poor children (14.7 million) is greater than the combined populations of Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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The Moral Call to Pass the Healthy Families Act

On Thursday, Senator Patty Murray (WA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), introduced the Healthy Families Act (S. 497/H.R. 932), a bill that would ensure seven paid sick days for all American workers.

The Healthy Families Act would allow workers in businesses with at least 15 employees to earn up to seven days of job-protected paid sick leave each year. Workers would earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.  People working in a business with fewer than 15 employees would be able to earn up to seven job-protected days of unpaid sick leave annually.

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Jewish Disability Awareness Month Logo February 2015

We Must Preserve Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits

Imagine suffering a devastating injury and becoming paralyzed from the waist down. Now imagine that you provide the primary source of income for your family and that you can no longer go to work because of your injury. What will you do?

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President Obama's budget documents

Encouraged by the President’s Budget – But What’s Next?

As people of faith, our Jewish values encourage us to advocate for systems that can lift people out of poverty. Jewish history also provides us with an example for helping the needy. During Talmudic times, much of tzedakah (justice) was done though tax-financed, community-run programs that helped those in needed, paralleling the social safety net that we continue to fight for today. Coming from the President, his proposed federal budget is a list of priorities for how funding should be spent in the year to come. Our budget is a moral document that can create the platform for addressing these and other injustices.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has estimated that the President’s budget would slightly reduce the debt as a share of GDP (gross domestic product) over the first ten years and would then stabilize it through 2040. This finding signifies how the budget President Obama has proposed is one that is responsible while also continuing to fund many important human needs programs. Read more…

Jewish Disability Awareness Month Logo February 2015

Removing the Stumbling Block of Economic Inequality

It is essential for activists who are passionate about disability rights to understand how many of the inequalities and hardships that people in America face uniquely impact people with disabilities. Twice as many people with disabilities as those without live in poverty and nearly 1 in 3 (or 29 percent of) individuals with disabilities live in poverty. Indeed, 45.3 million Americans lived in poverty in 2013, and individuals with disabilities are disproportionately represented in calculating the number of Americans currently living in poverty.

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Georgia Teens Tell Their Members of Congress to Raise The Wage

At the January 9-12, 2015 L’Taken Social Justice Seminar, Jason Weiner, Joey Chanin, Drew Baker, and Jacob Shippel from Temple Beth Tikvah in Roswell, Georgia spoke to staff from the offices of Georgia Senators Johnny Isakson and Senator David Perdue, and Congressman Tom Price (GA-6) to share why raising the minimum wage is important to them as Jews, as Americans, as Georgians, and as young people. Here are some excerpts from their speech:

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Equal pay protest

The Indignity of Wage Discrimination

Yesterday marked the sixth anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, a historic bill to help close the gender wage gap that persists in the United States. The very first bill President Obama signed into law, the Ledbetter Act came in response to a Supreme Court ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (2007), in which the Court held that because Lilly did not file her suit within 180 days of her first discriminatory paycheck, she did not have standing to file for wage discrimination. But, Lilly could not have filed her suit at that time because she did not discover she was being paid less than her male counterparts over the course of many years. Read more…