What’s This About
This is about helping average working people do a job Congress has refused to do for the past 10 years: raising the minimum wage and giving 15 million hard-working people a chance to live a decent life. The federal minimum wage is stuck at $5.15 an hour and since the last increase, it’s purchasing power has actually decreased 20 percent, leaving hundreds of thousands of families scrambling just to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. Working with a grass roots alliance of labor, church, community and civil rights organizations, workers and their families have been able to raise the minimum wage in 22 states and the District of Columbia. And now we’re campaigning to pass minimum wage ballot initiatives this fall in six additional states: Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and Ohio.
7 Days @ Minimum Wage is a videoBlog we’ve created to make sure millions of voters in those states and across our country realize what living at minimum wage is really like. It’s a national wake up call. A universal guilt trip. An appeal to the basic decency of the American people. For seven days beginning Monday, October 23, we’re presenting interviews with men and women who are working at or near the federal minimum wage, letting them tell their stories in details that will shame you. Then we’re asking bloggers to post their reactions and comments, even videos, send messages to members of Congress, and help us spread the word throughout the blogosphere.
Video: 7 Day @ Minumum Wage
7 Days @ Minimum Wage brings you 7 real people with 7 real stories of living on the minimum wage, hosted by Roseanne Barr and sponsored by the AFL-CIO and ACORN. On Day 2, Erin talks about needing to work increasing hours at her minimum wage, grocery store job to make ends meet.
Day 1: Paul & Susan
On Day 1, Denver couple Paul Valdez and Susan Windham tell their story of living on the minimum wage. Paul receives $35 for a full day’s labor in back-breaking construction work.
Day 2: Erin
On Day 2, Erin talks about needing to work increasing hours at her minimum wage, grocery store job to make ends meet.
Day 3: Jeffrey
On Day 3, Jeffrey shares his story of taking care of his newborn son with his minimum wage paycheck. After paying for rent, diapers, formula, and the electric bill, there is little left for groceries.
Day 4: Jessica
On Day 4, Jessica, an educated mom of four, tells her life-story of struggle to get ahead and make a future for her family. Jessica does everything she can to break out of a daily cycle of pain inflicted by having to scrape by on the minimum wage.
Be sure to watch both part 1 and part 2 of Day 4: Jessica.
Day 5: Chris
On Day 5, Chris tells a shocking American tale of day to day existence on the edge of homelessness. Without a regular 9-to-5 job, Chris searches for work everyday. If he can’t make $35 a day, he will lose his room and be forced onto the streets.
Day 6: Amanda
On Day 6, Amanda talks about missing the opportunity to do “normal” things with her family, like go to the movies or buy birthday presents for her siblings, because her minimum wage paycheck doesn’t cover the things she needs.
Day 7: Mallory
On Day 7, Mallory shares her story of dreaming of a better future of education and independence, but facing no opportunities on a minimum wage paycheck.
Who Are We
We are ACORN, the AFL-CIO, and ROSEANNE and what we have in common is a belief that we’re all in this together, that every citizen of our country deserves a good job and decent pay and a chance to lift their families into the middle class.
ACORN is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, our country’s oldest and largest grassroots organization of low and moderate income people, with members in more than 100 cities.
The AFL-CIO is the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organization, America’s largest labor federation, with 51 affiliated unions representing more than 10 million members.
Roseanne Barr is a member of ACORN, a member of two labor unions, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (Aftra), and a self-described “domestic goddess.”