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Presbyterian Office of Public Witness supports minimum-wage hike

Washington office urges the public to contact their members of Congress

by Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service

Photo by Pasja1000 via Pixabay

LOUISVILLE — The Presbyterian Office of Public Witness is calling on Congress to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour to help lift low-wage workers out of poverty.

The Washington-based office issued the alert Monday to rally support for legislation that was introduced in the House of Representatives in January to gradually increase the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour by 2025.

The alert is a call to action to contact members of Congress and ask them to support the “Raise the Wage Act” (HR 603), which OPW describes as “much needed.”

“Our new Congress must immediately address the needs of the American working people,” the alert states. “Absent aggressive action, the economic crises, and the inhumanness of experiencing poverty will continue to affect millions of people. We need legislation that is broad in scope and size to address the many facets of the complex American workplace.”

Raising the minimum wage would lift roughly 1.3 million people, including 600,000 children, out of poverty and be beneficial to marginalized groups, such as Black and Latino workers, women and various segments of the LGBTQIA+ community, the alert notes.

The office also notes that the U.S. minimum wage, which hasn’t increased since 2009, isn’t high enough to cover basic expenses.

“The current wage of $7.25 is not livable,” the alert states. “There is no place in America where a full-time worker making the federal minimum wage can afford rent, food, and other essentials. According to the Economic Policy Institute, even when working full time and year-round, ‘one in nine U.S. workers are paid wages that leave them in poverty.’”

Supporting the proposed minimum wage increase is consistent with the PC(USA)’s Social Creed for the 21st Century and aligns with the Church’s Matthew 25 invitation, according to OPW.

“As a Matthew 25 church focused on eradicating systemic poverty, we are called to engage with the world around us by advocating for policies that will put an end to those injustices and lift the most marginalized populations,” the alert notes.

Read the full alert and find ways to contact your Congress members here.

The Office of Public Witness is one of the Compassion, Peace and Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

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