Living Wage & Economic Inequality Caucus League of Women Voters Berkeley Albany Emeryville www.lwvbae.org/living-wage-and-economic-inequality Nancy Bickel and Pat Kuhi
Agenda Why Living Wage Concurrence? Why Economic Inequality Study? Questions and Discussion Our Proposed Strategy at Convention Will you help? Discussion Sunday Action Sign up to speak for YES on consideration of Living Wage Sign up to speak for Yes on consideration of Econ. Ineqality. Monday Action Sign up to speak for Yes on concurrence with LWV Kansas LW Sign up to speak for Yes or ? on adopting Econ. Inequality
Why Living Wage? Debate on raising Berkeley’s minimum wage towards a living wage League wanted to support increase Meeting Basic Human Needs Position seemed to support “The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that one of the goals of social policy in the United States should be to promote self-sufficiency for individuals and families and that the most effective social programs are those designed to prevent or reduce poverty.”
Why Living Wage? LWVUS staff said NO Why? Since Leagues had historically supported minimum/living wage & League rep served on 1938 federal commission that established the minimum wage [.$25] During the 1988 LWVUS re-study of the Income Assistance position, Leagues did not reach consensus on a Minimum Wage question. So when Leagues ask, answer is no. Some Leagues don’t ask….
Quickest Way to Reclaim Historic League support of Min. Wage/LW Concurrence with an existing League position. We queried all Leagues Only one League responded and had a position that might return us quickly to support for some wage increases LWV Kansas Living Wage Position “Encourage establishment of a living wage policy by government and for-profit businesses that receive tax incentives and/or other public funds.”
Why Economic Inequality?— because of its bad impact on democracy At LWVBAE Program Planning, Pat Kuhi proposed and members supported a national study of economic equality’s impact on democracy and of appropriate policy solutions It’s a hot topic now nationally New books, lots of public debate, good resources We don’t need to become economists Making democracy work is our reason for being in League We wanted to arouse League interest Promote forums and perhaps studies around the country Pave the way for adoption of a study in 2014, perhaps
Study the Impact of Economic Inequality on Democracy The study would “identify the social and political impacts of economic inequality on our democracy and seek appropriate policy solutions.“ LWVUS has an ambitious and excellent set of program proposals for the next 2 years LWVUS couldn’t handle more now Adopting a non-recommended study requires a 2/3 vote— but we’d like a strong show of support
Resources and Contact Info Posted on our website at http://www.lwvbae.org/living-wage-and-economic-inequality/ A Resource list Our Slide Show Our Contact Info Nancy Bickel firstname.lastname@example.org@lwvbae.org For texting at convention 510-684-6302 Pat Kuhi email@example.com@kuhi.net
League of Women Voters of Kansas Living Wage Position Statements in Brief SOCIAL POLICY Equality of Opportunity Support action to combat discrimination and poverty, and to provide equal access to education, employment, housing and policy-making government meetings Living Wage Encourage establishment of a living wage policy by government and for-profit businesses that receive tax incentives and/or other public funds. Statements in Full SOCIAL POLICY Equality of Opportunity BACKGROUND: The support of equal rights for all has long been one of the guiding principles of the League of Women Voters. The LWVUS began its study of these concerns in 1964. A statement of position was announced by the National Board in January 1969, and adopted by the 1972 National Convention. Delegates to this convention gave overwhelming support to the newly proposed Equal Rights Amendment. The LWVUS expanded its position at the 1980 National Convention, which is reflected in our Position in Brief. The LWVK believes that many aspects of the LWVUS position are applicable for action at the state level. Delegates to the 1981 State Convention added “access to policy-making government meetings.” Living Wage BACKGROUND: The LWVK adopted a study of a “Living wage policy for government and private enterprises that receive public funds” at State Convention in April 1999. A statement of position was adopted on September 23, 2000. STATEMENT OF POSITION: It is reasonable to expect government and for-profit businesses that receive tax incentives and/or other public funds to pay a living wage in order to prevent or reduce poverty and to promote self-sufficiency. Other businesses should be encouraged to do likewise. A living wage should provide sufficient income without government assistance, for food, clothing, housing, energy, transportation, health care, education, child care, and a small amount of discretionary income. The state should set minimum standards for a living wage for state employees. Additionally, laws should be enacted that enable communities to establish living wage ordinances for local government employees and private enterprises that receive public tax money. The LWVK opposes legislation that prohibits such local action. The state should establish a minimum wage for all workers that adequately reflects the actual cost of living in the state, at least to the minimum level established by the federal government. Implementation of a living wage will take time and until that goal is achieved the LWVK continues to support government assistance to the working poor. Assistance programs may include but not be limited to: Refundable state earned income tax credits, Fair unemployment insurance, Tax credits for child care expenses, Health insurance, and Elimination of sales tax on food.