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ACORN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 29, 2006
11:46 AM

CONTACT: ACORN
Charles Jackson at 504-994-4669 or acorncomm@acorn.org

 
ACORN Celebrates as Minimum Wage Increases Take Effect
 

WASHINGTON - December 29 - ACORN members will hold events in Arizona, Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania to celebrate as state minimum wage increases go into effect on Monday (Jan. 1, 2007). States ballot measures passed in November will put wage increases into effect, helping millions of workers.

ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) led the charge to increase the minimum wage by ballot initiative in four states -- Arizona, Ohio, Missouri, and Colorado and through legislative campaigns in several other states.

 “ACORN members are celebrating a day that means the start of a little better life for millions of our country’s hardest working families,” said ACORN President Maude Hurd. “Now Congress needs to finish the job by passing a national wage hike with no strings attached.”

In Arizona, Jan. 2 at 10:30 a.m. ACORN members will join Rep. Steve Gallardo (Dem.), low-wage workers and our partners in Arizona State Capital House Hearing Room 2 in Phoenix to celebrate the wage increase. Arizona’s minimum wage will increase from $5.15 to $6.75 an hour, affecting about 345,000 workers.

In Ohio, the minimum wage increases to $6.85, affecting about 720,000 workers. Events are scheduled in three Ohio cities: Columbus, Cleveland and Dayton.

In Colorado, the wage increases to $6.85, impacting about 135,000 workers. Jeffery Edwards, who earns minimum wage, will discuss what the raise means to him and his family.

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ACORN members will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. Jan. 3, at the ACORN Office, 5907 Penn Ave., Suite 300 to celebrate our coalition's legislative victory to raise the minimum wage in our state. In Pennsylvania, wages will go up to $6.26 in January and then to $7.15 in July. 

ACORN members are using this occasion to highlight the need for Congress to take action on a national wage hike as soon as they reconvene this week.

 ACORN is pushing for an increase in the federal minimum wage without any “poison pills,’’ such as special interest tax breaks, attached.

“Congress should not tie down the wage increase with any baggage. We need a clean wage bill without any string attached,’’ Hurd said.

Around the county ACORN is campaigning for national and state minimum wage increase laws with “indexing” to keep up with inflation as part of its broader Working Families Agenda, which includes paid sick leave, help with childcare, and earned income tax credits.

In 2006, ACORN worked with a wide range of partners to initiate and organize minimum wage ballot campaigns in four states and coordinated signature-gathering that qualified them for the ballot. More than 1.5 million workers in the four states stand to benefit from the wage increases, which include indexing to inflation.

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