The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Anthony Caldwell,, 330-651-2042

Workers Say If Americans Want Prosperity, Join The Fight for $15 Movement

Fight for $15 Movement Joins Ohio AFL-CIO Rally Outside Koch Brothers’ AFP Conference

Columbus, Ohio

Working people across Ohio will converge in Columbus on Friday, August 21st for a Rally to Defend the American Dream as the billionaire-backed Americans for Prosperity hosts a national summit in support of anti-worker policies aimed at continuing to shrink the middle class and defund quality public services.

"I work more than 40 hours a week and can't afford to both pay my rent and buy shoes for my eight year old. 'Trickle down' economics doesn't work, which is why there's a flood of support for $15 an hour," said Artheta Peters, a home health care worker from Cleveland, Ohio, who will address the crowd of hundreds at the Rally to Defend the American Dream on Friday morning. "The idea that further enriching CEOs and giving tax breaks to millionaires would somehow allow their good fortune to rain down on the rest of us is a fairy-tale."

Ms. Peters has been working as a home care aid in Cleveland since 2000. After 15 years providing services to veterans, seniors and people with disabilities, she still only earns $8 per hour and has no benefits to speak of like paid time off, healthcare or a retirement plan. Peters has been a vocal supporter of the national Fight for $15 movement and is organizing other home health providers in her community as part of the Workers Rising campaign of the Service Employees International Union District 1199.

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"When workers get paid fairly for the work we do, it stimulates consumer spending, keeps our economy in balance, and improves our local communities," continued Peters. "I'm fighting for $15 because if Americans want real prosperity, working people need to unite to lift up our families and raise wages for workers."

Artheta Peters will speak at the Rally to Defend the American Dream kickoff program at McFerson Commons starting 10:00am and then join hundreds of other working people for a march to the Columbus Convention Center where AFP is holding its conference.

What: Rally to Defend the American Dream

When: Friday August 21, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

Where: McFerson Commons @ John McConnell Blvd and Nationwide Blvd. (then march to Columbus Convention Center)

Twitter: Live tweets from the rally will be available by following @workersrising, @seiu1199wvkyoh or by using the hashtag: #DefendTheDream

With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy.