ACTION ALERT: Ithaca City Council to Consider Countywide Living Wage, Wednesday

WHAT: Ithaca City Council is considering throwing its support behind our movement to make the Living Wage a minimum wage in Tompkins County. They will decide this at the next Council meeting. Come help us make the Minimum Wage a Living Wage!

WHEN: 5:30-6:00 pm, Wednesday, December 2, RALLY next to City Hall, 108 E. Green Street

6-6:45 pm, ATTEND beginning of Council meeting and make a short statement (please let us know if you would consider making statement)

WHERE: Meeting is in Common Council Chambers, 3rd floor, City Hall

WHY: In Tompkins County, far too many working people earn less than a Living Wage of $14.34/hour. Sometimes far less. This includes cashiers where the median wage is about $9.00, retail sales – $10.50, child care – less than $11, housekeepers – less than $10.50, food service – less than $9, home health aides – less than $11, and others. Of course since these are figures for the median wage, half are paid below it.

With wage so low it is not surprising that 14.1 percent of all families in Ithaca live in poverty (2008-12 data). For families with children under the age of 18, that figure rises to 21.4%, and for families with all children under the age of five, the figure is 31.2%. The situation is much worse for single parent families with a female head of household, 54.5% of these families with children under the age of 18 were living in poverty.

The bottom line is that in a community with so much prosperity we must no longer accept wages that leave some unable to support themselves or their families. We all lose when this happens. We all win when everyone prospers. The time to make the minimum wage a Living Wage in Tompkins County is now.