The Rural Patriot

October 30, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 7

The last story in this series: Day 7 – Mallory

On Day 7, Mallory shares her story of dreaming of a better future of education and independence, but facing no opportunities on a minimum wage paycheck.

This linked page contains all links for the prior six chapters.

This is my last plea for your involvement prior to election day.

Tell Congress: It’s Time for a REAL Vote to Raise the Minimum Wage. Send a letter to tell your U.S. representative and senators that when they get back to work after the election, they must put a clean vote to raise the minimum wage at the top of their agenda.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and the AFL-CIO are partners in a grassroots movement to do what the U.S. Congress refused to do. We urge voters in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and Ohio to raise the minimum wage by voting “Yes” on November 7.

For more information, visit:
ACORN
AFL-CIO
ROSEANNE BARR

Please support this effort.

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4 Comments »

  1. I invite anyone who hasn’t seen the video blog yet to come take a look at http://www.sevendaysatminimumwage.org. We originally expected to end the project after the initial week, but due to its success it’s been been extended through Election Day, November 7. The interviews are pretty stark and honest, and they’ve been viewed by more than 30,000 people since the project began on October 23 (they can also be seen on YouTube under the user name, “7daysatminimumwage”).

    ACORN and AFL-CIO launched the blog as a way to get contemporary audiences to join in the national debate over fair wages.  We hoped, naively or not, that Paul and Susan, Jessica, Jeffrey, and the other poverty-wage workers who agreed to tell their stories to America, would become Internet celebrities in the fight for social justice. That’s actually starting to happen.  A few days ago, part one of Jessica’s harrowing interview, in which she describes raising four kids while getting a degree and begging her employer for full-time hours and benefits, became YouTube’s top video in the News & Blogs category (the real heartbreak is in part two, though, if you’re brave enough to watch it).

    We’ve also had more than 60 bloggers across the country (much like you) take up the cause and write about or link to the 7 DAYS blog, gotten coverage from Air America, National Public Radio, and, with Roseanne Barr, a national Associated Press article. Last Sunday, we were honored to have celebrated labor-rights journalist Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch, as the guest for an hour-long webchat.

    Now we want to know what everyone else thinks about the project and the fairness of minimum wage in general. Personally, I don’t think an hour of human labor should cost the same as a large latte (you know, the drink we probably all had on our way to work this morning?)  Imagine having to work an hour at your job just to pay for that coffee–or being forced to raise a family on that kind of income because the government said you weren’t worth being paid anything more.  Millions of people face just that dilemma every morning, every day, and it just pisses me off that they have to be in that position.

    I invite you all to come visit the blog site and tell us what you think about the $5.15 federal minimum wage, however you want to do that. Post a comment under one of the videos and tell us your opinion or your story.  Or pick up a video camera like I did and interview a friend or neighbor working for poverty wages and post the video on YouTube or your own blog and tell us about it. And as far as YouTube goes, the comments some of our participants have received there have run the gamut from supportive to downright hateful (so we’ve been taking our blows, too). If you feel like entering the debate their, check out the comments under Jessica’s videos and see if you agree with some of them (I bet you won’t, some of them are just plain obnoxious).

    For those of us who worked on 7 DAYS, we never considered the project a simple campaign tactic, or a partisan appeal or political story.  We wanted 7 DAYS to be a humanistic project. From the beginning, we tried to engage the blogosphere from the heart. We empathize with the people who told us their stories not because we feel sorry for them, but because we ARE them. Me, and you, and every American of any wallet size working to make ends meet–none of us is any different than a minimum-wage worker, and circumstance could deliver any of us into a minimum-wage income in an instant.

    Last week, 30,000 people heard that message.  Some were convinced.  Some weren’t.  Were you?

    Let us know!

    End of speech 😉

    Comment by Mike Doyle — November 3, 2006 @ 2:22 am | Reply

  2. Thank you Mr. Doyle! I enjoyed your comment so much that I’m making it a separate post to gain wider exposure. I don’t think that you would mind!

    Thanks again for your involvement in this series, and thanks to everyone who was involved in the effort to promote this important message.

    Comment by theruralpatriot — November 3, 2006 @ 7:56 am | Reply

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