Monday, February 06, 2006

Living Wage

Dear Living Wage Supporter,

A lot is happening in the Living Wage Campaign right now. We are gettingready for 2 town hall meetings that we're urging Council members to attend,and the Council will vote on a resolution at their next meeting that couldbring a living wage to full-time City workers. We need your help to makethese events successful - our need for volunteers and activism is greaterthan it ever has been in the campaign! Below are 5 actions you can take to help us win a living wage. A detailedexplanation follows after the list. Please consider doing one, two, three,or all of the following: 1. Call your Council members and urge them to attend the town hall meetings. 2. Attend a town hall meeting on February 9th or February 28th. 3. Volunteer your time to help us prepare for the town hall meetings (Weespecially need help next week!) 4. Attend the February 7th City Council meeting. 5. Support the campaign financially by becoming a Mid-South InterfaithNetwork member. 1. Call your City Council members today and urge them to come to the livingwage town hall meetings. Be sure to give your name and share that you livein the Council member's district. State how important it is for Councilmembers to be at the town hall meeting to hear from their constituentsabout why a strong, comprehensive living wage ordinance is needed. If you plan to attend the town hall, tell your Council member. Phone numbers foreach Council member are listed below. Don't know who your Council membersare? Send an e-mail to<> withyour full address and we'll tell you. Council members invited to the February 9th town hall: Chairman TaJuan Stout Mitchell. Daytime: 576-6798. Evening: 398-7408. Councilman Dedrick Brittenum. Daytime: 576-6782. Evening: 725-9663. Councilman Edmund Ford: Daytime: 396-1555. Councilman Joe Brown. Daytime: 274-4724. Coucilman Rickey Peete. Daytime: 529-0999. Evening: 278-7464. Cuoncilman Myron Lowery. Daytime: 576-6799. Evening: 521-4300. Council members invited to the February 28th town hall: Councilman E.C. Jones (He has stated he will attend. Call and thank him!)Daytime: 576-6782. Evening: 358-2918. Councilman Brent Taylor. Daytime: 385-7611. Evening: 624-9892. Councilwoman Carol Chumney: Daytime: 844-7141. Evening: 327-8528. Councilwoman Barbara Swearegen Holt. Daytime: 576-6787. Evening: 458-9406. Councilman Scott McCormick: Daytime: 728-5630 x22. Evening: 753-6014. Councilman Tom Marshall: Day Time: 791-0115 Councilman Jack Sammons. Day time: 525-2000. Evening: 685-2002. 2. Attend a town hall meeting on February 9th or February 28th. We need astrong attendance at both of these meetings to tell Council members face toface that Memphians want a comprehensive living wage ordinance. Inviteothers from your congregation, union, community group, or neighborhood toattend with you. If you don't drive at night or do not have transportation,email<> orcall 332-3570 to join a car pool. February 9th Town Hall 7 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church 4150 Boeingshire (at the corner of Raines Rd.) February 28th Town Hall 7 p.m. at Gifts of Life Ministries 1542 Jackson Ave. (near Willett, inside Peace Lutheran Church) 3. Volunteer your time to help us prepare for the town hall meetings. We arehaving phone banks next week, and especially need help on Tuesday, January31st from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. We are also having phone banks on Wednesday,February 1st and Wednesday, February 8th (both nights 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Allphone banks will be at the Mid-South Interfaith Network office. We also need carpool drivers and sign-in volunteers for the night of eachtown hall meeting. If you can volunteer, please<> orcall 332-3570. 4. Attend the February 7th City Council meeting. The Council is scheduled tovote that day at their 3:30 p.m. meeting on a resolution to direct theadministration to pay full-time City workers a living wage by July 1st.While this is not the same as a comprehensive living wage ordinance, it is afirst step. Council meetings are held on the first floor of City Hall, 125N. Main St. Council schedules change often, so if you plan to come, call332-3570 or email<> to letus know so that we can notify you if we find out the schedule has changed. 5. Become a member of the Mid-South Interfaith Netwok to support the livingwage campaign financially. Or, if you are already a member, make a specialgift today to support the living wage. The suggested membership donation is$25 per year, or $15 if you are a student, senior, or on a low-income. Tobecome a member or make a gift, go to<> or mail your checkmade payable to "Mid-South Interfaith Network" to 3035 Directors Row, B -1207, Memphis, TN 38131.


Brad Watkins said...

Thank you David for posting this. This is a very important time for the
Living Wage movement. Many in our city government are trying to sell the
people a bill of goods about the so called "Livable Wage".....What the hell
is that?...I can't tell you and neither can anyone else. The fact is that
our City and County leaders give away your tax dollars to companies, a great
many of whom provide only poverty level jobs to the people of this city.
The entire basis for Tax abatements is to stimulate the local economy by
providing incentives for business to relocate to this area. Where this goes
horribly wrong is somehow we were brainwashed into thinking that Business
would uphold it's end of the bargain...and as anyone with eyes can see
trickle down DOES not work if the Investors DO NOT reinvest into the same
communities that spawned and nurtured them.We also were somehow brainwashed
into thinking, that somehow companies deserve tax breaks..just cause. I ask
you this question, if 80% of all new jobs come from small business..then why
in the Hell are we allowing the Unethical Corporations that abuse PILOT to
continue to prosper. You know Republicans are always whining and crying
about so called "Entitlement programs"...well guess what PILOT is the
biggest entitlement program we have going.
Many people believe in myths....some believe that ghosts haunt the Orpheum.
Some people believe that Elvis is still alive and others believe that we
cannot afford a Living Wage. How odd it is that those who believe in the
first two are considered insane, while those who believe in the latter myth
are elected to Public office. We cannot wait for our elected leaders to
stand up and speak for us. Many of our State Reps. and State Senators
have fought to keep Anti-Living Wage Laws from being passed on the State
Level. Locally however we are delayed in this venture to the point of
outright stonewalling, and misleading statements of support.."Livable Wage
Vs. Living Wage"
Now to those who are believers in Myths. To those who will say that we
cannot afford a Living Wage. I ask you then, can we afford to have WORKING
Americans who earn so little that they still have to sign up for welfare and
food stamps?...How much does that cost you?
Can we afford to pay for the medical care of those Working people who's
employers pass the buck on to government programs?....How much does that cost
Can we afford to have children in our schools who's parents are so tired
after working multiple jobs, that they do not have the time to get more
How much does that cost you?

My point is, that we are already paying for NOT having a Living Wage.
The economic realities in this County make it very difficult for those in
poverty, no matter how hard they try to make it out.
Our misplaced priorities instead have our leaders building Stadiums no one
really wanted and roads to nowhere so that developers can build houses on
These same misplaced priorities allow some of us to stand mute on this
issue, or at best give lip service-to this cause These attitudes is nothing
short of Satanic.
I am glad that the Shelby County Democratic Party voted in favor of
endorsing the proposed Living Wage.
Chairman Matt Kuhn agree to attend as the Party's representative as well as
deliver a letter from the executive committee in support of this action.
I hope to see many Democrats and Progressives of all kinds at these town
hall meetings. I also want to thank the Exec Comm members who have worked
and supported this cause...not through words but through actions.
Tomorrow, the City Council is expected to vote on a measure that would
provide City Workers "Full time only" with a Living Wage. I am excited about
that, and want to thank Councilwoman TaJuan Stout Mitchell for taking the
first steps towards comprehensive living wage laws. However, it should be
noted that this measure only effects about...30 people.
I could go off on a rant here..."too late"..but instead I am going to think
of this as a first step.To anyone still reading this I am asking you to
please attend these meetings. I know how busy everyone is...but this is

Anonymous said...

Hey, Didn't Matt Kuhn say he was going to present the SCDP Living Wage Resolution to the city council when the Coalition was presenting the signed petitions and didn't show up? If you think Kuhn and the SCDP Executive Committee members (aside from Nate Jackson, Brad Watkins, David Holt, and a couple others) are going to really support the Living Wage or even bother to to just show up, I've got a bridge to sell you. I'm sure Ex Com member Gayle Jones Carson will be there. Or will she and the other Herenton supporters try to muddle the issue with that livable wage crap.

Brad Watkins said...

"Sigh I was afraid of this".......Yes Anon, it is true that Matt Kuhn was supposed to attend said event. He did show up, however and in truth it was over an hour late, and after the event was over. I was angry about that sure. I was also frustrated at the reasons he gave for missing said event.And yes..I did and do suspect that something "funny" was going on that day. Now, I went ahead and posted all this now, to avoid this issue from being confused and discussion on the Living Wage being derailed.I hope this thread and movement can stay focused on the mission.....But if you need to take the brickbat to someone...Take it to the Mythmakers...or not, everyone has the right to their opinion.

That being said, I personally am choosing to take Chairman Kuhn at his word.I know that alot of the grudges and feuds of the past year and years before that are hard to let go of, but at the end of the day,,Matt, Myself and all the rest do not really matter, the struggle does. I think it was Malcolm X, or was it Buffy the Vampire Slayer who said."It is the mission that matters." I am a liberal, I believe in second chances.

.....but even I am only so Liberal.

LivableWage said...

Trust Matt Kuhn, Gale Carson trusts him and so will you!

Anonymous said...

I believe Reagan said "trust but verify." Matt was given the benefit of the doubt the first time, but people will not be so generous this time. If he doesn't show up this time and Gale Carson starts talking that liveable wage bs, then we will all be able to verify that they are opposed to the living wage. I'm sure all those "real" Memphians in North and South Memphis would be happy to hear about that since the living wage directly affects so many of them.

Anonymous said...

Quite franky Brad, I think you're being too diplomatic with Kuhn. If he says he's going to show up, he needs to do so, and do so on time. You mentioned that he gave a reason for his absence, but I would think that barring a death in the family such an important event outweighed anything he could have said.

Brad Watkins said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brad Watkins said...

Well, I want to say that while I do understand the frustration...I also want to ask everyone to keep an open mind. I also hope that those who are throwing stones.., do take the time to attend the event themselves. No one will be more pissed off than yours truly if we have a repeat of last december, but I do not think we will.
Did the guy make a mistake?...Yes
Did it piss some progressives off?..Yes.
Now, he has a chance to make it right.
Should we see what he does?...Yes.
Then at least you know for sure.

I'm just saying....

Brad Watkins said...

Just to let everyone know the Vote for a City Workers Living Wage has been postponed until later this month. I will keep you all posted.

Brad Watkins said...

The TOwn Hall is Still Thursday Night.

Brad Watkins said...

I want to thank Howard Richardson, Ruth Davis,and Chairman Matt Kuhn for attending tonight's Town Hall Meeting.
I also wanted to thank Councilman Dedrick Brittenum for attending.Democratic Candidate for Shelby County Clerk joe Young was there as well and read a statement of support for the Living Wage from Councilman Myron Lowery.
Now we gear up for the next town hall meeting later this month.
I urge everyone who can to please attend.