1,500 Rally to Demand Congress Raise Minimum Wage, Cut Corporate Tax Breaks

Rep. Keith Ellison Joins Hundreds of Workers Outraged by Growing Income Inequality

Cong. Keith Ellison

Cong. Keith Ellison

(April 28) As Congress returned from a two-week recess, more than 1,500 people gathered at the Capitol to protest the growing chasm between rich and poor Americans, calling on Congress to stand with everyday people instead of corporate special interest groups. Immediate demands included a raise in the minimum wage and cuts to corporate tax breaks, both key causes of rising economic inequality and the result of Congressional lawmakers who cater to out of control corporate interests.

“Today we came together and marched 1,500 strong to take back the capitol by saying NO to poverty wages and NO to corporate giveaways. Congress must put workers and their families before profits. We’re showing that our labor and our voices matter, and together we’re fighting for a new economy that will work for us all,” said Gilda Blanco, a member of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA).

Together, members from a range of worker and economic justice groups — including National People’s Action (NPA), Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and OurDC — came together as part of a broad and growing movement to underscore the wide-spread damage big corporations do to everyday, working people.

“All over America, families are suffering from budget cuts while we give tax cuts to corporations that are already sitting on trillions of dollars of idle wealth,” said Toby Chow, a member of NPA and the Illinois-Indiana Regional Organizing Network (IIRON). “If corporations paid their fair share in taxes, we could reverse cuts to education, create a 21st century social safety net, and create hundreds of thousands of jobs for teachers, health care providers, and other workers.”

The rally coincided with the annual lobby days of the National Restaurant Association, which has consistently blocked policies that would enhance public health and improve the economic circumstances of working families, including an increased minimum wage for tipped and regular workers.

“It’s time that Congress holds corporations accountable for paying fair wages and puts people before corporate lobbies like the National Restaurant Association,” said Catherine Bryant, member of ROC-DC. “Congress needs to stand up to the National Restaurant Association and stop accepting their corporate cash!”

Rep. Keith Ellison joined the protesters to address rampant income inequality and demand an economy and a Congress that work for the American people instead of for corporations.

“It’s time the world’s biggest corporations stop pushing for bigger tax breaks and start raising wages for the working Americans who make profits possible,” Rep. Ellison said. “Congress should raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 and increase the tipped minimum wage from the current hourly rate of $2.13. We can start with the planned vote in the Senate this week.”

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