City Council is holding a hearing today to address the need for a living wage for all New Yorkers. The Food Bank has come together with our partners in the fight to end hunger to form the Anti-Hunger Caucus of the Living Wage NYC Campaign to support this important effort. Read the caucus’s letter to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn below and show your support by signing our petition to the City Council!
Dear City Council Speaker Christine Quinn:
We want to acknowledge and thank you for your tremendous leadership over the past several years to increase access to affordable, nutritious food for all New Yorkers. It is because of this leadership that we ask you, on behalf of the low-income New Yorkers we collectively serve, to support the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act (Intro. 0251-2010). This legislation would ensure taxpayer-funded economic development is a sound investment in living-wage jobs.
As you know, many low-wage full-time jobs, whether in retail or in other sectors of the city’s economy, do not pay workers enough to meet their households’ basic needs. We live in a city where the costs of many basic expenses — like housing, health care and food — are significantly higher than the national average. As a result, too many working New Yorkers who struggle to make ends meet are forced to rely on the services our organizations provide.
We share the belief that no full-time worker in this city should need to turn to a food pantry or soup kitchen to put food on the table. As with any measure that raises the incomes of low-wage workers, this legislation has the potential to stem an entrenched hunger crisis in New York City because it addresses the root cause of hunger — poverty — and it does so without expending any additional tax dollars.
Around the country, many cities have successfully enacted laws that establish a living wage standard for jobs created via taxpayer-funded economic development. It is in the best interest of New York City taxpayers and communities to replicate that success here.
Again, we thank you for your leadership in the fight against hunger in New York City. By joining the majority of City Council Members who already support the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act, you can attack hunger at its root, and lessen the poverty of many low-income New Yorkers who will be affected by this bill.
The Founding Members of the Anti-Hunger Caucus of the Living Wage NYC Campaign:
Food Bank for New York City, New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Hunger Action Network of New York State, City Harvest and Westside Campaign Against Hunger