Governor Quinn, Senator Durbin, and Congresswoman Schakowsky Endorse Raise Illinois Coalition and Launch Minimum Wage Referendum Campaign

Lawndale News Chicago's Business - Local News

Raise Illinois officially launched its campaign to sign-up over a half million voters who are pledging to vote to raise the minimum wage on the November ballot referendum.

Governor Pat Quinn, Senator Dick Durbin, and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky – who just ended a week living on the minimum wage as part of a national challenge to elected officials – stood among low-wage workers and families to strongly endorse the Raise Illinois ballot referendum. The elected officials called on all Illinoisans to vote to raise the minimum wage this November to send a clear message that now is the time to support low-income families who are suffering economically.

The Raise Illinois coalition said that its ballot referendum is an opportunity to give low-wage workers and families, especially women and communities of color, a stake in this year’s election and a reason to vote for their own economic interests.

Governor Pat Quinn spoke passionately about his efforts to raise the minimum wage to support working families and to lift up small businesses. “Now is the time to raise the minimum wage in Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “It’s about dignity and decency. No one should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty.”

There are an estimated 400,000 minimum wage workers in Illinois. Minimum wage workers in Illinois make just $8.25 an hour and earn only about $17,000 a year working full-time – nowhere near enough to support a family.

U.S. Senator Durbin who has been waging the fight in Washington to raise the federal minimum wage said that Illinois’ voters have a huge opportunity to move this issue forward. “We simply can’t wait for Congress to act before we take action right here in our state. Illinois voters have an immense power to send a clear message that now is the time to raise the minimum wage. Letting people continue to suffer on poverty level wages is simply not who we are as a country.”

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