Author Archives: Michael Kink

NYS Minimum Wage Coalition Supports Speaker Silver’s $9 Plus Indexing Minimum Wage Proposal

The New York State Minimum Wage Coalition issued the following statement Thursday in response to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $9 and index it to inflation:

“Speaker Silver and his Assembly colleagues are on the right track to help New York’s lowest-paid workers. Our coalition strongly supports moving New York’s minimum wage to $9 per hour and indexing it for inflation.

We salute the Speaker and Assembly Members Wright and Heastie for their strong legislation. And we encourage Senate Co-President Klein, Senate Minority Leader Stewart-Cousins and other Senate champions of raising the wage to develop new, stronger legislative proposals as well.

If President Obama and Mitt Romney can agree on raising the wage and indexing it, we certainly expect that Speaker Silver, Governor Cuomo and Senate Co-Presidents Klein and Skelos can do the same.

Hundreds to Rally to Raise the Minimum Wage in Albany

ALBANY—Hundreds of workers, advocates and members of the clergy will march on the state Capitol in Albany Tuesday, calling on the state legislature to increase the minimum wage to at least $8.75 per hour and ensure that it is indexed to keep up with the rising cost of living in New York.

After marching from Westminster Presbyterian Church to the Capitol, the group will hold a rally and prayer service on the “Million-Dollar Staircase.” They’ll then deliver petitions with more than 25,000 signatures urging lawmakers to give low-wage workers a raise to the Senate’s chambers.

Citizens United, the Damage It Caused, and How New York Can Lead The Way Out of the Wreckage

Monday is the third anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. It’s a good time to review the damage it has done, and to understand how New York can lead the nation out of the wreckage.

The 2012 elections were the most expensive in our nation’s history. The cost was more than $6 billion, about the size of South Carolina’s entire state budget.

So who’s coughing up all that dough?

Labor, Business, and Community Coalition Praises Governor’s Pledge to Raise Minimum Wage to $8.75

Advocates urge legislature to approve the Governor’s proposed increase along with cost of living adjustments in future years.

The New York State Minimum Wage Coalition applauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday for announcing in his State of the State address that raising the minimum wage to $8.75 per hour was a priority for his administration.

‘The current minimum wage is unlivable,” said Mr. Cuomo. “We propose raising the minimum wage to $8.75 per hour. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the fair thing to do. It is long overdue. We should have done it last year; let’s do it this year.”

More than 1 million low-paid workers in New York would see their wages rise as a result of the increase backed by Mr. Cuomo.

“This year, Albany leaders can create a legacy of economic fairness for New York’s low-wage workers. Governor Cuomo’s championing of a minimum wage increase of $8.75 in his State of the State speech is the first big step,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. “Assembly Speaker Silver has demonstrated his commitment to raising the wage throughout his career; and we’re heartened that Senator Klein, last year, introduced legislation identical to Speaker Silver’s bill to raise the minimum wage and index it each year going forward. Labor, community, faith and student groups will keep working hard, until the bill is passed and New York families finally feel the impact.”

Statement on Governor Cuomo’s State of the State – It’s Right to Raise the Wage!

“Governor Cuomo’s strong statement on the importance of raising the minimum wage, his strong leadership to put New York’s wage near the top of the nation, and his clear commitment to raise the wage to $8.75 per hour are exactly what our economy needs now.

The Legislature should move forward to write this increase into law, with indexing to allow future increases that will match inflation. Together, Governor Cuomo and the Legislature can leave a legacy of economic fairness that will broaden prosperity and make our state’s economy stronger.”

— Statement of Michael Kink, Executive Director, Strong Economy For All Coalition

Download “NY Rising” booklet here:

Statement on Passage of the Fiscal Cliff Deal

“Republicans have finally recognized what most Americans have known for years: the wealthy can afford to pay more in taxes,” said Michael Kink, Executive Director of the Strong Economy For All Coalition. “Progressive tax reform just makes sense when we’ve got the worst income inequality in modern history. New Yorkers should continue to press Congress over the coming weeks to do less for big corporations and the very rich — and more for low-income, working and middle class families. That means protecting Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid, and that means investing in job creation that will lead to broader prosperity and a stronger economy.”

Thanks to all who participated in New York actions over the past month: 28 in-the-streets events, three statewide call-in days generating thousands of calls to Congress, four statewide conference call teach-ins and updates with hundreds of participants, a detailed report on high-end income & entitlement disparities, several hard-hitting op-eds, dozens of letters to the editor, small-scale teach-ins and meet-ups, a large-scale Facebook campaign and hundreds of tweets — all in just five weeks.

Want a Fair Deal on the Fiscal Cliff? Occupy Their Facebook Pages!

Today activists from all over New York are posting comments on the Facebook pages of House members who haven’t yet expressed their willingness to end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to help avoid the “fiscal cliff” austerity bomb of budget cuts and tax hikes that will hit low-income and working New Yorkers the hardest.

If we go over the cliff, across-the-board spending cuts will hit schools, housing and emergency food aid; even FEMA assistance to Sandy survivors will be slashed as more than $800 million is cut from public and private employers in our state including schools, senior services and homeless housing programs.  Over 200,000 New Yorkers will lose unemployment benefits and start applying for welfare, and millions of families will start to see a tax increase in the first paycheck of 2013.

If New York House GOP members Pete King, Michael Grimm, Ann Marie Buerkle, Chris Gibson, Tom Reed, Richard Hanna and Nan Hayworth were willing to do what a majority of New Yorkers want — tax the wealthy and prevent harsh cuts to students, seniors  and working families — we can get a fair deal on the fiscal cliff.

Poke them today!

Rep. Peter King:
www.facebook.com/reppeteking
Rep. Michael Grimm:
www.facebook.com/repmichaelgrimm
Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle

www.facebook.com/RepBuerkle

Rep. Chris Gibson
www.facebook.com/RepChrisGibson
Rep. Tom Reed

www.facebook.com/RepTomReed

Rep. Richard Hanna
www.facebook.com/reprichardhanna
Rep. Nan Hayworth

www.facebook.com/RepNanHayworth

THURSDAY: Red-Alert Conference Call to Boost Progressive Momentum on the Fiscal Cliff

As the budget showdown heats up in Washington, community and labor groups that are fighting for an end to the Bush Tax Cuts for the top 2%, no cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid, and investment in good jobs will hold a special update briefing and conference call for activists like you.

We’ll be joined by special guests Rep. Jerry Nadler, our progressive champion in Congress, and Damon Silvers, Policy Director for the AFL-CIO. They will give us the latest from Washington and answer questions. Other speakers will brief us on the key issues in play, who’s important to reach, and what’s happening across New York and how people and groups can get involved.

RSVP to receive call in information: http://bit.ly/nybriefing

LI to Rep. Pete King: For Xmas, We Want End to Bush Tax Cuts for Wealthy

Constituents, statewide coalition demand an end to tax cuts for the rich, protection of middle class tax breaks and vital services in avoiding looming fiscal cliff

Massapequa- Constituents of Congressman Peter King (R-LI) today delivered a strong message to him concerning the ongoing “fiscal cliff” debate: end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans and protect vital services like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Progressive groups and statewide coalitions including The Action, Strong Economy for All, Citizen Action, MoveOn, and others were also involved.

Congress is currently facing a major showdown over federal spending and tax cuts known as the “fiscal cliff,” which will result in tax increases for middle-class families and cuts to necessary social safety nets if it is not avoided. Following Hurricane Sandy, New York could also face the blow of losing critical FEMA funding and educational, nutritional and housing assistance if a settlement is not reached.

“I’m here today to tell Rep. King that Long Islanders need investments in infrastructure, jobs, protection for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and tax relief for the middle class,” said Charles Khan, constituent of Rep. King and community organizer. “We cannot afford more tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans that don’t need them. He must show leadership and stand up for his constituents.”

REPORT: NY House GOP Protecting Tiny Minority from Taxes While Aiming Cuts at Social Security & Medicare

New York – A statewide coalition – consisting of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, Strong Economy for All Coalition, and Citizen Action of New York – released a report today showing the disparity between the large number of New Yorkers who would suffer from cuts to services and the extraordinarily small number who stand to benefit from additional tax cuts for the rich.

The report’s release follows President Obama’s offer to end tax cuts on those with incomes above $400,000 and House Republicans’ decision to move a bill that would end tax cuts for only those with incomes above $1 million. The report illustrates how few people within the state’s congressional districts represented by Republicans earn even over $250,000, especially when compared to the percentages of those receiving Medicare or Social Security who suffer from cuts to those services.

“Members of the New York Congressional delegation need to defend the beneficiaries of Medicare and Social Security, many of whom depend heavily on these programs,” said Michael Burgess, New York Statewide Senior Action Council.  “Any proposal that does not let the Bush tax cuts expire for those with annual incomes above $250,000 will likely necessitate further cuts to health and social programs that will further damage the safety net members of Congress should put first.”

The large majority of people in these New York congressional districts who would lose services is consistent with the results of a recent Washington Post-ABC poll that showed a majority of Americans disapprove of cutting Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security to avoid the “fiscal cliff” and an overwhelming majority (74%) support raising taxes on Americans with incomes over $250,000 per year.