Walmart’s cataclysmic announcement that it would give its workers a raise is truly a sign of the changing tide. Question is, will legislators in Albany follow the tides? Darius Gordon a young organizer with Citizen Action of New York tells us about the campaign to raise wages in New York. Next, we hear from members of the Street Vendors Project, an organization that advocates for workers who are most often overlooked in city policy. Sean Basinski, Esq., a former street vendor himself is the founder and executive director of the Street Vendors Project; Basma Eid, is an organizer and Constantine Moratos, is a member of the Street Vendors Project who sells coffee and bagels from his cart.
Raise the Wage in New York
On Monday March 23rd actions took place in Albany to pressure New York State legislators and Governor Cuomo to raise the minimum wage. These actions involved New Yorkers from all walks of life converging in Albany. Darius Gordon is a community organizer with Citizen Action of New York and is one of the many who traveled to our state capital to make sure that legislators hear the voices of working people. Gordon argues that the cost of living in New York State necessitates a raise above the rate that is being discussed at the federal level. He says even though he has a good job, like other New Yorkers, he faced with the same economic crunch that working people are feeling across the country, particularly in New York State. To find out more about joining the fight to raise the minimum wage, visit Citizen Action of New York’s website.
Protesters rallied in Albany for #MoralMonday demanding that NYS #RaiseTheWage. Organizer from @citizenactionny tells us why Tweet this
Voices of Street Vendors
Street vendors put in a hard day’s work for a decent days pay -if they are lucky! The hardships they face are not made any easier by ultra-strict laws that try to push vendors off the curb. Sean Basinski, Esq., is an attorney, who financed his law school education in part by working as a street vender. Upon being admitted as an attorney he turned his talents towards his former profession founding the Street Vendors’ Project (SVP). Similar to the Taxi Workers’ Alliance it is a hybrid between a trade association and a union. Basma Eid, is an organizer with the SVP. Constantine Moratos, is an active member of the Street Vendors Project who vends hot coffee and bagels from his cart on the streets on Manhattan. Together they fill us in on the New York City’s extreme regulations, many of which date back to the days of Mayor LaGuardia, that, through the various mayoral administrations since, have been attempting to eliminate street vending as an industry. The Street Vendors’ Project represents the latest chapter in ongoing attempts to organize an industry that had previously been thought impossible to organize. We learn what it took to build the membership and how the organization is building its ability to ensure that street vendor’s voices are heard.
1) Campaign Against Trans Pacific Partnership – Moral Mondays in New York: We talk about how Moral Mondays made its way over to New York City
2) Bettering Education in New York – Business Models for Progressives and Conservatives: Conservative talk show host talks about why raising the minimum wage is good business
3) Airport Worker Rights – Beginnings of Moral Monday: Moral Mondays has grown across the country, we focus on its humble beginnings
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