Hopkins Patch: Income Inequality Had No Place in MLK’s Vision

Monday, January 20, 2014

Via Hopkins Patch:
Fifth District Congressman Keith Ellison said Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an opportunity to advocate for raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment insurance and other initiatives aimed at reducing income inequality.

Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement:

“Martin Luther King, Jr. spent his life fighting for racial equality and economic justice for working families. He was killed in Memphis in 1968 while supporting the city’s sanitation workers in their quest for a fair wage and labor rights. He knew the difference between ‘making it’ and ‘surviving’ in America.

“Forty-six years after Dr. King’s death, too many Americans work full time but still live below the poverty line. Inequality has increased, while bad trade deals and stagnating wages have put the American dream out of reach for families who work hard and play by the rules. During the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, protesters called for a $2 per hour minimum wage, nearly $15 in 2013 dollars, which is double the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

“Dr. King believed poverty and racial inequality could be defeated by policies focused on people. It is in pursuit of his vision for our nation that we work to invest in working families by raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment insurance, creating good jobs and closing the achievement gap in our public schools.

“Income inequality is the greatest challenge of our time. We must face it as bravely as Martin Luther King Jr. faced the great challenges of his time.”

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