March 26, 2014
Americans United for Change, a progressive advocacy group, stopped in Binghamton on a national bus tour to promote an increase in the minimum wage to 10.10 an hour.
‘Give American A Raise’ was plastered on the side of the large blue and yellow bus. Binghamton was just one of the planned stops on its push to Washington DC. Tour members held signs and braved the cold weather.
Mary Clark is with Citizen Action of New York, a local group that helped organize the event.
"It started up in Bangor, Maine where it’s even colder than here,” says Clark.
The tour wants to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.
Clark says the tour is stopping in cities like Binghamton that have high poverty rates and a lot of minimum wage workers. She’s hoping the tour will get the attention of local politicians.
“We’re looking for people like Congressman Hanna, who’s been kind of on the fence and we’re really trying to push them to our side of the fence,” says Clark.
The tour also stopped in Corning to rally in front of the office of Congressman Tom Reed.
New York State recently raised its minimum wage to $8.00 an hour. It will jump to $8.75 at the end of the year and then up to $9.00 an hour in 2016.