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The Living Wage is a Pathway Out of Poverty
NYC Progressive Caucus

March 23, 2011
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NEW YORK, NY (March 23, 2011) - Mayor Bloomberg’s Center for Economic Opportunity has released an important study, “Policy Affects Poverty” that can help policymakers improve how they measure poverty and mitigate its worst effects. According to the study, about 250,000 more New Yorkers would have slipped into poverty at the height of the recession without food stamps and tax benefits for low-income families. The study also points out that low-wage jobs remain a major barrier to working people climbing out of poverty yet the report fails to discuss a valuablepolicy that would create a pathway out of poverty: a living wage.

The Fair Wages for New Yorker Act would create a wage standard for jobs created throughtaxpayer-provided economic development subsidies, giving more New Yorkers access to higher- wage jobs. The legislation can be connected to the administration’s anti -poverty efforts. We should all be able to agree on the need to invest in economic opportunities that strengthen and empower working people, their families, and their communities in this city. This study offers a fresh framework for dialogue on the role of government and public resources in addressingpoverty and maintaining an equitable and balanced economy. We encourage the mayor and histeam to stand with us and support fair wages for all New Yorkers.