Gamaliel Affiliate MOSES Fights for Wage Increase in Michigan

Posted by: Mathew Bakko on 7/1/2014
Michigan’s minimum wage will go up to $9.25 thanks to the work of MOSES and other nonprofits in the Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan (EJAM), part of a broad-based "Raise Michigan" coalition that organized for an increase.

Their work began as a ballot initiative designed to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. MOSES became a leading force in the Raise Michigan coalition, engaging more than 100 congregations during services, and collecting more than 5,000 signatures (about 6 percent of the signatures that volunteers collected statewide). Their work helped get the wage increase on the November ballot.

In response to the success of the ballot initiative, Republican state Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville introduced a bill to raise the minimum wage—but only to $8.15—in an attempt to undermine the $10.10 the group wanted. His bill would also have removed the legal basis for the ballot initiative. Ultimately, state legislators enacted a $9.25 wage increase indexed for inflation, as well as a raised tipping wage.

The fate of the $10.10 ballot initiative is in flux, but a solid victory has already been won: Raise Michigan and MOSES made positive change for Michigan's workers and put a little more change in their pockets. They’ve also built power in the process: "EJAM is now solidified as a coalition that is a force to be reckoned with in Michigan,” MOSES organizer Matt Friedrichs said. “We want to build on that.”
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