A Statement from
The Clergy Campaign for Social and Economic Justice
on theProposed Legislative Increase to the N.Y.S. Minimum Wage in the New York State Budget.
The Clergy Campaign for Social and Economic Justice (CCSEJ) working together in anaugust determined coalition of faith leaders, social activists and labor organizations, has workeddiligently in advocacy on behalf of the legislative increase in the New York State minimum wage,which would help to bring dignity to the working poor of the City and State of New York andthat serves to honor all work as a core value of family and respectful human purpose in our civilsociety. An increase to the minimum wage in the State and across the nation is desperatelyneeded, and New York’s Governor Cuomo and the New York State legislature have the presentopportunity to lead the way setting the moral and political bar on wages paid to the least among us in the State, lifting the working poor and thousands of working families to greater self-sufﬁciency, a constituency without powerful voice in Albany. An opportunity, that with today’sannounced New York State budget deal, they have now squandered.
On this urgently needed increase to the minimum wage a ﬁnal secret deal has beenbrewed in Albany, now with four men in the room instead of the usual three, and again with nopublic transparency, or accountability. It is absolutely clear that Governor Cuomo, and the newgoverning coalition in the New York State Senate, consisting of the Independent DemocraticCoalition (the IDC) and the N.Y. State Senate Republican's have felt the political and mediapressure as their entire rationale for being is under moral and political scrutiny in the face of overwhelming support around the state for a needed increase in the minimum wage among otherdire pressing issues. It has become abundantly clear that the proposed New York State budgetdeal on this increase falls far short of the goal of greater self-sufﬁciency, human empowermentand dignity on behalf of the working poor and the working family.
Oftentimes groups have to become pragmatic and resign themselves to the fact thatadvocates have to ﬁght for what they can get and learn to see the proverbial glass as half full.CCSEJ has no quarrels with those within our coalition of faith, social and labor activists whohave taken this position. However, CCSEJ and our network of churches, clergy and people of