FAST FOOD FAIL – Demos released findings last week that fast food CEOs make 1,200 times more than their employees, making it the industry with the greatest CEO-to-worker pay disparity in the United States. Next Thursday, May 15th, fast food workers will strike in 150 cities and stage protests in 33 countries to demand a $15 hourly wage. In wake of the failure of the Senate to vote for cloture on the Fair Minimum Wage Act, AP Action released “If You Salt My Fry, I’ll Salt Yours,” a new video skewering McDonald’s and GOP leaders for defeating a minimum wage increase and keeping millions of fast food workers in poverty. WATCH HERE.
One million U.S. veterans, 4.7 million mothers, and 3.6 million workers of color would all directly benefit from the Fair Minimum Wage Act. Hawaii became the third state this year to raise its minimum wage to $10.10, following Connecticut and Maryland. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, states that raised their minimum wage in 2014 had stronger job growth than those who did not … Meanwhile, Seattle is set to raise its minimum wage to $15.
AN EVENING WITH BERNIE SANDERS — The Nation magazine will be hosting a conversation with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Nation Washington correspondent John Nichols TONIGHT in Northhampton, MA, as part of the magazine’s Project 45 initiative. Sen. Sanders will be discussing the state of U.S. politics and his possible 2016 presidential run. The event is co-sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America and WHMP AM/FM, and is free and open to the public. FIND OUT more and RSVP HERE, or CHECK OUT the live-stream at TheNation.com HERE.
DOLLAR AND RENTS – The Center for American Progress (CAP) published a new brief linking unbridled campaign contributions and lobbying with inefficient economic policy. Such an impediment is primarily due to rent-seeking–”the process of seeking income through government favors rather than through productive economic activity.” CAP notes that rent-seeking disrupts economic growth because it focuses on funneling income to wealthier individuals rather than promoting overall economic development. These findings come in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent McCutcheon v. FEC ruling that abolished individual spending caps on campaign contributions. READ the full report HERE.
SIGN Democracy for America’s petition urging Congress to pass the Government by the People Act–which would match small-dollar donations with public funds–HERE.
WEDDING CRASHERS — The ACLU and Orange is the New Black star Lea LeDaria will host the “My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding” reception to celebrate the contest’s five winning couples in New York City on May 19th. “My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding” was launched last December to promote marriage equality in the 33 states that have yet to legalize same-sex marriage. The five couples that came up with the most creative ways to travel across state lines to tie the knot are set to receive $5,000 towards their dream wedding. ENTER to win a free trip for two to New York City to “crash” the marquee wedding reception HERE.
WI VOTING RIGHTS VICTORY — Advancement Project Managing Director for Programs James Eichner lauded a Wisconsin federal court’s ruling that struck down the state’s voter ID law as unconstitutional: “Wisconsin has long been recognized as the Selma of the North, and this case illustrates just why the Midwestern state bears this harrowing distinction. Wisconsin’s discriminatory voter ID law is virtually indistinguishable from Jim Crow laws of earlier eras, which required poll taxes, property requirements, literacy tests and other contrived, racist measures designed to prevent African Americans from voting. We are encouraged the court concurred and took action to strike down Wisconsin’s voter ID law. For those who believe that in a democracy elections should be free, fair and accessible to all, this is a victory of monumental proportions.”
This ruling marks the first time a voter ID law has been defeated under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits voting practices on the basis of color, race, and/or language. Advancement Project and the pro bono law firm Arnold & Porter LLP challenged the discriminatory law on behalf of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Wisconsin; Cross Lutheran Church; Milwaukee Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO; and Wisconsin League of Young Voters Education Fund.
THE CLASS OF 2014 — College graduates who are entering the labor force this year will have reduced earnings for the next 10-15 years, according to new data released by the Economic Policy Institute. READ: “The Class of 2014: The Weak Economy Is Idling Too Many Young Graduates,” co-authored by EPI Economist and Top Wonk Heidi Shierholz.
FROM THE WONK WIRE …
Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.
… ON OUR AGENDA …
… Last week the Agenda Project Action Fund released “You Salt My Fry, I’ll Salt Yours,” a McMocumentary featuring Ronald McDonald as a cigar-smoking, wheeler-dealer paying off politicians so he can keep workers in poverty and on public assistance. WATCH HERE …
… The Agenda Project has opened its new headquarters in Washington, DC! E-mail us for more information … Check out and FOLLOW PP’s TWITTER ** @PractProgress ** …