TOP WONKS DEMAND A HIGHER MINIMUM WAGE — The Economic Policy Institute published a letter on Tuesday signed by 75 economists urging Washington to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10, which would provide higher wages for 17 million Americans by 2016. Signers include Top Wonks Dean Baker, Jared Bernstein, Alan Blinder, Heather Boushey, Arindrajit Dube, Nancy Folber, Richard Freeman, Heidi Hartmann, Lawrence Mishel, Robert Reich, John Schmitt, Heidi Shierholz, and Joseph Stiglitz. University of Texas Chair in Government and Business Relations and Top Wonk James Galbraith recently made his case for a higher minimum wage, and elsewhere Assistant Professor of Economics at University of Massachusetts Amherst and Top Wonk Arindrajit Dube delved into the “Minimum Wages and the Distribution of Family Incomes.” READ an analysis of the paper by CEPR Senior Economist and Top Wonk John Schmitt HERE.
… AND A TOP REPUBLICAN AGREES … Silicon Valley tycoon and former publisher of the American Conservative Ron Unz says: “A large minimum wage hike would constitute an enormous, permanent economic stimulus package.”
SO WHO DOESN’T WANT TO RAISE THE MINIMUM? See Huff’s story HERE.
LADIES — THIS MEANS YOU – As the minimum wage debate heats up, Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress (CAP) released the third Shriver Report, analyzing the realities of 42 million American women on the economic brink. President of Families and Work Institute Ellen Galinsky: “We know low-income women are the backbone of our economy and of their families … What they need — and what our economy needs — are supportive, flexible, Effective Workplaces, which benefit the employee, the employer, and our nation as a whole.”
THE GOVERNOR, THE BRIDGE, HIS WIFE, AND HER CHARITY — As questions mount about NJ Gov. Tony Soprano, eh hem, Chris Christie’s bridge closure our sources say Christie’s wife is still sitting on more than half of the funds her charity raised for Sandy victims. SEE the Daily Agenda’s original story HERE. Looks like using Sandy relief funds to produce self-serving tourism ads are just the tip of the iceberg. CNN broke last night that Port Authority created an executive position for a Christie ally. READ: “Christie: A Bully’s Bully” over at The Nation.
PROGRESSIVES TO RALLY IN NYC — January 21 is the fourth anniversary of Citizens United — a ruling that paved the way for Super PACs to spend over 600 million dollars in the 2012 election alone. Fair Elections for New York and American Family Votes will be hosting Sen. Elizabeth Warren and NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to discuss taking on big money’s power over the economy. Co-sponsors include Americans for Campaign Reform, Brennan Center for Justice, ColorOfChange, Common Cause/NY, CREDO, Democracy Matters, Demos, Greenpeace, MoveOn.Org, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Sierra Club, and more. FIND out event details and RSVP HERE.
MoveOn.Org, Demos, and the Democracy Initiative will also be hosting a virtual teach-in on the anniversary discussing immediate grassroots solutions on the 21st. Leaders from the Sierra Club, NAACP, and Communications Workers of America will be featured. RSVP to WATCH it live HERE.
300+ DAYS WITHOUT REPRESENTATION — North Carolina NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber slammed NC Govenor McCrory’s recent Writ of Election decision that would delay a special election in the state’s 12th Congressional District until November, leaving the seat empty: “While Congress debates the Farm Bill, budget issues, immigration reform, historic national security issues, and the future of Section 4 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act itself, the 12th District — comprised of citizens of North Carolina from all walks of life” Black, Latino, White, poor and rich; hard-working Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — will be without a voice.”
A STEP TOWARD FAIR DISCIPLINARY POLICIES – Advancement Project Managing Director of Programs James Eichner lauded the Obama Administration’s groundbreaking new legal guidelines for addressing racial discrimination in public school discipline: “The DOJ/DOE guidance confirms what advocates on the ground have been saying all along: there are stark racial disparities in school discipline, and schools are needlessly funneling children of color from the classroom to the criminal justice system.”
FROM THE WONK WIRE …
… CARBON CUTTING PROGRESS: Georgetown Climate Center of Georgetown Law Executive Director and Top Wonk Vicki Arroyo stands by the EPA’s newly proposed rules to cut carbon pollution from new power plants.
… FDL BOOK SALON — This Sunday Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and Top Wonk Michael Konczal will be hosting an online book salon featuring CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker. They will be discussing Dean Baker’s new book Getting Back to Full Employment. FIND out more HERE.
Find more at www.TopWonks.org.
ON OUR AGENDA … PP congratulates Demos President Miles Rapoport on his next step as President and CEO of Common Cause. We second Demos’ Board Chair Amelia Warren Tyagi’s sendoff: “In his 13 years as President, Miles has built Demos up to where it is today: full of potential, and ready to take the next, exciting leap forward.” Demos will announce its new President in the coming weeks … our sources say Top Wonk Heather McGee has been tapped for the top job.