Title: ELCA Presiding Bishop Urges Minimum Wage Increase ELCA NEWS SERVICE
November 1, 2006
ELCA Presiding Bishop Urges Minimum Wage Increase 06-164-AL*
WASHINGTON, D.C. (ELCA) -- The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), joined 10 other Christian leaders in the United States in an appeal to Congress to increase the federal minimum wage as "a matter of economic and racial justice." In an October 24 letter the church leaders asked members of Congress to vote to increase the minimum wage after they return here from the elections.
"Minimum wage workers today have less buying power than minimum wage workers did in 1950," the church leaders wrote, calling the current minimum wage a "poverty wage."
"We are grateful that the 109th Congress renewed expiring provisions of the Voting Rights Act, but we remain deeply concerned that Congress has failed to address the issue of the federal minimum wage," the letter said. "Poverty disproportionately affects people of color who, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau, experience a higher rate of poverty in this country."
"It is time to put this important matter of economic and racial justice in a prominent place in the national debate and to act upon it when Congress returns after the elections."
Those who signed the letter were:
+ the Right Rev. Philip R. Cousin Sr., senior bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Church + Bishop William Graves Sr., senior bishop, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church + the Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, presiding bishop and primate, The Episcopal Church, USA + the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop, ELCA + the Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, stated clerk of the general assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) + the Rev. Michael Livingston, president, International Community of Churches + the Rev. Dr. Larry D. Pickens, general secretary, ecumenical staff officer, United Methodist Church + the Rev. John H. Thomas, general minister and president, United Church of Christ + the Most Rev. George W. Walker Sr., senior bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church + the Rev. Sharon E. Watkins, general minister and president, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) + the Rev. David Wickmann, president, Provincial Elders, Moravian Church Northern Province -- -- --
The full text of the letter is at http://tinyurl.com/vlhkn on the ELCA Web site.
More information about the ELCA's advocacy ministries is at http://www.ELCA.org/advocacy on the Web.
* Annie Lynsen is director for grassroots advocacy and communication, ELCA Washington Office.
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