Please note I have a new phone number...

512-517-2708

Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...

http://peaceandsocialjustice.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-progressive-program-for-real-change.html


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.


"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rally, March and Demonstration on December 7, 2013 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota to increase the Minimum Wage

Kathleen Blake, Take Action Minnesota;

I am in receipt of this e-mail (see below) announcing your plans for a rally, march and demonstration supposedly intended to push to raise the Minimum Wage.

The problem is, you are advocating for a poverty Minimum Wage to come into effect in two years at which time, in terms of real money, the $9.50 an hour you are advocating will be a lower Minimum Wage than what it is today at $7.25 and hour.

You acknowledge this:

The wages of low- and middle-income working Minnesotans continue to stagnate, while the cost of housing, utilities, food, childcare, transportation and health care continue to increase. It costs a family of three (one adult and two children) approximately $46,000 a year to meet basic needs.

And; yet, you and the Democrats who you front for, proceed to advocate for a $9.50 Minimum Wage; why would you advocate for a Minimum Wage that is not a real living wage based on all "cost-of-living" factors as determined by the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics?

The Minimum Wage should be legislatively tied to all cost of living factors, re-calculated quarterly for inflation and periodically increased to improve the living standards of working people.

The Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party has a super-majority--- a Democratic governor, a Democratic majority in the State House and a majority in the Minnesota State Senate.

There is no reason why workers shouldn't have a real living Minimum Wage.

To betray working people for political expediency is the epitome of everything that is wrong with the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, union "leadership" in Minnesota and foundation-funded fronts for the MNDFL.

The Roseau County DFL's County Convention passed a resolution calling for the Minimum Wage to be legislatively tied to all "cost-of-living" factors provided by the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics and this is the one and only fair and just way of resolving the Minimum Wage issue.

Why would you push for a Minimum Wage that is so much lower than what you acknowledge the actual cost of living to be?

There is also the matter of long-term unemployment which is acknowledged by politicians and economists alike to be the "new normal." This will require two remedies:

First, and most urgent; unemployed people are entitled to real living incomes from the time of job loss until they become gainfully employed.

Second; we need a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would legislatively mandate and require the President and Congress to work together to attain and maintain full employment.

It is high time to make these politicians who campaign on promises of "jobs, jobs, jobs" to fulfill these campaign promises. 

Working people are entitled to something for their votes.

Working people without jobs are going to be poor.

Working people paid poverty wages far below what the cost of living is are going to be poor.

Stop playing games with the lives of working people and bring forward alternatives which are really required to put an end to poverty.

In addition; you are holding this rally, march and demonstration here in northern Minnesota that has the most atrocious, despicable racist poverty resulting from racist discrimination in employment of Native American people. Poverty and unemployment on the Indian Reservations is so terrible, politicians and the media are too embarrassed to even talk about this. And your organizations and the MNDFL refuse to insist on the enforcement of Affirmative Action. Why is this? 

The MN DFL has created over 40,000 jobs in the Indian Gaming Industry where workers are forced to work in loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages with constantly recurring wage theft and without any protections and rights under state or federal labor laws and your organizations remain silent and do nothing about this injustice in an industry where every single slot machine and table game along with all the other profitable enterprises comprising this hideous Indian Gaming Industry are owned by a bunch of racist, rich white mobsters for whom crooked and corrupt tribal councils are the fronts as the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association bribes Democrats to perpetuate this injustice.

Not a peep of protest from your organizations nor one single politician in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Select Committee on Living Wage Jobs has repeatedly refused to acknowledge these issues.

Not one single politician, union staff person nor the director of any of the foundation-funded outfits pushing this poverty wage under the guise increasing the Minimum Wage would work for the miserly wage of $9.50 an hour.

The whole bunch of you should be ashamed to engage in a campaign that uses the poverty of others for self-serving political expediency. 

It is pathetic that the MNDFL with its super-majority refused to raise the Minimum Wage during the last legislative session.

Even more appalling is the dirty work of Minnesota State Senator Tom Bakk who hails from the racist building trades unions who cries a sob story for the billionaires in the hospitality industry.

I would suggest that you add the following to your vocabulary:

* Cost-of-living.
* Standard-of-living.

From here we can have a discussion of what a fair and just Minimum Wage should be and how the Minimum Wage should be established so that it is a real living wage.

If employers don't like the idea of paying workers real living wages for the jobs they need to have done, let them do the work themselves.

And as far as small businesses who cry all the way to the bank? Just remove them from Minimum Wage legislation provided they hire their spouses and children to do the work.

Any public official bringing forward the idea workers should work for these poverty wages should be the first to accept such wages as their own pay--- and for most of these state legislators here in Minnesota this would be paying them far more than they are worth.

Kathleen; you wouldn't work for the pathetic miserly sum of $9.50 an hour so why would you push this kind of despicable poverty wage on any other workers?

In struggle for a real living--- non-poverty--- Minimum Wage,

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council


From: Kathleen Blake <kathleen@takeactionminnesota.org>
Date: Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 4:06 PM
Subject: GR Rally to End Poverty Wages Sat Dec 7
To: Kathleen Blake <kathleen@takeactionminnesota.org>



Congressman Nolan and area legislators will join residents as we demand an end to poverty-level wages, Sat. Dec 7 at 5:30 PM.  See flyer for additional details.

Itasca Working Families Alliance and TakeAction Minnesota will hold a Rally to End Poverty Wages in Minnesota Sat. December 7 at 6 PMin Grand Rapids.  The Rally will be preceded by a March from the Angel of Hope Park at 5:30 pm, across the Pokegama Ave Bridge and on to the Big Red Chair (corner of Hwy 169 and Hwy 2), before moving inside to Brewed Awakenings Coffee House at 6 PM.
An area resident will give the perspective of trying to survive on minimum wage.  Other speakers will include US Representative Rick Nolan, Senator Tom Saxhaug, Representative Tom Anzelc and other area elected officials. 
As we gather across from the Christmas lights on the grounds of Old Central School, marchers will acknowledge the hard working men and women who make the holidays happen, despite being paid poverty level wages with few benefits.  A big fire will warm the marchers, in solidarity with the workers of McDonald’s corporation who are advised, on the company website’s budget for struggling workers, to allocate $0 for heat.
The wages of low- and middle-income working Minnesotans continue to stagnate, while the cost of housing, utilities, food, childcare, transportation and health care continue to increase. It costs a family of three (one adult and two children) approximately $46,000 a year to meet basic needs. Yet, a parent working full-time earning the federal minimum wage ($7.25) has a gross income of only $15,080, leaving a family of three at only 78% of the federal poverty level. Worse yet, workers covered only by Minnesota’s minimum wage law ($6.15) earn $13,000 a year – an income that leaves a family of three at 68% of the federal poverty level.
Economic Security is critical to the health of our children, families and communities.  End Poverty Wages in Minnesota.      
Kathleen O'Halloran Blake
Economy Organizer
TakeAction Minnesota
kathleen@takeactionminnesota.org
218-398-2271

-- 
Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell: 651-587-5541

Primary E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

Blog: http://thepodunkblog.blogspot.com/



Kathleen Blake

Northern Minnesota Community Organizer

Kathleen began organizing as a young mother, under the guidance and encouragement of the local Community Action Partnership agency on the West Side of St. Paul, successfully developing a parent-cooperative Day Care Center along with other moms. Kathleen was the Founder and Director of Action through Churches Together in Itasca County, a 14 member faith-based coalition promoting social, racial and economic justice. Kathleen coordinated local and regional issue campaigns while with ACT. She also coordinated a Senate campaign across Northern Minnesota, building an effective outreach organization among local and regional party leaders and activists. In addition, Kathleen has worked on a Shareholder Campaign to elect a public to the board of a utility company. She graduated from the College of St. Catherine with a B.A. in Social Work.
Kathleen is proud to be part of building a stronger Minnesota with the TakeAction Minnesota team.
- See more at: http://www.takeactionminnesota.org/profile/kathleen-blake/#sthash.8Yt3Qrbb.dpuf




Kathleen Blake

Northern Minnesota Community Organizer

Kathleen began organizing as a young mother, under the guidance and encouragement of the local Community Action Partnership agency on the West Side of St. Paul, successfully developing a parent-cooperative Day Care Center along with other moms. Kathleen was the Founder and Director of Action through Churches Together in Itasca County, a 14 member faith-based coalition promoting social, racial and economic justice. Kathleen coordinated local and regional issue campaigns while with ACT. She also coordinated a Senate campaign across Northern Minnesota, building an effective outreach organization among local and regional party leaders and activists. In addition, Kathleen has worked on a Shareholder Campaign to elect a public to the board of a utility company. She graduated from the College of St. Catherine with a B.A. in Social Work.
Kathleen is proud to be part of building a stronger Minnesota with the TakeAction Minnesota team.
- See more at: http://www.takeactionminnesota.org/profile/kathleen-blake/#sthash.8Yt3Qrbb.dpuf