From churches to unions to business groups, more than 90 organizations have now joined the Mainers for Fair Wages coalition in support of Question 4 in next Tuesday’s election. Endorsers represent community-based organizations across the state that advocate for women, seniors, children and other Mainers who would benefit from gradually increasing Maine’s minimum wage.
“One in three seniors in Maine are working low wage job and would get a raise with Question 4,” said Diane Grandmaison, a member of the executive board of the Maine Alliance for Retired Americans. “We are endorsing Question 4 and raising the minimum wage because it’s time for all workers, including seniors, to make a fair wage.”
These endorsers join more than 600 Maine small businesses and more than 60 restaurants that have publicly backed the initiative – far more than have opposed Question 4.
“Raising Maine’s minimum wage to $12/hour by 2020 will benefit 60,000 Maine children by giving their parents a much needed raise. That’s why the Maine Children’s Alliance supports Question 4,” said Shawn Yardley, an MCA board member. “We simply must provide working families with the resources they need, starting with jobs that pay a fair wage.”
“Our call as Christians is to love and support our most vulnerable neighbors, and the current economic landscape - where wages have stagnated since the early 1970s - requires us to speak out on their behalf,” said Bishop Stephen Lane of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine. “I am pleased to announce the endorsement of the Maine Council of Churches, which represents nine denominations and 550 congregations.”
“We are proud supporters of Question 4 to increase Maine’s minimum wage,” said Maine Women’s Lobby executive director Eliza Townsend. “This referendum is vital for the financial security of women in Maine—who are six out of ten minimum wage workers and 79% of workers earning the subminimum tipped wage.”
“We’re excited to have the endorsements of so many important organizations from across the state,” said Mainers for Fair Wages campaign manager Amy Halsted. “They’re standing with us in support of Question 4 because they know that raising the minimum wage will put more money in the pockets of 181,000 Maine workers, lifting families out of poverty, strengthening our local communities, and boosting Maine’s economy.”
The campaign has also received endorsements from the Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald.