Governor Rendell signed the minimum wage bill
yesterday. I'm intrigued that he chose a church in West Philly as the site for the event -- while my conception of Christianity is very much about looking after the poor (see here
, if interested), I'm not sure that's the popular vision these days. It seems that there was a conscious effort to connect this bill to the "values
" of the Democratic party, the existence of which is sometimes discounted.
"Politicians love to talk about religious values and moral values. Is paying less than the federal poverty level moral?"
More on Rendell's signing, the bill, and the effort that went into getting the issue out of its committee closet here
Dodds, considered the "quarterback" of the effort, said the [Raise the Minimum Wage] coalition grew from 15-20 organizations in Philadelphia to 38 statewide. He and others raised money to run radio ads in key districts, such as Lebanon County, where the Senate Majority leader, David J. Brightbill, lives. The ads were aimed at getting low-wage workers to ask politicians to vote for the bill. ... They also targeted Senate President Pro Tem Robert Jubelirer in Altoona and Sen. Joseph Scarnati, chairman of the Labor and Industry Committee.
On his own blog, Marc Stier takes a look at the long campaign
for this increase in the minimum wage, as well as what lessons that can be learned about the power of combined efforts on a single issue from both inside and outside the political system. [He promises a lengthier summary later of the details of what was done, for those who wish to learn more from the experience.]