Posted 9 years ago on June 6, 2012, 10:03 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Today, Occupy Wall Street activists and members of New York's 99% will deliver giant bags of cash to Governor Cuomo, hoping that a two million-dollar bribe will secure a long-awaited increase in New York State's minimum wage. Following the successful example set by the gambling industry, OWS and members of local community organizations have decided to try bribery, since overwhelming public support and peaceful protest have thus far failed to work. Scores of protesters will gather at the Governor's Manhattan office to deliver the bags of cash, with the hope that this bribe will buy the Governor's support for a living wage, in the same way that he became a staunch advocate for gambling interests after outlays of cash by the industry.
"While Occupy Wall Street activists and members of New York's 99% admitted that their bags of cash contained play money, they pledged to raise the necessary bribe, if that's what it would take to secure Governor Cuomo's support for a living wage. "Frankly, it's a great return on investment, providing a raise for 700,000 New Yorkers, and giving a boost to the economy that helps us all," said Jackie DiSalvo of Occupy Wall Street. "We don't have deep pockets like the gambling industry has but we'll start passing the hat today."
OWS activists, New York workers, and their supporters will gather at 42nd Street and 3rd avenue at 12 noon today. At 12:30pm, they will walk to Governor Cuomo's Manhattan office at 633 3rd Avenue to deliver the money, in large cartoonish sacks.
A new Yorker working full-time at minimum wage earns $290 a week, or just $15,080 annually. Supporters of a living wage point out that it's nearly impossible to pay for rent, food, transportation, health care and everything else on such a meager wage.
"It’s indefensible that someone who works 40 hours a week would be unable to feed her family," said Disalvo "It's time for Governor Cuomo to stand up for working New Yorkers and not just pay-to-play interests like the gambling industry."
Like many community organizations across the state, the OWS activists are demanding that Governor Cuomo act to raise the minimum wage from the current $7.25 to $8.50, and index it to inflation so that low-wage workers don’t continue to get left behind. Polls consistently show overwhelming public support for the increase.