15 Now Rally in Jersey City: Why We Need a Livable Wage for All People


For Immediate Release
Press Statement
April 1st, 2016

Laura Emily E. Austria, Vice-Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

15 Now Rally in Jersey City: Why We Need a Livable Wage for All People

Jersey City, NJ – Anakbayan NJ approves an executive order issued by Jersey City mayor, Steven Fulop, to raise the minimum wage of approximately 500 city workers to $15 an hour. In a November rally organized by labor groups in City Hall, Fulop said that “[i]t is important to make sure every single person in Jersey City has a living wage.” We agree with this as well, especially when considering the situation of youth and students here in the United States and the Philippines when it comes to the accessibility of relevant higher education and the inability to survive on an unlivable wage.

College tuition costs and the cost of living are rising sharply, yet the current minimum wage nationally does not reflect these costs at all. In New Jersey, the minimum wage only rises by a few cents each year whereas New Jersey College students are projected to leave school with around $23,000 in debt. Students are struggling to obtain a college degree because they cannot afford it — and often have to take out loans with exorbitant interest. They often work multiple jobs while attending classes, and this makes it even harder for students to graduate on time. The inability for youth and students to obtain a college degree means opportunities are cut drastically. In addition, if they are lucky enough to graduate relatively on time, college graduates are often stuck paying back their college loans for years. Students in the Philippines face the same struggles as students in the United States; because tuition costs are too exorbitant, they see no other choice but to take their own lives.

We connect the situation of students here in the United States and the Philippines and fight for a $15/hour minimum wage to our Education is a Human Right campaign. Education should be accessible to all, and it is the government’s job to ensure that all people can obtain a quality education. This alone shows how important it is for New Jersey and the rest of the United States to raise the minimum wage to one that is livable and realistic. We invite everyone to attend the April 3rd March for $15 Now in Journal

Square, Jersey City at 1 PM to affirm that the government should be supporting our people — especially our youth and students through our education.



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