In honor of the legacy of Dr. King, One Pittsburgh spent an afternoon together and went to see Selma. We were inspired and also a little saddened. There is so much to learn from and celebrate in the legacy of MLK and other SCLC and SNCC organizers. The movie brought to life the real voices of an era that changed the course of this nation. Sadly, we also know too well that deep economic and racial injustice prevent our communities from really thriving today.
We’ve been thinking about the deaths of Michael Brown, John Crawford, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and countless others, and we see that the people who suffer in the low wage economy, who attend under-resourced public schools, and who are bullied by employers are far too often the same people who suffer violence from the police, in the courts, and in our polling places. We understand that economic and state violence have a deep relationship.
That’s why in 2015, the demands of 1965 echo in our hearts. We are still fighting for an end to police brutality, racial profiling and poverty. We are still advocating for a living wage for all working people, fair and resourced education and the right to vote unencumbered. We are in this together and when we stick together we can make real change.
In 2015, we intend to make progress on living wages.
We believe that a living wage is required for our communities to thrive. We also understand the historically racist policies that create systems of poverty and create a captive and disposable workforce. Corporations have recorded exponential profits for decades while we fall further and further behind. Wages are stagnant and people of color are losing ground faster than their white counterparts. A living wage is, and always will be, a civil and human rights issue.
In 2015, we intend to call a halt to racial discrimination
One Pittsburgh activists stand in Solidarity with the #blacklivesmatter movement sparked in in part by the protests in Ferguson, and we also stand with the fast food workers, the UPMC workers and Walmart workers in the Fight for $15. We stand by the work of We Change Pittsburgh pushing back against police violence in Pittsburgh. We stand with these movements fighting for change because they are inter-connected.
Dr. King once asked, “What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn’t earn enough money to buy a hamburger and a cup of coffee?”
That’s the question we need to be asking today as we fight to end racial and economic inequality. That’s the work of One Pittsburgh in 2015.
If you haven’t already–please sign the petition to Raise the PA Minimum Wage to $15 and we will continue to stay in touch on what’s next for One Pittsburgh.