Step Up Louisiana and our allies are calling on candidates for New Orleans Mayor and City Council to support our 3 Point Economic Justice Platform. We are parents, workers, clergy, labor leaders and community leaders from across the city. We wake up every day fighting to keep our communities and economy strong. We dream of a city where every New Orleans resident has the opportunity to access a good job with a family sustaining wage. The platform of $15 Minimum Wage, Equal Pay for Equal Work and Ban the Box- Fair Chance was developed by workers across industries throughout our city, directly affected by the lack of equity in our economy. Today, we are asking you to read over our platform and join our organizations and individuals fighting for better wages and economic opportunity for a better New Orleans.

Here are the details and more information about each of the 3 points on our platform.

$15 Minimum Wage

The Problem:
No one should have to live in poverty. The current child poverty rate in this city is 44%, we have the 2nd highest rate of income inequality of any city in the U.S. and over 43% of Black men in the city are not working. 29 states have raised their minimum wage higher than our minimum in Louisiana; $7.25 per hour and $2.13 per hour for tipped workers. Black median income is only $25,000 per year while White median income is $60,000 per year. Too many working people need public assistance to make ends meet while corporations are making record profits. Many people are working hard and still cannot afford basic needs like adequate housing, childcare, food, education, transportation or healthcare.

Policy demands:
- Organize with statewide groups and participate in a campaign to lobby for and win Local Control of Minimum Wage in 2018. Many localities want to be able to set their own minimum wages but are unable to because of state preemption.
- Raise the minimum pay for all city employees to $15 per hour
- Improve the Living Wage Ordinance for companies that get large city tax breaks and publicly contracted workers from $10.55 per hour to $15 per hourThere is much at stake for our nation’s future. The Millions of Jobs Coalition believes that taxpayers should not subsidize billionaires and Wall Street banks as they privatize and sell off public assets. We fight for Americans who have been excluded from America’s prosperity, and we stand for a green-growth economy that generates good jobs.

Equal Pay For Equal Work for Women

The Problem:
In Louisiana women are paid 68 cents for every dollar a man is paid. This figure is even more startling for Latinas who are paid 51 cents on the dollar and Black women who make 48 for every dollar a white man is paid. According to Governor Edwards 80% of minimum wage earners are women. 40% of Louisiana households are headed by women and 38% of those households earn less than the poverty line for a family of 4. Over 64,000 working women in New Orleans make less than $17,500 per year.

Policy Demands:
- Ensure that men and women earn equal pay for equal work through increased transparency by making information available about the overall pay ranges for men and women at individual workplaces.
- Promote equal pay for equal work by protecting employees who inquire about, discuss or disclose their wages or those of other employees from employer retaliation.
- Guarantee paid time to care through family and sick leave for all city employees and those employed by city contractors, and ensure companies that receive taxpayer dollars provide their employees these policies as well.

Ban the Box - Fair Chance

The Problem:
Upon release from prison, 60% of people cannot find a job in their first year and those that do make 40% less than their colleagues. The inability of people with records to access employment due to discrimination before and during the hiring process keeps those most marginalized in poverty and forces them to engage in informal economies to maintain basic living standards, putting them at risk of being incarcerated again. Black men make up 46% of the unemployment rate in New Orleans and one in fourteen are behind bars, it is imperative that we change economic and social conditions for Black men, families, and communities so they have access to quality jobs and future economic mobility. In Louisiana one in 86 people living in the state--the world’s prison capital--is incarcerated. Formerly Incarcerated People are discouraged to apply because of the chilling affect of a ‘box’ on job applications asking applicants to disclose their arrest history. Job callback rate drops by at least 50% when a person has been arrested.

Policy demands:
- Ban the box on all employment applications
- Stop discriminatory background checks on potential employees

We ask that you join us by signing on to the principles above.

Sign on the Platform

Sing on to the platform and we'll keep you updated on actions YOU can take to hold candidates for office accountable on economic justice issues in New Orleans.