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"Give America A Raise" Bus Tour Comes To The Southern Tier
CORNING (WENY) -- Roughly 46 million Americans are living below the poverty line.
Workers and volunteers with the "Give America A Raise" tour are reaching out to leaders across the country to make a difference
Activists across the nation want to make a change and put a little extra change in workers pockets.
The "Give America A Raise" bus tour stopped in the Southern Tier in front of Congressmen Reed's District Office in Corning.
"We just sent Congressman Reed over 500 signatures of people within the district who are saying to Congressman Reed change your mind," says Mary Clark, Southern Tier Regional Director of Citizen Action of New York. "It's tough out here, real poverty here in our community."
But not everyone is on board with the concept.
Congressman Reed says a major hike like this would cut half a million jobs in America.
In a statement he says "...that's not fair to workers and it's not progress in reducing unemployment".
Becca Forsyth, a mother of three who worked a minimum wage job for 13 years says she shouldn't have to choose between buying her children new shoes or paying the gas bill.
"They dont have anything. if you take hope away," says Forsyth. "And that's what you're doing when you're making these people come home with no money."
A University of California, Berekely study looked at counties on border states like the twin tiers.
Results showed employment rates would not be impacted at all *if* the minimum wage went up.
Supporters of wage hikes say pay increases would help many local families who desperately need it.
Georgia Verdier, President of the NAACP Elmira/Corning Branch says that something must be done.
"The time is now that we change this and make sure that people who are working full time are making enough money to support their families," says Verdier.