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FPWA CEO and Executive Director, Jennifer Jones Austin, speaks at rally for low-income workers

New York City Council Members joined FPWA on the steps of New York City Hall today to call on the New York City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio to support initiatives that center on workforce development for low-income workers. 

Demonstrators and supporters of the gathering held up signs and mounted chants to demonstrate their disapproval of the Mayor's indifference toward a fair workforce.

“In order to have an impact on long-term unemployment and the growing numbers of unemployed it’s time to change our commitment to low-wage workers," said Jennifer Jones Austin, FPWA CEO and Executive Director. "We can only advance upward mobility by advancing wages and worker rights and by providing career-ladder and entrepreneurial opportunities for all New Yorkers.”

Last September, Mayor de Blasio signed an executive order that greenlit an expansion of New York City’s Fair Wages for New Yorkers, including an increase in living wages, which raised the minimum wage from $11.90 to $13.13 per hour—likely reaching $15.22 per hour by 2019.

However there are still many day laborers around the city still struggling to make ends meat.

"Day laborers have contributed significantly to the fabric of this city, yet for years they have been left out of New York’s workforce agenda," said Gonzalo Mercado, Regional Coordinator, National Day Laborer Organizing Network. "New York City prides itself on being a leader, and the Day Laborer Workforce Initiative is an opportunity for New York to catch up with other major cities, recognize day laborer contributions and protect this vulnerable workforce.”

According to the organizers of the event, today's press conference was assembled to draw supporters to pressure the Mayor to work harder  "for a better vision of building a city of equal opportunity."

“The welfare of the City is only measured by the well-being of all its people,” said Rev. Yolanda Brown, of Imani’s Quest Sabbath Ministry at Emmanuel Temple. “It is the strength of the base that supports the structure, and a viable workforce is the strength to our national security.”

The Mayor did not immediately respond to the press conference.

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