OPINION: Your help needed to pass minimum wage, paid sick leave referendum to benefit workers, our families

UFCW Local 655

Brother and Sisters,

As the proud president of UFCW Local 655, I’ve been involved in the political process for decades. This cycle I’m on the committee for the Healthy Families and Fair Wages Initiative, a ballot initiative that will reward Missouri’s hardworking families by:
• Gradually increasing Missouri’s minimum wage to $15/hour and
• Ensuring all Missouri workers earn paid sick time to care for themselves or loved ones while ill.

On May 1 the campaign submitted over 210,000 signatures that have all been verified, and we feel confident we should be on the November 2024 ballot.

This campaign has been driven by Missouri institutions including my own. Missouri organizing groups have in-kinded over $2 million dollars in labor to qualify the initiative, gathering over 85 percent of the total signatures. We are planning to in-kind an over $500,000 field program, helping increase turnout of our supporters. In addition, the committee has worked diligently to raise capital from entities across the country to invest in this campaign.

While we’ve been successful in raising revenue — we currently have enough money projected to run our baseline program — every little bit increases our ability to communicate our message and thereby the likelihood of victory. So, I’m humbly requesting that you and your organization consider a donation to the Healthy Families Initiative.

While I think this initiative is deserving of support on the merits of the policy, one additional consideration you might be interested in is the impact this can have in helping voters assess who truly stands with working families and who doesn’t (Senator Josh Hawley!)

While the senator has not yet taken a public position on this issue, given his new-found (phony) penchant to “support workers issues,” we expect he might jump on board for his re-election’s sake. But don’t be fooled. He’s no workers’ candidate. And why would he feign support for this great issue?

Nearly half (46 percent) of independent voters and 17 percent of Republican voters (including 24 percent of Republican women and 25 percent of Republicans under the age of 50) indicated they would be less likely to vote for U.S. Senator Josh Hawley if he opposed this initiative. Union households were also much less likely (41 percent) to vote for Senator Hawley if they heard he opposed this initiative.

(See related story at the bottom of this page about Hawley’s Labor record as he speaks out of two sides of his mouth).

We need your help in helping us reach out to Missouri voters. Any and all help – no matter the amount –  is appreciated and will be very important. Contributions may be made:
• Online viaActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/missourians-for-healthy-families—fair-wages-1.
• By check payable to Missourians for Healthy Families and Fair Wages and mailed to PO Box 2187, St. Louis, Mo. 63158.

With your financial help, we can bring home this critical victory, and with your vote, rid our state of one phony senator.

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