Saturday Stats: New year, old struggles
Posted January 09, 2021 in eNews
9: Nine days into 2021, it’s become clear that 2020 wasn’t ACTUALLY the problem.
This week, the duality of the American story was on full display. On Tuesday, voters in Georgia chose to send to the U.S. Senate a Jewish American man and the Black pastor of a church once led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The next day, white supremacist extremists — some wearing antisemitic T-shirts and brandishing Confederate flags — stormed the Capitol. We posted the following statement on social media and on our website:
Our government is our best tool for doing the big work of building a better future for Americans of all races. That's why racist mobs attacked Congress yesterday. It's why they were encouraged by certain politicians, clinging to power by embracing the worst elements of our national character. It's why institutions of power that bring to bear overwhelming force against racial justice activists neglected their sworn duty to protect a government that increasingly (though still inadequately) represents all of us.
But we won't be divided. We the people, standing in solidarity across race, place, class and faith are more powerful than the white supremacists who yesterday failed to overthrow our government. We're more powerful than the elected officials who encouraged them and the corrupt institutions that enabled them. We're powerful because we're united by our commitment to each other and to the generations of Americans who will look back on this moment as the moment when we the people, through collective action, bent the arc of the moral universe a little more directly toward justice.
$900 billion: Finally, another COVID aid package totaling $900 billion. Wendy Patton broke it down in a blog. It’s overdue and it’s not enough. Zach Schiller was all over the airwaves explaining what it means for people who have been laid off. He, Daniel Ortiz, Kalithia Williams and Michael Shields will all be on Facebook Live on Tuesday at 11 a.m. They will focus on the $600 stimulus payments and unemployment compensation. Tune into our Facebook page to learn what the package means for you and the people you care about.
10 cents: Before we went on holiday break, Michael told you that the Ohio minimum wage would get a 10 cent adjustment on January 1. That’s because in 2006 Ohio voters raised the minimum wage and indexed it to keep pace with inflation. At $8.80 an hour and $4.35 an hour for tipped workers, Ohio’s minimum wage is still far too low to sustain a family. Caitlin Johnson said Ohioans need at least $15 an hour to make ends meet.
Nearly $2 billion: Caitlin also penned an op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch explaining that if they adopt our plan, Ohio lawmakers could leverage nearly $2 billion to support Ohioans and build strong communities – just when we need it most.
3: That’s how many days until ReImagine Appalachia’s 2021 Strategy Summit on January 12. If you are interested in rebuilding the Appalachian Region with a new deal that works for us, register today! The event will conclude with an Appalachian Mayors roundtable discussion including Mayor Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, Mayor Jamael Tito Brown of Youngstown, and Mayor Stephen T. Williams of Huntington, WV.
6: Six days until another great ReImagine Appalachia event: a roundtable discussion with Senator Sherrod Brown on Friday, January 15th at 10 a.m. Sen. Brown will be joined by Amanda to discuss the intersection of clean manufacturing and climate change. Sign up here.
You can hear more about Amanda’s work with ReImagine Appalachia in her appearance on the Feet to the Fire podcast. And while you’re listening, check out Amy Hanauer’s appearance in another episode of Feet to the Fire where she bangs the drum about the power of public revenue during the pandemic recession. Check it out!