The following is a republished press release from a community organization or member and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … to submit community announcements to The Voice, contact us at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com.
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(Ithaca) Local living wage activists will hold vigils simultaneously at fifteen (15) fast food restaurants throughout Tompkins County on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 18) from 3:30-4:30.
The Tompkins County Workers’ Center (TCWC) is organizing the vigils with three (3) objectives:
  • Ensure that all fast food workers in Tompkins County, along with their employers, are aware of the new $9.75 fast food minimum wage effective January 1, 2016;
  •  Continue building a groundswell demanding that Tompkins County pass a law ensuring a Living Wage for ALL workers in the county;
  • Honor Martin Luther King Jr, and specifically his commitment to working people and to a living wage for all working people.
“No one who works all day and all week should find on the weekend that they don’t have enough in their pocket to support themselves and their families,” said Pete Meyers, TCWC Coordinator. “A full time job should not be a route to poverty, but a path to opportunity.”
Four members of the Macabre Theatre Ensemble paid homage to fast food workers who helped launch the campaign for highers wages with a performance piece on Nov. 10. Lined at their feet were condiments, pudding and apple sauce that anyone who donated a meager amount of money — in once instance 12 cents — could smear on the Ithaca College students.
Four members of the Macabre Theatre Ensemble paid homage to fast food workers who helped launch the campaign for highers wages with a performance piece on Nov. 10. Lined at their feet were condiments, pudding and apple sauce that anyone who donated a meager amount of money — in once instance 12 cents — could smear on the Ithaca College students.
TCWC is campaigning to educate the community about the need, benefit and possibility of having a County Minimum Wage which is a Living Wage for all workers in the County.
Vigils will occur at the following locations on the MLK Day between 3:30 and 4:30:
 
Ithaca
·         Five Guys/Taco Bell, 222 Elmira Road, Ithaca Commons Plaza
·         Jimmy Johns, corner of Seneca and Aurora Sts.
·         Chipotle, 740 S. Meadow Street
·         Wendys, 326 Elmira Road
·         Moe’s Southwest Grill, 324 Elmira Road
·         Dunkin Donuts, corner of Green St. and Route 13
·         Starbucks, corner of Seneca and Tioga Sts.
·         McDonald’s, 372 Elmira Road
·         Burger King, East Hill Plaza
·         Dominos Pizza, 311 E. Green Street
Lansing
McDonald’s, 2350 N. Triphammer Road
Auntie Anne’s and Subway@ Shops at Ithaca Mall
Dryden
McDonalds, 51 North Street (Route 13)
Dunkin Donuts, 36 North Street (Route 13)
Trumansburg
Subway, 2078 NY-96
Dr. King would approve: “For we know now,” he once stated, “that it isn’t enough to integrate lunch counters. What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn’t have enough money to buy a hamburger?
“There is nothing but a lack of social vision,” he said another time, “to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American whether he [or she] is a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid, or day laborer.”
And a final quote: “Now the problem isn’t only unemployment. Do you know that most of the poor people in our country are working every day? They are making wages so low that they cannot begin to function in the mainstream of the economic life of our nation. These are facts which must be seen. And it is criminal to have people working on a full-time basis and a full-time job getting part-time income.”
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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.