Living Wages Save Lives

Today, the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago and Stand Up! Chicago released a new report detailing the links of poverty and violence in our city.

Bottom line – higher wages means less violent crime.

Chicago had 506 homicides last year, more than any other U.S. city. However, the problem extends beyond gun control measures or a matter of policing. The link is clear between violent crime, low-wages, and income inequality.

We want the release of “Fight for the Future: The Case for Raising Wages to Save Lives” to enter the debate of combating violent crime. The report highlights that paying downtown retail and restaurant workers a living wage would create a much stronger economic environment in many of these affected neighborhoods. According to research this would be a strong predictor of lowering violent crime rates.

Selina Brown, a WOCC member and South Shore resident, fears for the safety of her children saying, “bullets do not have names on them.”

Sadly, she is right. As we remember Hadiya Pendleton the teenager tragically murdered just a week after performing at President Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade.

The Fight for 15 is a fight for higher wages and a Fight for the Future. A living wage can save lives.

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