April 2001

The Nathan Cummings Foundation

 

April 2001

American Institute for Social Justice
Washington, D.C.

 

ACORN Living Wage Resource Center

Evidence indicates that wealth and income are the greatest determinants of access to health; yet approximately 27% of all workers in this country work for an hourly wage that will not lift a family of four out of poverty. The ACORN Living Wage Resource Center (LWRC), a project of the American Institute for Social Justice, is addressing this issue by conducting research, providing technical assistance and conducting training for community, faith-based, and labor organizations that are developing living wage policies. Living wage policies are policies that set conditions on wages paid by employers who win city, county, state or federal service contracts or who receive tax abatements, loans or other economic development incentives. The primary condition set is that employers pay a "living wage" -- a wage that will lift workers out of poverty, as opposed to the minimum wage. Another condition that has been set in some localities is that the employers provide workers with healthcare benefits. To date, fifty-six living wage campaigns have been won around the country. AISJ provided technical assistance to approximately 75% of those campaigns. In 2001, AISJ expects to provide technical assistance to approximately sixty-five new campaigns.