Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Remarks at NM CAFe Last Chance rally for Raise the minimum wage Ballot initiative signature campaign - June 17, 2014

Through the great work of so many volunteers,
5,026 signatures have been gathered in 20 days
a number that is still growing. 
This has been accomplished
with the support and hard work of
members of 8 congregations
and faith communities
throughout Las Cruces,
who collected over 2,000 signatures
from their places of worship.
This campaign has been about faith
because the traditions many of us represent
have specific views about values in the workplace:
of employers and employees
bound together in mutual respect,
where full time employment will enable people to live and thrive while caring themselves or their families. 

We keep hearing from some leaders and citizens  that  dignity comes from within. 
Yes, it does,but only up to a point.
Too many times in human history,
people have been called upon
to sustain their own dignity inside
while facing abuse, prejudice, and discrimination
from the outside – from other people and from their society.
That was the experience of my ancestors for many generations. 

What is dignity?
Dignity is a gift that people can give to each other if they only try.
What we are doing here, with so many people participating,
is developing a vision of a Las Cruces in which
we give one another dignity not only with a higher wage
But in how we approach each other with open minds, open hands and open hearts.  
Let us keep working towards that vision – this is the Las Cruces that we want for each other, for our children and for the future!  

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