As she campaigns for a seat in the House of Representatives, New York Democrat socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been touring the country discussing her progressive platform and the many policies she strongly believes in.
One of those policies is the “living wage,” or the idea that the minimum wage should be at least $15 an hour.
Ocasio-Cortez is a firm believer in minimum wage hikes in her district and around the nation, arguing that it’s “exploitation” if employees are not paid enough to live on, no matter what their jobs are.
A living wage is the minimum cost of labor.
Anything less is exploitation. https://t.co/Fkb3kg4kdY
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 2, 2018
Her campaign website details this policy in what she calls a “Federal Jobs Guarantee.”
“A Federal Jobs Guarantee would create a baseline standard for employment that includes a $15 minimum wage (pegged to inflation), full healthcare, and child and sick leave for all.”
“This proposal would dramatically upgrade the quality of employment in the United States, by providing training and experience to workers while bringing much-needed public services to our communities in areas such as parks service, childcare and environmental conservation.”
Her website continues: “Furthermore, a federal jobs guarantee program would establish a floor for wages and benefits for the nation’s workforce. This program would provide a baseline minimum wage of $15 an hour and guarantee for public workers a basic benefits package, including healthcare and childcare.”
“By investing in our own workforce, we can lift thousands of American families out of poverty.”
Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly assured interviewers during her campaign that increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 will have no negative consequences for businesses.
However, The Coffee Shop in Union Square where Ocasio-Cortez used to work cited the rising minimum wage as one of the reasons it has had to close, leaving 150 of the candidate’s former coworkers without work.
“The restaurant I used to work at is closing its doors. I swung by today to say hi one last time, and kid around with friends like old times,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter.
The restaurant I used to work at is closing its doors.
I swung by today to say hi one last time, and kid around with friends like old times.
I’m a normal, working person who chose to run for office, because I believe we can have a better future.
You can do it too. We all can. pic.twitter.com/WeNsFm4eTt
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 20, 2018
Charles Milite, the co-owner and president of this New York City staple, announced the decision last month to his employees. After almost 28 years in business, the shop would be shutting its doors for good.
He cited minimum wage increases and the number of employees the shop had hired, as well as the rising cost of rent in that area of Manhattan.
“The times have changed in our industry. The rents are very high and now the minimum wage is going up and we have a huge number of employees,” Milite told the New York Post.
The Coffee Shop in Union Square became famous after being featured on HBO’s “Sex and the City,” and was a popular cafe for many celebrity guests.
Ocasio-Cortez used her nostalgic tweet to bring attention to not only the coffee shop, but also to her campaign.
“I’m a normal, working person who chose to run for office,” she wrote, “because I believe we can have a better future.”
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