Paul D. Wellstone
April 13, 2001
Thank you for your letter informing me of the Harvard Living Wage Campaign's fight for economic justice for the more than 1,000 workers at Harvard University who are paid below poverty-level wages. I am writing to endorse the campaign, to thank you for your efforts and to encourage you in your activism in suppoort of this extremely worthy cause.
I commend the energy, spirit, and commitment of you and others in similar campaigns around the country. Living wage campaigns are not about abstract ideas. They are about working families struggling to make ends meet in the toughest of circumstances.
Living wage campaigns are about workers who get up at five o'clock in the morning to get a job that is a 2-hour bus ride away. They are about workers on graveyard shifts because it means they'll earn extra 25 cents an hour. They are about husbands and wives unable to afford child care who sometimes don't see each other for days on end because they work opposite shifts to share the job of caring for their children.
It is unacceptable that so many in this country find themselves working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year and yet still are unable to meet their family's basic needs - food for their children when they're hungry, medical care when they're sick, heat when they're cold, and a bed to sleep in when they're tired.
We must do everything we can to ensure that all those who work in this country have the opportunity to earn a living wage, to move out of poverty and into economic self sufficiency. I applaud your efforts and encourage you to continue you to continue your fight for social and economic justice.
Paul David Wellstone U.S. Senator