Jobs and Wages

“We believe that America succeeds when everyone has enough to thrive. But, in the wealthiest country on Earth, fully one-third of the American population struggle to meet their basic needs. So over the next 10 years, we are committing ourselves to one ambitious goal: To radically improve the material circumstances of the lowest income people in America. To do this, we will empower the people most affected by poverty to advocate for changes that ensure their paychecks reflect the wealth they create, and increase their access to jobs that pay good wages with benefits.”
– Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director

What We Do

In 2015, we launched Putting Families First: Good Jobs for All, a national national economic justice initiative to guarantee that everyone who wants a job should have assured access to a good job that provides dignity, a voice on the job, fair wages, good benefits, and is consistent with family and personal needs and responsibilities.

The core principles of this campaign include:

  • Building a Clean Energy Economy. Using the large-scale investments required for transition to a clean energy future to create millions of good jobs that are accessible to workers of color, women, and economically distressed communities.
  • Valuing Families.  Ending the systematic devaluation of care work, which disproportionately keeps women in poverty, by making high quality child care available to all working parents, raising the quality of jobs in the early childhood education and care fields, transforming homecare and providing financial support to unpaid caregivers.
  • Guaranteeing Good Wages and Benefits. Requiring every job in the United States to meet a minimum standard of quality – in wages, benefits, and working conditions – and offer unhindered access to collective representation and a real voice for workers.
  • Unlocking Opportunity in the Poorest Communities. Investing resources on a large scale to restart the economy in places where racial bias and sustained disinvestment have produced communities of concentrated poverty.
  • Taxing concentrated wealth. Funding new investments in job creation, care, and economic renewal by taxing those who benefit most from the current economic model – investors, financiers, wealth managers, and individuals in the highest income brackets.

Featured Program: Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE)

Gloria Walton

“[During my first SCOPE house meeting] they talked about how there weren’t enough jobs in their community, how the high un- and under-employment rates in South L.A. were even higher within Black and Brown communities like theirs, and how this was all a result of historic disinvestment in communities like theirs.

It reminded me of my own family back home in Jackson, Mississippi; my single mother and two aunts who, on top of taking care of us kids, were always working, often several low-wage jobs at a time, and still struggling to make ends meet even with government assistance.

That meeting was when I first heard people, who looked like my family, talking about problems, solutions and power in ways that were new to me.

By the end of the meeting, I understood that decisions are being made every day on my behalf without me, and I have the choice to be at the center of that decision-making, or sit on the side and reap the consequences.

From that day forward, I chose to be an agent of social change. That summer internship changed my life. Instead of law school, a summer at SCOPE turned into a year, and a year turned into 13.”

 Gloria Walton, Executive Director of SCOPE