Trump's Promises to Lift Workers Fall Flat in First 100 Days
But Millions Have Received Nearly $1 Billion in Raises Because of Winning Ballot Measures
President Donald Trump’s promises to lift up working people in America have failed to materialize in his first 100 days in office, but that doesn’t mean workers have not seen progress; because of successful 2016 ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage, more than 8 million working people in five states and the District of Columbia have gotten or will soon be getting raises.
So far, those workers have received a cumulative total of nearly $1 billion in raises since January 1.
“In his first 100 days, Trump has not lifted a finger to help working people. Instead, it’s been voter-initiated ballot measures to raise the minimum wage that have made it easier for working families to put food on the table without sacrificing gas in the car or heat in their home,” said Jonathan Schleifer, executive director of The Fairness Project. “Trump promised workers that he would raise wages and build our economy, but the truth is he’s done the opposite. His budget proposal, flawed health care plan, and executive orders are devastating to the very workers he promised to help during the campaign.”
On the campaign trail, President Trump bragged about his experience building jobs. However, since taking office, he has failed to deliver on promises to working families. His proposed budget would eliminate grants for job training and placement programs for low income youths and senior citizens. It would also gut programs many low-wage working families depend on, such as housing grants, food stamps and home heating assistance programs.
To showcase the impact of voters and workers on paychecks, The Fairness Project developed a wage counter calculating the up-to-the-second impact of these ballot initiatives.
“I now have more money to pay for things like gas and food and it means that I don’t have to live with constant anxiety or pick up five more shifts just to make ends meet,” says Ali Monceaux, a restaurant worker from Maine. “I can’t think of a single thing Trump has done since becoming president that has helped me. What happened to protecting workers from special interests and making the economy fairer?”
“One of the only things that’s given me hope since Trump took office is the ability voters have to take action at the ballot box when our politicians don’t help us,” says Kathy Rondone, a senior citizen and minimum wage worker. “Our president is a man willing to say one thing to get elected and do another when he’s in the office, and that’s putting lots of people at risk. ”
Last election day, 2.1 million working Americans in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington state had their wages raised through successful ballot initiatives, and another 6 million workers in California and Washington D.C. had their wages raised after well-organized ballot campaigns spurred lawmakers to take action and increase wages.
The Fairness Project, a national organization that helped pass all six minimum wage increases, is highlighting these victories as part of a campaign to remind Americans they can bring about real change.
For more on The Fairness Project’s efforts to protect wage increases, visit www.savethewage.org.
For more statistics and anecdotes on The Fairness Project’s impact in the last election, read our “Ballot Box Breakthroughs” impact report.