Around 100 people turned out for a rally Friday morning at the Gloria Parks Community Center in North Buffalo to support higher wages for the working poor.
In his State of the State speech on Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo pushed for increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.75 an hour. Efforts to raise the wage in the past have failed to gain enough legislative support.
Sam Magavern, co-director of the Partnership For the Public Good, said the issue is a top priority for the 131 community organizations that make up the Partnership.
"We've been hit as hard as any region in the country by the shift from well-paid, unionized, manufacturing jobs to low-wage service sector jobs," Magavern said.
The rally was organized by State Senator Timothy Kennedy, who called on his downstate colleagues in the Senate to stop blocking the legislation.
Kennedy says the current minimum wage is simply not enough to put food on the table and raise a family.