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April 15, 2015, was an incredible day for workers around the world, and these photos are the proof.

No one should work full-time and still end up in poverty. It's time to raise the minimum wage.

April 15, 2015, was an incredible day for workers around the world, and these photos are the proof.

If you were strolling around one of dozens of cities across America yesterday, you might have passed an incredible scene like this:


Or a raucous one like this:



Or a slightly unsettling one like this:

And maybe you turned to your friend/girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband/co-worker/frenemy/office husband/office wife/car insurance rep and said, "What the heck is going on over there?" It sounds like they're chanting, "Brmite war a screen!"

(Or maybe you just said that to yourself. In your head. No judgments!)

In any case, here's what that was all about.

On April 15th, fast food workers and allies from more than 200 cities took to the streets to protest low wages in "Fight for 15" marches and rallies.

The current federal minimum wage is just $7.25 per hour, well below a living wage. Protesters hope to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and obtain the right to unionize.

Around the country, demonstrators got up and got out early.

The signs and chants varied from city to city, but the message remained the same: better wages now.

In the Twin Cities, protesters chanted, "What do we want? Fifteen! When do we want it? Now!" as they marched into a local McDonald's.

In Kansas City, workers chanted, "I believe that we will win!" while lifting protest signs high above their heads.

In New York, hundreds of people lay down on the sidewalk, taking up whole city blocks...

...they made some awesome balloons...

And built a GIANT RONALD MCDONALD EFFIGY out of ... I want to say papier–mâché? Let's go with papier–mâché.



They also reminded us that this is bigger than just the minimum wage.

In Philadelphia, it was all about giant banners. Like this one, which was dropped down two flights of stairs!

32BJ takes over Philadelphia City Council. #RaiseAmerica #povertydoesntfly
A photo posted by 32BJ SEIU (@32bjseiu) on



Also, an expert stopped by to remind the demonstrators that ... with great protests comes great responsibility.

BREAKING: We have a superhero in our wake! Spider-Man has joined the #FightFor15 in Philly! #15AndAUnion (Repost via @SEIU)
A photo posted by Working America (@workingamerica) on

In New Orleans, folks got ... pretty animated.



It wasn't just the U.S. either. People joined the fight from countries around the world.


It was an incredible, amazing day. And all of the protesters deserve a huge round of applause for their guts and determination.

But, you might be wondering: "Why all the fuss? I worked to get where I am today! Why should the guy flipping my burgers suddenly get $15 an hour."

I'll get to that in a minute. But I want to clarify one thing first ... we're not just talking about fast food workers here.

We're talking about health care workers, professors, retail workers, airport workers and so many others.

Many, many, many American workers are trying to raise their families on less than a living wage. And that's just not right.

Also there's strong evidence to suggest that raising the minimum wage would mean everybody gets a raise. Even you.

Also also, why is flipping burgers not a job that deserves respect?

Like, when did we all decide this? It's completely arbitrary. I personally do not want to live in a world where my burgers don't get flipped. That seems like hell.

Also also also, who says it's a guy flipping your burgers?

(It's 2015, people.)

The point is, when workers get treated with dignity and respect, we all win.

If you believe that all people in all lines of work deserve to be paid a fair wage so they can pay their bills, raise their kids, and take pride in their job, please help spread the word.

If we keep pushing, we can make this happen. For real.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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In 2015, Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price had a life-changing epiphany.

Price, who founded Gravity with his brother in 2004, was out hiking in the Cascade Mountains with his friend, Valerie. She told him her landlord had raised her rent by $200 and she was struggling to get by on her $40,000 a year income. Price, who was making $1.1 million a year as CEO of Gravity, was struck by her story. Not only did he feel for Valerie—a military veteran working two jobs and barely making ends meet—realized that some of his own employees might be facing similar struggles.

And they were. One employee frankly told him his entry-level salary was a rip-off. Another employee had secretly been working at McDonald's outside of work hours to make ends meet. So Price decided to make a drastic change by investing in his employees.

He researched how much money the average person would need in order to live comfortably and settled on $70,000 a year. In one fell swoop, he dropped his own salary to that amount, while also making it the minimum salary for anyone who worked at Gravity.

The move drew media coverage—and dire predictions from pundits. On Fox News and other conservative outlets he was called "foolish," a "socialist" and a "lunatic of lunatics." Rush Limbaugh called the company policy "pure unadulterated socialism" that was "going to fail" and should be a case study in MBA programs on how socialism doesn't work. Talking heads predicted that his employees would end up in the welfare line.

Six years later, Price has proved the haters wrong—by a lot.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less