By: Angelique Tege
ALBANY, N.Y. - On Sunday, law makers and leaders from minority communities across the state rallied near the Capitol in support of President Obama's proposal to raise the minimum wage.
In support of President Obama's proposal, the gathering was the close of the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislator's Conference.
Speaking on behalf of the communities they represent, lawmakers, clergy and other leaders spoke out and spoke up, demanding that the minimum wage be raised.
They came from areas like the Bronx, Brooklyn and Harlem. About a dozen or more members of the New York State Black and Puerto Rican legislators' caucus gathered to express the need to "raise the wage."
It was referred to as a showing of solidarity and support for the proposal President Obama put forth in last week's State of the Union address to raise the federal minimum wage to nine dollars an hour and to index the increase with inflation, to help working families and to promote economic fairness and growth.
"We have an expression in Harlem," said Assemblyman Keith Wright. "We say, you gotta get off the dime. You gotta get up off the dime! Senate Republicans have to get up off the dime. To be exact- they have to get up off of 17 dimes and one nickel."
"The wage does not allow individuals who look after their children or their parent or just themselves, to do the basic necessities- to cover the basic necessities," said Assemblyman Marcus Crespo.
Minorities represent more than 1.5 million New Yorkers who would benefit from a minimum wage increase.