Purpose and Practices
Articulate, Advocate, and Act
As an arm of the Justice & Peace Committee of St. Ignatius Catholic Community, we are dedicated to the service of faith and the promotion of justice.
We are called and challenged to articulate, advocate, and act upon critical social, economic, cultural and political issues that affect us, our city and our world. We are also called to be a resource to provide parishioners with opportunities to live out their faith through justice. The Committee aims to address the challenges that affect the work of justice in our community. The values of our Church teachings direct our efforts to work for peace and justice. As such we:
- Advocate for paid sick leave for Maryland workers in community
- Mobilize fellow parishioners around issues of economic justice
- Persuade legislators to pass paid sick leave legislation during the Legislative Session
- Reach out to the St. Ignatius Community and beyond to engage in discussion and determine a course of action on issues of economic policy
One of our goals is to deepen our understanding of the principles of Catholic social teaching and then, through word and action, help to integrate these principles more fully into the life of our Parish community.
The Realities of Poverty in Baltimore
It has been half a century since legal barriers for economic advancement for minorities have been lifted, yet the correlation between race and poverty remains undeniable. People of color are more than twice as likely as white people to meet the federal definition of poverty. Given substantial progress in civil rights and antidiscrimination policies — as well as the increased ethnic diversity of the nation — why is poverty still so colored? Why have racial differences in poverty persisted for so long — and what can we do to confront them?
The Fight for $15 Maryland Coalition calls on Maryland to stand up for hard-
The fight for the $15 minimum wage is a global movement in over 300 cities on six continents. The movement began in 2012 and consists of fast-food workers, home health aides, child care teachers, airport workers, adjunct professors, retail employees – and underpaid workers everywhere.
Low-wage employers such as McDonald’s make billions of dollars in profit and push off costs onto taxpayers, while leaving their workers struggling to survive. The workers fought back, and have already won raises for 22 million people across the country.
But the fight continues–especially in our city and our state. Want to get involved? Contact us for more information.
In Baltimore, wages for people working in the service sector have been steadily decreasing for several years, leaving thousands of workers with low incomes, few, if any benefits, and no job security. Many of our sisters and brothers in Baltimore face a grave struggle to provide for themselves and their families, pay their bills, and keep a roof over their heads.
In the past, the dominant industry in Baltimore was steel and workers, represented by the United Steelworkers, were paid wages that supported middle-class families with health insurance, pensions, and job security. Now, health care is the prominent industry in our city, and while Baltimore is home to some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, wages for many workers are low. READ MORE
US Bishops: “Workers’ share of the fruits of the economy has be declining for decades”
Bishop Dewane’s letter recalls the 100th anniversary of the 1919 “Bishops’ Program for Social Reconstruction”
AUGUST 31, 2019
Each year on Labor Day, the Chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development issues a statement reflecting on our economy in light of Catholic Social Teaching. This year Chairman Bishop Dewane (Diocese of Venice) looked back on a landmark statement issued by America’s bishops a century ago. In a document that came to be called the “Bishops’ Program for Social Reconstruction,” they examined social conditions in the wake of World War I, with workers fighting powerful monopolies and trusts and an increasing concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few. The Bishops of 1919 recommended a series of social reforms that prefigured the New Deal initiatives of the 1930s: a federal minimum wage, the right to organize in labor unions, social security for the elderly. READ MORE
More than 600 Catholic Institutions with Employee Unions
AUGUST 31, 2019
One way the Church can evangelize the world is by modeling virtuous behavior in our own lives. Approximately one million Americans are employed in Catholic hospitals, nursing homes, colleges, K-12 schools, and other Catholic institutions. When managers and administrators in these organizations demonstrate fidelity to Catholic Social Teaching by bargaining constructively with unions representing their employees, lay Catholic business leaders – and workers – take notice. That’s one reason why the Catholic Labor Network publishes an annual report listing Catholic institutional employers with unions representing some or all of their employees. This year’s Gaudium et Spes Labor Report lists more than 600 Catholic institutions and organizations that bargain collectively with their employees. CLICK HERE to read the report, and check out the listings for your Diocese!
Direct Connection March 18th, 2019 – “Maryland Fight For $15”
– Maryland Public Television
State House Democrats Raising Working Wages and Holding Down Costs
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — State House Democrats say their agenda is designed to build a stronger middle class, by raising their wages and holding down their costs.
Democrats are guaranteeing, not just promising, to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour.
“Its time has come, plain and simple, its time has come,” said Delegate Dereck David, D-Prince George’s County.
Other items on their agenda include cutting prescription drug costs and ensuring health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions. READ MORE
Md. Democrat’s Proposal for $15 Minimum Wage: “Helping Working People”
Maryland’s newly energized Democratic state lawmakers said Tuesday that they want to raise the minimum wage, ban Styrofoam and 3-D guns, and rein in the cost of prescription drugs and child care during the current legislative session.
“It’s about helping average working people,” Sen. James C. Rosapepe (D-Prince George’s) said Tuesday during a joint news conference announcing the Democratic agenda. READ MORE
– Washington Post
A Bill to Increase Maryland’s Minimum Wage to $15 by July 2023
Increasing Maryland’s minimum wage to $15 by 2023 will help the state’s workers meet their basic needs and follows a growing list of states, cities, and counties across the country that have enacted, or are pushing for a $15 minimum wage. In addition to increasing Maryland’s minimum wage, this bill eliminates several carve-outs that leave tipped workers, younger workers, commission workers, and agricultural workers behind. The bill also strengthens Maryland’s protections for workers who face retaliation when they exercise their basic minimum wage rights. Existing retaliation protections are outdated, ineffective at preventing retaliation, and out of step with many states that have modernized and strengthened their antiretaliation laws. Below is a breakdown of the bill’s key provisions: READ MORE
– National Law Employment Project
What a $15 Minimum Wage Would Mean for Maryland
Good Jobs, Secure Families, and a Healthy Economy
Maryland’s economy looks great on paper. We have a highly educated workforce, the highest median income in the country, and more millionaires per capita than any other state. At the same time, a small number of wealthy households have captured a rising share of our state’s economic growth in recent decades, leaving less for the rest of us. Since 1979, the top 1 percent of Maryland households have seen their incomes more than double (after adjusting for inflation), while wages for a typical worker increased by only 13 percent—equivalent to a 0.3 percent annual growth rate.i In short, Maryland’s economy today delivers enormous rewards to a few while leaving many more behind. READ MORE
– Maryland Center on Economic Politics
Virginia House Democrats call for doubling minimum wage, increasing teacher pay
Virginia House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled their plans for the first session of 2019, including an increased minimum wage, a pay raise for teachers, action on criminal justice reform and making voting easier.
Virginia’s minimum wage currently is $7.25 an hour.
“That is just not enough,” Del. Jeion Ward, D-Hampton, said during the House Democrats’ news conference.
Ward and House Democrats propose increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, which would more than double the current rate and be the highest in the country. The annual salary of a worker making minimum wage would increase from $15,000 a year to about $31,200. READ MORE
Come & Celebrate – We Funded the Trust!
This year has been a big one for Affordable Housing in Baltimore. Our city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF, for short) was created in November 2016, established with the support of 83% of Baltimore voters. For almost two years it sat empty. Though our public officials committed to and even campaigned on dedicating $20 million every year to create and maintain affordable housing for us, they did not act.
Community members across the city were ready to take charge and #FundTheTrust. We claimed space in our city’s budget process and demanded the right to participate. We went to the budget office, the planning commission, the board of estimates — we demanded to be heard. When the budget was finalized, $2 Million was dedicated to the trust while $10 Million was dedicated to city computer upgrades. “Where are our city’s priorities?” we asked. READ MORE
– United Workers
Amazon to Raise Minimum Hourly Wage to $15 for All U.S. Workers
SEATTLE — Even Amazon can get squeezed by political pressure and a tight labor market. The online giant on Tuesday said it would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all of its United States workers. READ MORE
– The New York Times
Georgetown, Grad Student Union Set Aside Legal Fight, Opt for New Labor Relations Model
For some time, it has looked like the Georgetown University administration and its graduate student teaching and research assistants were headed for a legal showdown at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). READ MORE
– The Catholic Labor Network
The Rev. William Barber Is Bringing MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign Back to Life
Barber is stepping down from his post at the North Carolina NAACP to lead what he calls a “national moral revival. READ MORE
– The Nation
Montgomery Co. signs $15 minimum wage bill; effort takes aim at Md. state leaders
ROCKVILLE, Md. — The mood was joyous as lawmakers, advocates and impacted workers gathered Monday for the bill signing making a $15 minimum wage the law in Montgomery County, Maryland. READ MORE
– WTOP News
Montgomery County will not pay for flawed minimum-wage study
Montgomery County and a consulting firm it hired have mutually agreed that the county will not pay for a $149,000 flawed study that overestimated the number of jobs lost if the minimum wage was raised to $15 an hour. READ MORE
– Washington Post
Target Is Raising Its Minimum Wage and Is Making a Big Pledge for 2020
University of Washington analysis of Seattle minimum wage increase is fundamentally flawed
A new study of Seattle’s minimum wage increase by researchers at the University of Washington (UW) suffers from a number of data and methodological problems that undermine and cast doubt on its conclusions. READ MORE