Mission and PrinciplesWe must work together to insist that our federal officials continue to advance and enact policies that benefit EVERYONE in our state.
Instead of serving the wealthy and powerful – the richest 1% – we need Congress to make them pay what they owe and use the money to ensure that our rights to the necessities of life – a good job at good wages, good-quality secondary and post–secondary education, health care, housing, and child care – are protected for the rest of us—the 99%!
Over the last four decades, economic policies have created a large divide between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of us. New income and wealth have mostly gone to a minority of the “ultra-rich,” while the rest of us have seen our wages stagnate or fall. Tax laws passed in 2001 and 2017 gave huge tax breaks to corporations and to households at the top of the wealth ladder, while the rest of us got little.
The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated this transfer of wealth. Most of us—those with mid-level and low incomes, families both Black and white, urban and rural—suffered from unemployment and lost income. But America’s billionaires grew significantly richer while paying little to nothing in taxes.
President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act marked a significant new direction in America’s economic priorities. The rescue package invested in Covid vaccines and treatments, aided hard-hit businesses and workers who lost income, prevented evictions, and put money into the pockets of families struggling to make ends meet.
It reduced health care costs for millions of Americans and for the first time provided help to almost all the families in the country raising children. The infrastructure law is making historic investments in creating good-paying union jobs; rebuilding roads and bridges; improving water, electrical, and public transit systems; lowering utility costs; and expanding internet access for families and businesses.
But even more needs to be done to address the damage done by decades of misplaced priorities and handouts to the ultra-rich. All of us—no matter what we look like or where we live, whether we are relatively comfortable or are struggling economically—must come together to work for a different America in which the priority is that all of us can thrive.
WE MUST COME TOGETHER TO ENSURE OUR RESOURCES ARE INVESTED IN:
universal pre-K + affordable child care
affordable health care with affordable prescription drugs
quality education from pre-K through graduate school
affordable housing for mid-level and low-income families
tax breaks for working families with children
care that ensures our seniors live in dignity
And these transformative investments must be funded by making billionaires and wealthy corporations pay what they owe.
We must work together to insist that our federal officials continue to advance and enact policies that benefit EVERYONE in our state.
The 99% Pennsylvania is a campaign based on four principles:
EVERYONE DESERVES A FAMILY-SUPPORTING WAGE.
Hardworking people should receive compensation that allows them to support their families and make ends meet. They should be able to work in conditions where their safety and health are protected, where they have access to paid family leave when they are sick or need to care for a family member, and where their freedom to join fellow workers to bargain with employers collectively is ensured and protected.
The 99% Pennsylvania supports efforts to raise the federal minimum to at least $15 per hour and to eliminate the so-called “tipped wage” in favor of “One Fair Wage.”
EVERYONE DESERVES QUALITY, AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE.
People should be able to access quality health care at an affordable price, and all workers should have the benefits of paid family and medical leave to take care of themselves and their families during times of crisis. Efforts must be made to continue expanding and improving the Affordable Care Act and the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
The 99% Pennsylvania opposes any effort to undermine, weaken, or eliminate these programs, as well as the introduction of obstacles that would make it more difficult for people to access health care.
Support in Crisis
EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO BASIC NECCESSITITIES.
The 99% Pennsylvania supports repairing and expanding “social safety net” programs. In periods of crisis, hardship, and economic recession, people should have access to the things they need to survive — food, housing, clothing, and other essentials.
We oppose efforts to limit access to vital support services such as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF), the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), unemployment benefits, and Social Security.
EVERYONE SHOULD PAY A FAIR SHARE.
After nearly a half-century of increasing economic inequality, with tax breaks and wealth going disproportionately to the super-rich and to massive corporations, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act marks a turning point.
The 99% Pennsylvania supports efforts to reform our tax system so that low to middle income families can keep more of their hard-earned pay. The wealthiest pay the smallest percentage of their income and pay the least in taxes — they need to pay an equitable share.