From the Editors
If time is money, we still deserve more money
We're in the heart of the summer and there's some crumpled money on our cover. Why not a sunset, or a guy with a guitar, or something else more indicative of the season?
Astute readers will note that specifically, this crumpled money in question adds up to seven dollars and 25 cents. That's the per hour rate of Pennsylvania's minimum wage, and it has been — here and at the federal level — since 2009.
It's our belief that everyone has the right to fair wages. In his article, writer Dan Schank returns with an analysis of where we are, where we might be going, and highlights a few people and organizations that are taking strides to make that living wage a reality.
For some, this is called the "Fight for 15." This alliterative movement grew from the specific demand to raise the federal minimum wage to 15 dollars. In 2012 a strike by fast food workers in New York City made headlines, bringing the issue to national attention. As of this writing, 32 U.S. states and territories have a rate above the federal limit, the highest being in the District of Columbia. Pennsylvania sits at the minimum with 16 others, while five southern states have not adopted a minimum requirement at all.
Also in this issue, Liz Allen takes us on a written tour of the West Bayfront in preparations for an actual guided walk she'll give on Wednesday, July 24. She talks to people like Thelma and Mabel Blanks of the recently opened Cafe 7-10, Joseph "Seph" Kumer, director of community engagement for First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, and outlines the new West BayFit program.
Katie Chriest provides a quick recap of recent events concerning the Erie Coke, as a hearing between the corporation and Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection moves forward following a notice from the DEP to shut down the plant, nearly mirroring actions in Tonawanda, New York at the now-closed sister plant Tonawanda Coke.
So as the Internet descends upon Area 51, so does this time of year gravitate towards an over-abundance of activities. Every day of the week, there's something worthwhile to check out, and oftentimes, admission is free. Things like Gallery Night, Gears and Grub, Discover Presque Isle, the Arts in the Arboretum, and 8 Great Tuesdays provide Erie residents with something affordable to do with their well-earned free time. And time is, of course, money.