AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka announced Wednesday that the labor federation would hold "minimum wage summit" events this year in four key presidential primary states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. The events are an attempt to force the federal minimum wage to be an issue in the next presidential election.
"We're not waiting around. The first state summit will be in Iowa this spring. Each summit will bring together diverse voices ... to lay out the entire raising wages platform and establish state-based standards of accountability," Trumka said in a speech at Gallaudet University.
The states are traditionally the first four in the presidential race and are instrumental in setting the tone and winnowing the field of candidates. Liberal activists have complained that Hillary Clinton's early dominance could result in the Left being taken for granted by the party during the Democrats' primary season. Many activists have called for more aggressively liberal voices in the campaign to push the party leftward.
The federation will hold additional events in seven cities: Atlanta, Washington, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, San Diego and Columbus, Ohio. The various state and local events will involve partnerships among labor organizations, local activist groups and faith-based organizations.