2017 EARN Annual Conference


Oct 25, 2017 – 4:00 PM

7677 North 16th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85020 Map

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The 2017 EARN Conference will continue EARN’s multi-year campaign to support state and local efforts to raise wages, strengthen labor standards and pursue a state economic agenda to benefit working families. Members from EARN’s 79 groups across 43 states will convene with leading economic thinkers, policy experts, members of the labor movement, social services providers, community organizers, faith leaders, and academic researchers to think collectively about critical emerging issues in state policymaking, and discuss policies and strategies to lift up working families during pivotal 2018 issue debates. Arizona’s rich history offers a unique backdrop against which to discuss economic justice. The Grand Canyon State has been a key battleground on water rights for Native American communities, civil rights, and some of the most stringent anti-immigration legislation in recent years. Yet in the most recent election cycle, voters in the city of Flagstaff approved a $12 city minimum wage and voted to gradually raise and eliminate the separate tipped minimum wage – the first city in the country to do so. The Arizona experience represents many of the challenges activists and policymakers seeking to fight injustice–racial, economic, and otherwise–must confront: a rapidly changing population, a justifiable sense among average working families that the economy they know has stalled, and a political climate in which progressive policy victories often must start at the local level. This year’s conference picks up where last year’s in St. Louis left off: seeking to understand and confront these challenges, so that economic policies that will help working families can be achieved even in states where progressive policy changes can be harder to achieve.