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Quinn Gets Help From Martin Sheen In Push For Minimum Wage Hike

Actor Martin Sheen (at podium) joined Gov. Pat Quinn (right) and community activists in calling for state lawmakers to increase the minimum wage in Illinois. (Credit: CBS)

Actor Martin Sheen (at podium) joined Gov. Pat Quinn (right) and community activists in calling for state lawmakers to increase the minimum wage in Illinois. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Actor Martin Sheen joined Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday in his push to convince state lawmakers to raise the minimum wage.

“This is far less a political issue than a moral one,” Sheen said. “Activism is what I do to stay alive, and this is a reflection of my activism.”

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports Sheen, Quinn, and community activists gathered in the basement of St. Pius V Church at 1919 S. Ashland Av., where they urged the Illinois General Assembly to increase the state’s minimum wage from $8.25 to at least $10 an hour.

“Who could argue about $10 an hour? For heaven’s sakes, a five-day work week, that’s $400 a week before taxes, so the people that oppose it should try to live on that,” he said.

The governor invoked Pope Francis, labor leader Cesar Chavez, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and President John F. Kennedy in making his case for a higher minimum wage.

“President Kennedy used to like to say a rising tide lifts all boats. He didn’t say a rising tide lifts all yachts, he said all boats,” Quinn said.

The governor said more than 1 million people in Illinois would benefit from a minimum wage hike.

“We know how to organize. Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell, and organize. That’s what we’re all about,” he said.

The governor said raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do.

“If you work 40 hours a week, and do things right, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty,” he said.