Group Holds Rally on Equal Pay for Women

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Linn County Chapter of Organizing for Action hosted a rally as part of Women's History Month.

A small crowd gathered to speak out about equal pay for women.

There's a lot happening at Newbo City Market, but beyond the music and the coffee something else was brewing on Thursday.

Ann Ewoldt happened upon the rally on her dinner break at the market.

"As soon as I came in and saw that they were speaking on this topic, I definitely wanted to stay and listen to what she had to say," Ewoldt said.

Speakers took center stage engaging the audience on the topic of equal pay. They said equal rights have come a long way, but there's still work to be done.

"When women are still earning 77 cents on the dollar for the wage that men earn. Clearly we have 23 cents to go," said Event Speaker Libby Slappey.

"I have not enjoyed wage equity with my male colleagues all my life," said Organizing For Action Member Cate Barker.

"I think that's not right," said Darrel Wrider.

Wrider may have been one of the few men in the audience, but he agrees something needs to be done. He's among many at this event who think raising the minimum wage would help.

"To help them to be able to support their families," Wrider said.

Organizers said they hope this conversation encourages people to take action.

"It's one thing to talk to the crowd and fire them up and say 'woa is us' this pay inequity that exists but it's another thing to say and what can we do about it, and certainly electing a woman to congress, I think, should be at the top of the list," Slappey said.

On the other side of the minimum wage argument, some businesses say raising the minimum wage would put them out of business or raise prices.

Many at Thursday night's event said they plan to contact Iowa legislators to discuss the current minimum wage bill.

Organizing for Action is a non-profit, non-partisan organization.
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