September 20, 2015
New York City

Governor Cuomo Announces Nearly 100 Clergy Members Join the Mario Cuomo Campaign for Economic Justice

Governor Cuomo Announces Nearly 100 Clergy Members Join the Mario Cuomo Campaign for Economic Justice

Growing Campaign to Support Governor in Push to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 Statewide

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 96 notable clergy members from across the state have joined the Mario Cuomo Campaign for Economic Justice, a statewide initiative aimed building support for a $15 minimum wage for all workers in New York State. The Governor made this announcement while speaking to the congregation of Mount Neboh Baptist Church earlier this morning.

“By raising the minimum wage, we’re asking for fairness, equity and justice to ensure a decent living for all New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are going to get this done and then say to the rest of the nation – look at the Empire State for what is fair, for what is just, and for what it takes to make the strongest community.”


Further information on the Governor’s proposal for a $15 statewide, all-industry minimum wage is available here. In addition to today’s clergy members, 30 prominent civil rights groups and leaders have also joined the campaign.

The 96 clergy members joining the campaign today include:

  • Pastor Reverend Floyd H. Flake, D. Min., The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York
  • Pastor Wilbert Dorilus, All Saints Church of God Westbury
  • Reverend Lorraine Madry, Franklin Outreach Ministries the Church Without Walls
  • Reverend Antoine Asse, Church of God of NYC
  • Pastor Pierre Windsor Joseph, Eglise de Dieu de Baisley
  • Pastor Basil McPherson, Bushwick Family Ministires Church Church of God of Prophecy
  • Reverend Jean Romulus, Horeb Christian Alliance
  • Reverend Leonard Comithier, Jr., Macedonia Baptist Church
  • Elder McKinley Johnson, St. Johns COGIC (Note: Johnson is also President of The Albany African American Clergy United For Empowerment)
  • Executive Director Mark Cass, Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS)
  • Pastor George Dailey, Prayer House Church of God By Faith
  • Reverend Fannie Etheridge-Reeves, Power House Church of God in Christ
  • Elder Willie Lightfoot, Prayer House Church of God By Faith
  • Reverend Carl McCray, Church of Faith
  • Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid of The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood
  • Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive Vice President of the New York Board of Rabbis
  • Pastor Robert Miller, Aenon Missionary Baptist Church
  • Reverend Alan Newton, American Baptist Churches of the Rochester Genesee Region
  • Rev Leon Durpee, Lily of the Valley Church of God in Christ
  • Reverend Lewis Stewart, United Christian Leadership Ministry
  • Pastor Troy DeCohen, Mt. Vernon Heights Congregational Church
  • Reverend Lamont S. Granby, First Baptist Church of Bronxville
  • Reverend Darren Morton, Macedonia Baptist Church
  • Reverend Lamont Granby, First Baptist Church
  • Reverend James Hassell, Beulah Baptist Church
  • Reverend Dr. Allen Paul Weaver, Bethesda Baptist Church of New Rochelle
  • Reverend Ed Mulraine, Unity Baptist Tabernacle
  • Reverend Kirk Lyons, St. James United Methodist
  • Reverend/Senior Pastor Charles Coverdale, First Baptist Church in Riverhead
  • Reverend Roderick Pears, St. Mark Remnant Ministries Inc., located in Central Islip
  • Reverend Nebraski Carter, Pastor of Living Church of God in Christ
  • Pastor Vernon Shelton, Holy Trinity Baptist Church in Amityville
  • Father John Jeffreys Purcha, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Yaphank
  • Bishop Frank White, Zion Cathedral
  • Bishop Lionel Harvey, First Baptist Cathedral of Westbury
  • Reverend Frantz Metellus, Gateway Christian Center
  • Reverend Emmanuel Asse, Christian Gateway Church
  • Pastor Eliezer Reyes, Church of God Hempstead
  • Pastor Carlos Sorto, Centro Cristiano Renacer
  • Pastor David Yussif, Casa del Alfarero Church
  • Reverend W. Franklyn Richardson, Grace Baptist Church
  • Reverand Maria Scates, Johnson Park Center
  • Reverand Michael Catanzaro, The First Presbyterian Church- Canton
  • Father Steve Murray, Holy Family Church
  • Reverend James Barnwell, Clergy United for Community Empowerment
  • Pastor John Boyd, New Greater Bethel Ministries
  • Reverend Dr. Les Mullings, Church of the Nazarene
  • Bishop Charles Norris Sr., Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church of Jamaica
  • Reverend Patrick Young, First Baptist Church of East Elmhurst
  • Reverend Glibert Pickett, Mt Horeb Baptist Church,Corona,also Moderator, Eastern Baptist Association
  • Reverend Maggie Howard, Stapleton UAME Church
  • Pastor Jose Quinones, Spanish Missionary Baptist Church
  • Reverend. Dr. Raymond Rivera, President and Founder, Latino Pastoral Action Center, Inc.
  • Reverend Angelo Rosario, Bronx Clergy Taskforce
  • Pastor Peggy Smalls, Change A Life Ministries
  • Reverend Al Sutton, Friendly Baptist Church
  • Reverend Herbert Daughtry, House of the Lord Church
  • Bishop Orlando Findlayter, New Hope Christian Fellowship
  • Pastor Gil Monrose, Mt Zion Church of God (7th Day)
  • Reverend Robert Waterman, Antioch Baptist Church
  • Reverend Johnny Green, Mt Nebo Baptist Church
  • Reverend Lisa Jennkins, Saint Matthews Baptist Church
  • Reverend Victor Brown, Mt. Sinai Church
  • Reverend Terri Troia, Project Hospitality
  • Pastor Reverend Ron Wenzinger, Sara Jane Memorial United Methodist Church
  • Reverend Rick Huber, United Christian Advocacy
  • Reverend Gerard LeFeber, Olean area Lutheran churches (retired pastor)
  • Reverend Timothy Miller, Gerry United Methodist Church
  • Reverend Frank Torrain, Open Door #3 Church of God in Christ
  • Reverend Maria Jones, Emmanuel Baptist Church of Jamestown
  • Pastor Adam Rohler, First Covenant Church
  • Reverend Mark Blue, Second Baptist Church
  • Reverend Will Mebane, Jr., St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral
  • Pastor George Nicholas, Lincoln United Methodist Church
  • Reverend Darius Pridgen, True Bethel Baptist Church
  • Reverend Thomas Yorty, Westminster Presbyterian Church
  • Reverend Dr. William Wilkinson, Trinity Emmanuel Presbyterian Church
  • Bishop Derrick Owens, Christian Science Church
  • Reverend Julius Walls, Greater Centennial A.M.E. Zion Church of Mt. Vernon
  • Reverend Ron Tuncali, Hudson Valley Christian Church
  • Reverend David Mason, Union Presbyterian Church of Newburgh
  • Reverend Robert Bolton, One Accord Christian Church
  • Reverend David Hondorp, Reformed Dutch Church of Poughkeepsie
  • Reverend Leroy Nole, Second Baptist Church of Middletown
  • Reverend Victor Dyman, Middletown Seventh-day Adventist Church
  • Reverend Dr. John Stevens, Fountain of Life Church of God
  • Reverend John Warfel, Grace Episcopal Church of Middletown
  • Executive Director Slavik Joseph, Catholic Charities--Diocese of Syracuse
  • Reverend Frank Damis, St. Joseph's Parish of Kingston
  • Reverend Erica Baron, The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills
  • Reverend Renee House, First Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Kingston
  • Associate Rabbi Uri Tzedek, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
  • Reverend Demetrius Carolina, Central Family Life Center
  • President Mendy Mirocznik, Council of Jewish Organizations
  • Reverend Tony Baker, St. Phillips Baptist Church

Reverend W. Franklyn Richardson of Grace Baptist Church said: “Every New Yorker deserves a fair shot at success, but at the current minimum wage, not everyone has that opportunity. Governor Cuomo is fighting to change that by raising the minimum wage, and I am proud to support his proposal. Raising the minimum wage will take us one more significant step closer to ensuring that everyone is paid fairly for their hard work and has the opportunity to live the American Dream.”

Reverend Herbert Daughtry of House of the Lord Church said: “For too long, some of the hardest-working New Yorkers have been forced to make extraordinary sacrifices due to a minimum wage that prevents them from sustaining themselves and their. The Governor’s fight for a $15 minimum wage can change that, and allow people to live with greater dignity and build a better future for themselves and those they love. I proudly stand with Governor Cuomo in this effort, and urge all New Yorkers to join us in fighting for economic justice for all low-wage workers.”

Reverend Dr. Johnnie Green of the Mt. Neboh Baptist Church said: “The current minimum wage is stuck in the past and no longer serves to fulfill the promise that working fulltime means earning a living wage. It is time for the New York State legislature to join Governor Cuomo in the march for economic justice and push for a $15 minimum wage. Taking bold action on such an important and pervasive issue such as this will serve as a rallying call in communities all across the country – that fair pay must be a modern reality of the American Dream. That is what Governor Cuomo is fighting for, and I happily join him in this endeavor.”

Reverend Darius Pridgen of True Bethel Church said: “New York has a strong tradition of being at the forefront of progress. I am proud to help the Governor continue that legacy by fighting for a $15 minimum wage through the Mario Cuomo Economic Justice Campaign. With this campaign, we have the opportunity to see real change that would achieve the fair pay and economic parity that millions of workers across our state have long deserved. This is a critical move for New York and I am hopeful that it will set the stage for progress across the rest of the country.”

Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid of The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood said: “The minimum wage was created to ensure that if one worked hard and honestly, any person would be able to afford a decent quality of life. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. Raising the minimum wage to $15 increases working families' ability not just to survive, but even more so to become active participants in a growing economy that benefits us all. That helps to facilitate economic justice. I commend Governor Cuomo for putting forth such a worthwhile plan, and urge all New Yorkers to join together in calling for the legislature to act on a $15 minimum wage, next year.”

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive Vice President of the New York Board of Rabbis, said: “No matter what corner of New York State you visit, you'll find hard working individuals trapped in poverty as a result of the current minimum wage -- this unfair and it must change. Governor Cuomo is fighting for that change, with a $15 minimum wage, and I am standing with him in that endeavor. Raising the minimum wage will help millions of people out of poverty and give them the financial means to support their families proudly. I am proud to join with Governor Cuomo on this issue and will do all I can to help get this plan passed by the legislature next year."

Reverend. Dr. Raymond Rivera, President and Founder, Latino Pastoral Action Center, Inc. said: “Raising the minimum wage will give millions of New Yorkers – men and women who work hard but have been left behind in this economy – the brighter future that they have always been striving toward. With a just and fair wage increase, we can help those individuals earning the current minimum wage gain the financial independence and sustainability they need to move forward. I stand with Governor Cuomo look forward to creating a brighter future for these workers, their families, and all of New York.”

Reverend Nebraski Carter, Pastor of Living Church of God in Christ, said: “When you look at the numbers, it is virtually impossible to provide for a family when earning the current minimum wage. By raising it to $15, families throughout New York State will be given the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty they've been trapped in and reinvest their earnings in the economy, helping it grow even further. Governor Cuomo is fighting for those working families by spearheading the campaign for a $15 minimum wage, and I look forward to helping him in any way I can.”

Reverend Emmanuel Asse, Pastor at Gateway Christian Center and District Chairperson for the National Action Network, said: “The minimum wage, by definition, is meant to support the hardworking men and women of this country in the pursuit of a decent life in exchange for full time work. Too many years have passed, and that is no longer the truth – we see parents and grandparents, our brothers and sisters living in poverty, unable to escape because the minimum wage is simply too low. I am grateful to the Governor for addressing this issue, and I am confident that with a $15 minimum wage this reality would change for the better and society would grow brighter each day. Governor Cuomo, thank you for your unwavering support."

Contact the Governor's Press Office

NYC Press Office:  212.681.4640
Albany Press Office:  518.474.8418