This week in wins: New minimum wage proven to help workers across the country


In a week of somber news, progressives still scored several wins for people across the country.

Congress is in the midst of its annual August recess, and El Paso and Dayton are healing from last weekend's horrific mass shootings. It was a somber week, but there are still a handful of progressive wins worth celebrating.

Here is some good news for the week.

Workers and communities across the country are thriving with new minimum wage laws

A comprehensive look at states with higher minimum wage laws shows workers are helped with no discernible negative impact on businesses, U.S. News and World Reports reported Friday.

An academic paper looking at minimum wage laws over the last five years concluded "these policies have the intended consequence of rais[ing] wages at the bottom" of the income brackets, but "no overall evidence" of reduced jobs or adverse impact on employment.

A Business Insider report shows New York City restaurants in particular are "booming" after the city implemented a $15 minimum wage for all workers, "despite warnings that the boost would devastate the city's restaurant industry."

A separate analysis of Arizona's higher minimum wage showed benefits for food service workers and a minimal impact on job losses.

Lutheran denomination declares support for immigrants

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) declared itself a "sanctuary church body" on Wednesday during an annual gathering of church leaders.

"We continue to do God's work with our hands in language the world understands," Christopher Vergara, a church member from New York who proposed the sanctuary church language, told Religion News Service.

The ELCA has more than 3 million members in the United States, making it one of the largest protestant denominations in the country.

"It just keeps getting worse and worse in terms of unaccompanied children, separated families, detention centers that are just horrific, and so what we wanted to say as a church body, as the Lutheran church, we wanted to now act with our feet and take action," Evelyn Soto Straw, director of unit operations and programs for the ELCA's Domestic Mission, told Religion News Service.

New Illinois law seeks to protect domestic abuse survivors

Starting in 2020, survivors of domestic violence in Illinois can omit their addresses from court filings if including them would endanger them or their families, thanks to a new law signed on Wednesday.

"For too long, survivors of domestic violence have feared retaliation from their abusers while seeking refuge, but this new law takes a step forward in protecting victims as they write a new chapter in their lives," Gov. JB Pritzker said, according to KFVS. "Today's action reaffirms our state's commitment to empowering and supporting survivors and their families."

“It's already hard enough for victims to take that first step and get out of their situation," state Sen. Laura Murphy told KFVS. "They shouldn't have to live in fear of their address being released after being brave enough to get away."

More affordable housing coming to Oregon

A new law signed by Gov. Kate Brown will expand access to affordable housing in Oregon.

"I am just so pleased that we've been able to make significant investments that will help every family have a warm, safe, dry place to call home," Brown during a bill-signing ceremony, according to KLCC.

The key part of the housing package will allow multi-unit building to exist in areas formerly zoned for single-family homes, increasing the number of places to live in high-cost areas.

Federal judge blocks abortion ban in Arkansas

An 18-week abortion ban will not go into effect in Arkansas after a federal judge ruled it would cause "irreparable" harm to women, according to CNN.

The same federal judge ruled on Tuesday that two additional anti-abortion measures could not go into effect, resulting from a lawsuit filed in June by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.

Judge Kristine Baker of the Eastern District of Arkansas wrote the measures "cause ongoing and imminent irreparable harm to the plaintiffs and their patients."

Arkansas plans to appeal the ruling.

Come back next week for more good news.