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The American Dream includes the opportunity for prosperity, success, and upward social mobility. Yet, most Americans are treading water. Over the past few decades, there has been a growing trend toward temporary, part-time, and contingent work and an increase in low-wage, low-quality jobs. With the exit of major industries and the growth of multi-national corporations, the solid middle-class jobs that offered salaries and benefits that could support a family are disappearing. Now, nearly one-third of the Chicago region's workforce is trapped at the bottom rung of the career ladder.

Together, we must raise the floor for workers whose daily labor in the cleaning, warehouse, manufacturing, construction, domestic, service, and other low-wage industries is essential for the functioning of our society.