Employment Policies Institute Takes App Approach to Advocacy

The new app Wage Engage hopes to give small businesses a bigger voice in the minimum-wage fight, which has increasingly gained notice through social media tactics.

Raising the minimum wage has long been a major wedge issue in the advocacy world.

One group, the Washington, DC-based Employment Policies Institute (EPI), a think tank focused on employee growth and the minimum wage, believes it has a new strategy for standing out from the crowd.

Last week, the group released a new app called Wage Engage, a platform that allows small business owners to reach out to legislators regarding concerns about raising the minimum wage.

“With the push of a button, the app will automatically route a message from the business owner to relevant state or federal legislators—complete with details about how the wage hike in question would affect that business and its employees,” the group explains on its website.

Michael Saltsman, research director for EPI, tells the Wall Street Journal that the approach is an effort to change the conversation around the minimum wage, a discussion that in recent years has been driven on the other side of the debate by social media campaigns such as Fight for $15.

“[The app] is all part of a new strategy to try to normalize and confront the public and legislators with the consequences of their new actions,” Saltsman told the Journal.

The National Restaurant Association and the International Franchise Association have each pledged to share the app with the more than 100,000 businesses they represent, the newspaper reported.

The app is currently available for iOS, but an Android version is in the works.

(YouTube screenshot)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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