Actor Martin Sheen endorses Governor Quinn over minimum wage

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Actor Martin Sheen endorses Governor Quinn over minimum wage

By Ray Hanania

English: American actor Martin Sheen.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn received the endorsement today of Hollywood actor Martin Sheen, who credited his support to the governor’s push to increase the minimum wage.

Sheen, a long-time Democratic activist and workers’ rights advocate, praised Quinn who is in a tough political battle with wealthy Republican businessman Bruce Rauner.

Sheen wrote, “I’ve been an actor all my life — that’s what I do for a living. But activism is what I do to stay alive. Not that long ago, I was able to join Governor Quinn in Chicago to speak out about one of the most important issues facing our country today: raising the minimum wage.”

The star of “Apocalypse Now,” “The Departed,” and TV’s “The West Wing,” called Quinn “a friend” and said the governor has “always fought the good fight — and we’re in a real fight right now to raise the minimum wage in Illinois.”

Sheen’s statement continued urging readers and his fans to support Quinn by making an online donation:

It takes all of us working together to make change — if you believe in this as strongly as I do, make a donation today to make sure we win this one,” Sheen wrote.

“It was exactly 76 years ago today that President Roosevelt signed the country’s first minimum wage into law. It was 25 cents an hour. F.D.R. saw the minimum wage as one of the most important parts of the New Deal — second only to the creation of Social Security. But even then, there were people who fought it tooth and nail. It was F.D.R. himself who warned us not to let “calamity-howling” executives with an income of $1,000 a day claim that a wage of $11 a week would bankrupt all of American industry.”

Sheen, born of immigrant parents, changed his name from Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez.

“We still have some of those calamity-howling executives today, but F.D.R. was right to create the minimum wage and Governor Quinn is right to try and raise it,” Sheen said.

“For me, this is far less a political issue than a moral one. This is about doing what we know in our hearts is right. Governor Quinn is committed to getting the job done — let’s show that we’ve got his back.”

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. He is managing editor of the Illinois News Network Online www.IllinoisNewsNetwork.com.)

Ray Hanania

Blogger, Columnist at Illinois News Network Online
Ray Hanania is senior blogger for the Illinois News Network online news site. He is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist who covered the beat from 1976 through 1992 (From Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley).

In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. He hosted a live weekend Radio Show on WLS AM radio from 1980 through 1991, and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM and shows on WSBC AM in Chicago and WNZK AM in Detroit.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. He currently is syndicated through Creators Syndicate and his column is feature every Sunday in the Saudi Gazette in Saudi Arabia. He has written for the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His Chicagoland political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News on several Chicagoland blogs including the OrlandParker.com and SuburbanChicagoland.com.

Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

His personal website is www.TheMediaOasis.com. Email him at: RayHanania@IllinoisNewsNetwork.com.