Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will hold a rally in Nashville this week with Tennessee State Representative Justin Jones (D-Nashville).

Jones is one of the lawmakers that was expelled in April after he, along with State Representatives Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) and Justin Pearson (D-Memphis), took control of the House Floor to demand gun control in the wake of the Covenant Presbyterian School shooting.

Jones has since been reinstated to his position by the Nashville Metro City Council on an interim basis.

On Friday,  Sanders, Jones, and special guest Reverend William Barber II will hold a rally at the Henderson A. Johnson Memorial Gymnasium at Fisk University to advocate for raising the minimum wage to $17 an hour.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the event starts at 6:30 p.m.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, which was set in 2009.

“A couple of years ago, we fought to raise the minimum wage to $15. As a result of inflation, in real dollars, that should be at least $17 right now,” Sanders previously argued.

The “Rally to Raise the Wage” comes less than a month after Sanders, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, unveiled a plan to raise the minimum wage to $17 an hour over a five-year period, or by 2028.

“Congress can no longer ignore the needs of the working class of this country,” Sanders wrote in a recent op-ed in The Guardian. “At a time of massive and growing income and wealth inequality and record-breaking corporate profits, we must stand up for working families – many of whom are struggling every day to provide a minimal standard of living for their families.”

At the time when lawmakers advocated for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released that year found that raising the amount would prompt the loss of 1.4 million jobs.

The report states, “In 2025, when the minimum wage reached $15 per hour, employment would be reduced by 1.4 million workers (or 0.9 percent), according to CBO’s average estimate.”

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Bernie Sanders” by Bernie Sanders. Photo “Justin Jones” by Justin Jones.