The Fight for $15

I have long supported the fight for a $15 minimum wage. President Biden is currently proposing the increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, an act which still has yet to pass through Congress. This increase would be a huge benefit to millions of Americans.  

The federal minimum wage in the United States is currently at $7.25 per hour. It has been at this rate since 2009, when Congress last passed a federal increase. In the 12 years since, we have seen significant inflation, prices have increased, and the cost of living has increased across our country. And yet, people are expected to continue to do work at the same rate of pay.  

The current minimum wage does not allow people to live in a decent manner. It does not allow our fellow Americans to live comfortably. It does not allow them to buy groceries. It does not provide a roof over their heads. We have millions of people in this country who are just barely making ends meet. Something needs to change.  

Across the United States, our current minimum wage does not take into account the basic cost of living. There are many places where people are stuck decades behind, struggling to survive. Allow me to give a few examples.  

In Texas, which has some of our greatest cities, like Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin, the state minimum wage is only $7.25. And for people who work in tipped positions, that wage is $2.13. When you step into a restaurant in Texas, that waiter or waitress is getting $2.13 an hour to serve you. 

In Philadelphia, one of our country’s largest cities, workers are also only getting paid $7.25 an hour.  

Worst of all is Atlanta, where our American citizens are working for $5.15 an hour.  

These are great American cities, some of the biggest cities in our country, and our fellow Americans are making so little money that they can barely afford to survive.  

The minimum wage is not about luxury. It is not about giving people the money to buy a mansion. It is not about giving them the money to eat at five star restaurants every night, or go sailing on their yacht. The minimum wage serves one purpose, and that is to provide people with enough money to live a basic, decent life. And that minimum wage we are at right now, is not nearly enough to support that.  

There are currently 1.6 million people in America who work a minimum wage job. Those people represent some of America’s low-income workers. And they are the hardest working. They struggle every day to afford enough to provide for their families.  

A person should never be in a situation where they don’t have enough money, and have to decide which bills they are going to pay that month. Will they pay their rent, and have to forget about their electricity bill? Will they buy groceries, but have to pass up on their much needed medications? These are real issues that millions of our fellow Americans deal with on a daily basis.  

And I will not sit here and allow my fellow Americans to suffer in poverty. We need to make sure that all Americans, across this country, have enough money in order to survive.  

Congress has continued to block the federal minimum wage increase to $15 from passing. The most recent attempt was in February 2021, when the $15 minimum wage was not allowed to be part of the COVID economic relief bill.  

Today I am asking you for your help. As Americans, your voices need to be heard. I am asking you to call upon your local Congress representatives and tell them to pass the $15 minimum wage. Tell them that this is what you support. Tell them that this $15 minimum wage will help provide Americans with the economic relief we desperately need.  

We will continue to fight for a $15 minimum wage until this is passed. Thank you for helping us and supporting us in this mission.  

This is a transcript of my podcast, which is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Soundcloud, and more. Click here to listen.