"$15 an hour minimum wage would give us the chance to actually support ourselves."

David Chase, Tacoma McDonald's Worker.

I’m here to support the $15 an hour proposal. I want to start by saying that I’ve been working in fast food for roughly over 10 years — ever since I’ve been out of high school. I’ve basically been couch surfing from place to place, trying to go back to school. Every attempt I get to go back to school, I can’t really afford to make it through school because my hours get cut. 

It’s been very rough, living off of these wages for over 10 years, and now I have a daughter of three months that I’m trying to support. And it’s a lot of work, supporting a kid and just trying to make ends meet. 

I just feel that it would it help our community a lot. I have a lot of friends that are trying to support themselves through college and can’t really afford to make it back & forth — transportation, food to eat every day. We’re on public assistance. I just feel like $15 an hour minimum would actually give us a chance to support ourselves and carry our own weight. I just feel if we’re striving to work these jobs and put basically half our lives into these establishments, I feel like we should be rewarded for our efforts. We make these companies what they are, you know? 

I spend over 40 - 45 hours a week working with this job. And I just feel like I’m basically working for free. I pay my bills and I don’t have anything to buy for my daughter. I can’t afford formula. DSHS tells me I make too much money to receive food stamps, so I can’t get public assistance even though I’m not making much of anything as it is. 

It’s really hard.