"At $15 an hour I have a chance, I have a shot at living without the constant feeling of debt."

Nicola talked with the Olympia City Council about the need for $15.

I moved here about a month ago from Scotland, Aberdeen so I’m used to the rainy weather here in Olympia. I just got a new job and I love it except for the fact that I can’t pay for rent, food, internet, electricity, or my medical bills.

A couple of things that are out of my control at my job are having 25 hours one week and having 11 the next. I work anytime they call me in.

I don’t like serving people who never smile back.

The one thing that bothers me and my little friend, my Chase checking account, is that I’m only paid $9.47. I’m 18 years old and I’m not going to school because I can’t afford it. I work hard and feel that my wage should reflect that.

Not being able to afford my bills and having to message my mom on Facebook the night before my rent is due to ask for money can really hurt your confidence. I’m extremely lucky that my family is here and they can help me, but what if they weren’t here? I wonder where I would be and how many jobs that I would be breaking my back having just to get by.

At $9.47 I have no way of making it in and out of school without thousands of dollars of debt. I have no way of being independent and finally knowing that the check I’ve written for rent came from me.

At $15 an hour I have a chance, I have a shot at living without the constant feeling of debt.

I am a mother of three checking out your groceries at Safeway. I’m the man inside the gas station who greets you when you get your morning coffee. I’m the smiling face you see at Walmart that is somehow always happy. Most of all, I am underpaid.

I’m not only fighting for myself, but for the hardworking people you meet everyday who are underpaid. We stand here in solidarity and we will not give up until we are paid a living wage. We demand for the city council to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.