Why Michaelene from Port Orchard Supports Initiative 1433

Michaelene is a mother who lives in Port Orchard and has worked a variety of low-wage jobs while supporting her son.

Michaelene and her son

Michaelene and her son

Apartment & mortgage costs have so exponentially risen since the 1990s that it leavesthe present minimum federal & state wages way behind cost-of-living recovery from rise in basic household expenses, and health care premiums & out-of-pocket expenses required for family members' care for improving to their potential.

I worked from when I was twelve and my mom recovered with physical, speech & occupational therapies [from] a cardiac arrest during surgery. Worked for my dad, Sears, The Bon Marche, University of Washington Health Sciences, VA Medical Ctr., Preschool Care Centers., Seattle Urban League Education secretary and King County council & land use office technician. Worked part-time at V.A. Medical Center. to return for A.S. and, eventually bachelor and education degrees. Could not survive on a beginning teacher salary in 1987 & raise my son having speech-language cerebral palsy, ADHD & high-functional Autism Spectrum Disorder. I had to constantly advocate with government and insurance agencies for son's therapies while holding my 35-40 hour of work a week and tending to my son's personal growth, education & medical prescriptions.

Even a small amount of increased wages would allow families to cover utility bills increased through no fault of their own, gas tank fill-up for transportation to work, transit pass for half or a full month (if service available), one time a month family dinner out (supporting community economy), paying for needed family member caregiving (supporting economy), a few dollars in a savings jar or account for unexpected expenses of accidents, a family recreational activity, paying a class for training & self-improvement, plus so much more.

-Michaelene, Port Orchard


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