As House Appropriations Committee holds hearing on minimum wage, paid sick and safe time…
Working people from across the state detail realities of working for poverty wages
Share stories answering the question: "What's one thing you've done to make ends meet that state politicians don't know anything about?"
Working people and community supporters will be at the Capitol on Monday to offer testimony before the House Appropriations Committee on bills to raise the minimum wage and pass a minimum standard for paid sick and safe time — but a few minutes in a hearing room isn't enough to represent the experiences of the more than half-million people in our state who are paid poverty wages of less than $15/hour, or the million workers who don’t have paid sick days.
So over the past few days, Working Washington asked supporters across the state to answer a simple question:
What's one thing you've done to make ends meet that state politicians don't know anything about?
- Lynn, Poulsbo: "When my kids were younger, I remember going into the basement and garage to find unused outdoor light bulbs, taking them back to a hardware store, using the cash to buy food. $30. Now I'm on EBT.”
- Nancy, Bellevue: "When I broke my wrist while doing company business, I had to keep working because I had no sick leave, etc. Because of that, I'm on my third cast because my wrist isn't healing — and I lost my job anyway.”
- Amber, Seattle: "I volunteer at a church on Wednesday nights to help with the Church dinner because they need the help AND I get to take home some of whatever is left over, which I eat all week. This week it will be fried chicken and asparagus, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday & hopefully through Monday.”
- Elizabeth: "On more than one occasion I have had to scour the house to find enough change to go to the dollar store to buy toilet paper. Such a simple item but without basic necessities being covered by food stamps and working for low wages despite having a bachelor's degree this is something my family has had to do to get by.”
- Craig, Granite Falls: "I had to sell my DVDs to a pawn shop. My game systems, my books, records. Everything I accumulated from my childhood, just to make ends meet. I may never get all that back. The memories alone made me cry. I had no choice. Pay bills or lose everything. It's not fair, I work my ass off and I lose my childhood over it.”
Washington voters already understand the realities of working for poverty wages — that's why proposals to raise the minimum wage and establish standards for paid sick and safe time are so wildly popular.
We expect State Legislators to take heed as well, and make history by continuing advance these proposals to raise the minimum wage and establish a minimum standard for paid sick and safe time.
Hearing on minimum wage and paid sick days
Monday, February 16, 2015, 3:30 pm
House Appropriations Committee
House Hearing Room A, John L. O'Brien Building
Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington: firstname.lastname@example.org