#PayWithDignity

Lawmakers in 21 states have neglected working families by keeping wages stuck at the poverty-level federal minimum wage. Most of these states also have laws prohibiting cities from taking matters into their own hands by raising wages at the local level. Until Congress takes action to increase the minimum wage nationwide, these families will continue to fall behind. We can win better lives and better futures for 41.5 MILLION of our families by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a wage we can live on. We are making our voices heard and demanding that lawmakers stop ignoring working families. We deserve food on our tables and a roof over our heads every night. We cannot afford to be left out of the living wages that ALL of our families need to survive. It’s time for #PayWithDignity

 
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Madeline Chambers, North Carolina

Madeline Chambers has been working at Walmart in Gastonia, NC for two years. “I’m a working single mom and I just had to pull my family out of homelessness last year because Walmart is keeping me stuck in part time, and the $7.25 federal minimum wage is keeping 1,689,000 of our families in North Carolina in poverty. I’m rising up for a living wage, because every day I worry about losing the roof over our heads again. We all deserve the security of a living wage.”

 
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Antonia Velasquez, Iowa

The last time Iowa raise the minimum wage was ten years ago. Antonia Velasquez has been a full-time Walmart Associate for 11 years, but Walmart’s scheduling inconsistency and the stagnant, poverty-level, federal minimum wage have kept her from building the financially stable life she deserves. “At the end of each pay period, I’m left with almost nothing. This week, I had to buy medicine and couldn’t afford food for the week. I had to ask my son for money for groceries and it made me want to cry tears of rage.” There are over half a million families in Iowa that lawmakers have left behind by refusing to raise the minimum wage. No one should be forced to make impossible decisions between basic life necessities. Antonia is speaking up for a real living wages because every family in Iowa deserves to have the dignity of a living wage.

 
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Keshandra Oats, Alabama

Keshandra worked at Walmart in Demopolis, Alabama for over 3 years and struggled to support herself and her two daughters without a real living wage. Lawmakers who keep neglecting to raise the wage are forcing hundreds of thousands of working families in Alabama, and millions of families across the country, to make impossible decisions every single day.

"I am tired of having to always choose between which basic life need is more important than the other – this bill or that bill, food or transportation to work. Alabama needs to raise minimum wage because of the cost of living and buying groceries go up by the day. $15/hr will make living and feeding our family a lot easier. I’m rising up so I never have to say ‘I can’t pay this bill this week cause I have to feed my kids’ or let my lights get cut off for a couple of weeks cause I had to pay rent.”


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Sonja Bell, Georgia

Sonja has been in retail for over 20 years and is one of the 33,000 who lost our jobs when Wall Street greed killed Toys R Us. "I’m speaking up because Georgia's $7.25 minimum wage forces people to choose between food and transportation. In order to work, you need transportation, so it forces people to seek public assistance just to be able to eat. I believe if Georgia had a $15 minimum wage is would take a lot of people off of public assistance."


We all deserve to be paid enough to care for ourselves and our loved ones who depend on us – even our furry friends 🐶. Lawmakers need to listen to the hardworking people in all 21 states they have neglected to give a real living wage! Thank you to Everett, OLÉ NewMexico member, for speaking up and sharing your story.