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Rashida Tlaib's picture

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Michigan needs to raise the minimum wage.  Not just because it's the right thing to do for the minimum wage workers in this state.  It is important for everyone in the states and is the single most important thing that could be done to help our state recover from the worst economic recession in a decade.  People don't have money to spend on the basics like groceries and gas.  This sets off a ripple effect, causing harm to many people, businesses and industries beyond low wage earners themselves.  When someone can't afford to buy groceries, they definitely aren't going to be going out to eat, buying new clothes or spending any unnecessary money that would help stimulate the local economy.  Growing up in a family of 14 children, I know firsthand how challenging it is to raise a family and make ends meet.  Working families need to be supported, and it is time to give them a raise.

In order to understand the scale of the problem, it's important to note who minimum wage workers are.  Nationally, the average age of minimum wage workers is 35 and over a third are over 40.  In fact, only 12% of minimum wage workers are under 20.  The minimum wage in Michigan is $7.40 an hour, meaning that a minimum wage worker makes $15,392 a year if they work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year.  Minimum wage earners take extraordinary measures to provide for themselves and their families.  I believe that no one that works full time should live in poverty.

This is why I have chosen raising the minimum wage as my focus during the National Week of Action, when state legislators across the country are lifting up a shared agenda designed to secure real prosperity for all Americans.

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