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Elyssa Schmier's picture

Confession: There’s been a lot of lip service given lately to the need for fair pay for women, but I’m not interested in lip service: I want action.

Here’s a little context: Women represent nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers. Nearly four in ten female minimum wage workers are women of color.  And the federal minimum wage is currently stuck at only $7.25/hour. Women are well overdue for a raise so they can support their families and, importantly, therefore support their local community and economy.

* I’ve had enough! I’m writing my elected leaders, will you join me? Write your members of Congress today and tell them to “raise up women and our economy”:

Want some facts to fire you up? Check this out: A woman working full time, year round at minimum wage will earn $14,500 annually—nearly $4,000 below the poverty line for a mother with two children. The situation is particularly harsh for tipped minimum wage workers (like waitresses and bartenders) who haven’t seen a federal minimum wage raise in over 20 years and are somehow still being paid only $2.13/hour!

To be blunt: No woman with a job should have to live in poverty.

The number one way to fix this is for Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10, which would boost our economy and our families. In our consumer-fueled economy, moms make nearly three-quarters of purchasing decisions. That’s a lot of consumer power. But it also means that when moms and women aren’t paid fairly, and don’t have funds to spend, then our entire economy is impacted. However, if the minimum wage was raised, 15.3 million women would see an increase in their wages. This would allow women to afford the basics for their family—food, rent, doctor’s visits and necessary repairs. And studies show that this would also boost our consumer-fueled economy.

Women are working hard for this country. It’s time to raise up women!

In fact it’s past time. The U.S. Census found that for every dollar that men earn, women earn just 77 cents. Estimates from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers suggest that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and indexing it to inflation could close about 5 percent of the gender wage gap!

There is momentum now to raise the minimum wage, but nothing will happen in Congress unless our representatives know this is a priority for their constituents i.e. you! The more of us who write, the bigger the impact.

*We need to make our voices echo through the halls of Congress and tell our elected officials to “Raise up women—raise the minimum wage to $10.10.” Join me in taking action here:

Don’t forget! This isn’t just about women. Raising the minimum wage helps our economy. Studies show that 140,000 new jobs would be created by raising the minimum wage, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago says a raise in the minimum wage would help our economy by increasing household spending nationwide by about $48 billion, even benefiting the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

So let’s tell Congress to raise up women so we all can win. A raise in the minimum wage will help workers, families, and our economy.

Opponents to the minimum wage are spending a lot of money trying to silence low-wage workers so we need to be extra, extra, extra loud. So, after taking action, please make sure to copy the action link to your Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, do you have an experience earning a minimum or tipped wage? If so, MomsRising wants to hear from you! You can share your story here Or if it’s easier to tell me your story over the phone, email me at and we can set up a time to chat.

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