LTE: Iowa families need a living wage

As the 2015 legislative session nears the home stretch, it pained me to see that our legislators failed to act on raising the minimum wage, leaving thousands of Iowans hanging out to dry until next year.

I am a mother to three beautiful children. I also happen to be the sole provider for them. While I earn above the Iowa minimum wage of $7.25, I think about other women like myself who rely on low-wage jobs to provide for their families and I wonder, how do they do it?

Child care alone costs anywhere from $150-$200 a week per child, depending on their age. For many single mothers this is a large part of their struggle. Even couples that work full-time face the challenge of finding affordable child care or arranging their work schedules perfectly in order to be home with the children. Unfortunately, low-wage work doesn’t cater to a family’s schedule.

With the ever-growing gap between the wealthy and the poor, decent earning jobs are few and far between. It’s time we treat workers with dignity. Iowans need a livable wage — not a measly $8.75 or even $10.10. We need a real wage increase that allows us to support our families and prosper. We need $15 an hour.

— Satyra Shorter, Des Moines

Read the LTE in the Des Moines Register here

 

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