Target: Robert DeLeo, Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
Goal: Praise Massachusetts lawmakers for increasing the state’s minimum wage to $11 an hour
After protests and strikes from minimum wage workers in the fast food industry and an ongoing national debate over raising the current federal minimum wage of $7.25, trend-setting Massachusetts has once again beaten the rest of the country to it by raising the hourly minimum wage to $11. Applaud Massachusetts lawmakers for their hand in ending poverty and improving quality of life for millions across the Bay State.
The Massachusetts House of Representatives recently passed a bill that will raise the state’s minimum wage from $8 to $11 an hour by 2017—the highest state minimum wage in the nation. The Senate already approved the bill, and Governor Deval Patrick is expected to sign it into law within the week.
While financial conservatives and corporate special interests oppose minimum wage increases, research shows that increasing minimum wage does not hurt jobs or businesses as many Republicans claim. In fact, it has the opposite effect. From increased small business employment to decreased dependence on welfare, increasing the minimum is a win-win for the government and the American people.
President Barack Obama, who has been advocating for a national increase to $10.50 an hour at the federal level, applauded the legislation, saying that Massachusetts is “doing [its] part to make sure no American working full-time has to support a family in poverty.” As Republicans consistently block efforts to increase the federal minimum wage, states and cities across the country have taken it upon themselves to ensure a livable wage for their citizens.
Hail Massachusetts lawmakers for setting the national standard for just and equitable social policy for some of its hardest-working citizens.
Dear Speaker DeLeo,
I want to thank you for prioritizing the quality of life of hard-working Americans above right-wing propaganda and corporate greed. Although Massachusetts already had a higher minimum wage than the national requirement, you have set a precedent for the rest of the country by approving the highest minimum hourly wage in the United States.
A minimum wage of $11 an hour will put about $120 more a week into the pockets of full-time minimum wage employees in Massachusetts. For workers who put in more than the standard 40 hours a week, of which there are many, the increase will be even more substantial.
Minimum wage workers are a vital part of American society and its economy. Thank you for showing these men and women the respect that they deserve, and for taking steps to improve their lives and the lives of the families they so often support.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Chensiyuan via Wikimedia Commons