Target: Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney
Goal: Increase Oregon’s minimum wage to $13 an hour so that it can actually be livable.
The minimum wage could be increased by almost 50 percent if lawmakers in Oregon give a vote of approval to a proposal in the state. This would give Oregon the highest state minimum wage in the country and would spur other states to do the same. Demand that this proposal make it into law.
While Oregon already has one of the highest statewide minimum wages in the country at $9.27 an hour, that is still not enough for people to live off of, especially if they have families to support. For many, the prospect of a higher minimum wage is literally a life-or-death issue—food, medical expenses, and housing and related bills all need to be paid for, and $9.27 per hour can be dangerously inadequate.
Thankfully, the proposal being considered in Oregon would fix this. It would raise the minimum wage to $11 an hour next year, then another dollar each year for the following two years until the it rests comfortably at $13 an hour in 2018. After that point the wage would be regularly adjusted for inflation.
Though this proposal would make an incredible difference in countless people’s lives, it is being held up by Senate President Peter Courtney who says he doesn’t want to have to deal with the issue this session and would rather kick the can down the road. This is downright lazy.
The livelihoods of real people should not have to be put on hold for the convenience of lawmakers. Sign the petition below to demand that Senate President Courtney support this legislation and gather the votes needed to make sure it gets approved and sent to the governor for her signature.
Dear Senate President Courtney,
I am writing you today regarding House of Representatives Speaker Tina Kotek’s proposal to raise your state’s minimum wage to $13 an hour. This seems like a perfectly good idea, but you do “not support an increase in the minimum wage this session.” It’s absurd that you think that the welfare of your state’s citizens should be indefinitely postponed for your own convenience.
Oregonians deserve to have a minimum wage that they can actually live on, especially if they have a family to support. Your current minimum wage of $9.27 an hour does not even remotely satisfy that right. As Kotek pointed out, people are deciding between paying their rent or paying their bills, or between paying medical bills or buying food for their kids. You may not think so, but any decent person would consider this an unacceptable state of affairs.
Kotek’s proposal deserves to be adopted as soon as possible, but you are keeping that from happening. I demand that you begin to support this legislation and gather enough votes to ensure that it gets the approval of the State Senate so that Governor Brown can sign it into law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Man-ucommons