Target: Senator Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions
Goal: Urge Senate Committee to take action on Senator Bernie Sanders’s Pay Workers a Living Wage Act.
Since its last increase in 2009, the federal minimum wage currently stands at $7.25 an hour. As has been argued by countless lawmakers, representatives, and the men and women working low-wage jobs, $7.25 an hour is not a living wage. Someone earning only $7.25 an hour, working full-time, makes only $15,080 a year. Such a salary is over $3,000 less than what the U.S. Census Bureau places the poverty level at for a family of three. As a result, families are being forced to work several low-wage jobs to make ends meet.
In our nation, 29 states have taken steps to increase their minimum wage. However, the federal minimum wage has remained unchanged since 2009. In July 2015, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced the Pay Workers a Living Wage Act to the United States Senate. The bill lobbies for a gradual increase in the minimum wage. Had the bill been voted on and made into law, low-wage workers would have seen their minimum wage rise to $9.00 in January 2016, $10.50 in 2017, $12.00 in 2018, $13.50 in 2019, and finally $15.00 in 2020. With a minimum wage of $15, low-wage workers would see their annual salaries increase to $31,200. Such an increase would benefit 38 million workers.
However, Senator Sanders’s bill was referred to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions, chaired by Senator Lamar Alexander. The bill has since sat in the committee for over a year and it cannot be voted on until it is considered by the committee’s members.
Sign the petition below and urge the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions to consider Senator Sanders’s Pay Workers a Living Wage Act so it can be sent onto the Senate floor for a vote.
Dear Senator Alexander,
Retail workers, housekeepers, restaurant workers, and other citizens making $7.25 an hour earn a yearly salary of only $15,080. This salary is far below the poverty threshold for a family, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, if workers were given a living wage, as stipulated in Senator Bernie Sanders’s Pay Workers a Living Wage Act, they would see a gradual increase in the federal minimum wage, from $7.25 an hour to $15.00.
I urge you to consider Senator Sanders’s Pay Workers a Living Wage Act, also known as Senate Bill 1832. Tens of millions of citizens are employed in low-wage jobs and, in a majority of states, have not seen a minimum wage increase in over six years. However, under Senator Sanders’s bill, they would earn a yearly salary of over $31,000 by the year 2020. Such a salary would alleviate the stress so many American families are facing as they struggle to provide for themselves. Please take action to support Senator Sanders’s Living Wage Act and help our nation’s millions of hard workers.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Michael Vadon