Target: John Kitzhaber, Oregon governor
Goal: Raise Oregon’s minimum wage to more accurately coincide with average minimum living wages.
As of January 1, 2013, the minimum wage for employment has been set at $8.95 for the state of Oregon. The minimum living wage for the state is $8.87…for a one-adult household, and a one-adult household only. It jumps to $19.07 for a one-adult, one-child household, and only increases from there.
The state has been increasing its minimum wage gradually over the last few years, from $8.00 to $8.40 to $8.50 to $8.80 to the present $8.95. These increases represent movement in the right direction in terms of worker’s rights and fair payment, but they are not substantial enough for significant positive change.
One in four children in the United States is raised by a single parent; at minimum, then, 25% of households require a wage much more substantial than the minimum provides. Given this, it is necessary for wages to increase to a more tolerable level for single parents.
Oregon is just one example of a state that needs to see its minimum wage increased to an acceptable rate, but it is necessary all the same. As long as the nation’s minimum wage fails to adequately account for the scenarios that life can present to its citizens, it exists as an unresolved problem. This is the case in Oregon, and it must be changed.
Dear Governor Kitzhaber,
Your state has raised its minimum wage to $8.95 per hour. According to the living wage calculator, the minimum living wage for a one-adult household in Oregon is $8.87 per hour. Therefore, you have finally raised the wage to a minimally acceptable level. This is a step in the right direction, but it is still only a step.
If a single adult attempts to provide for him or herself and him or herself alone, then yes, raising the minimum wage to slightly above the living wage is an acceptable solution. But what about all of the single mothers that have children to raise? Even in a one-adult, one-child situation, the minimum that a person would need to make to provide for them would be $19.07. For two children, it would need to be $23.79. Jobs of this salary amount are not as highly available as they need to be for very people in your state, thanks to the condition of the current federal economy.
It is necessary, then, for you to provide for your citizens by increasing their minimum wage to a level that can be seen as able to provide for their needs adequately. Raising it to above the one-adult minimum living wage was a good start. But in order to create lasting positive change, it needs to be raised further to account for your peoples’ needs. You can and need to help make this happen, governor.
[Your Name Here]