WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 21, 2014) — U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5) released the following statement today in solidarity with participants in the Live the Wage Challenge, which asks elected officials, advocates, and citizens to spend a week living on a minimum wage budget of $77.
“I hear the chant at every protest I attend: ‘We can’t survive on $7.25.’ But many families are forced to survive on a federal minimum wage at its lowest point in three decades. $7.25 an hour is not enough for a family to make ends meet. The situation is even worse for tipped workers, whose minimum wage is only $2.13 an hour. In the wealthiest country in the world, nobody working a full-time job should struggle to pay for basic necessities.
“The Live the Wage Challenge calls on elected officials and community leaders to stretch $77 over a week – the same amount that millions of working Americans have to live on after taxes and housing costs every week of the year. I hope experiencing the daily struggle of making ends meet on $7.25 an hour for just a week will change the hearts of those who oppose increasing the minimum wage.
“We must raise the federal minimum wage now to ensure Americans who work full-time don’t live in poverty.”
Rep. Ellison will not be participating in the challenge due to his observance of the holy month of Ramadan.