Four of the Youth Fellows of the Youth Organizing Fellowship, responded to why they thought a Living Wage for all people in Tompkins County is a necessity.
Living wage would not only benefit adults but young people as well. We might want to buy the newest thing but some of us work to help our families. I know some young people that do this myself included. Living wage would help my and other families so we could live comfortably and not have to worry about which bill should be put on hold to pay a more important one.
To me, a living wage means opportunity for all workers. It means food on the table and roofs over the head for single parents. It means a way to learn budgeting skills and pursue dreams for teens and young adults. It means more money circulating in our local economy. A living wage is a stimulating wage, a necessary one.
My family has always struggled with housing. We’ve had to move three times in Ithaca alone, not to mention other cities and states. My mom worked as a waitress for years, despite having a college education and teaching experience. A living wage would have meant that I would have had a place to call home for more than a year at a time.
A countrywide living wage change would affect the lives of everyone, including me. I believe that $9.70 an hour isn’t enough for anyone to live on. The reason I think that is because people have mortgages, car payments, children to take care of, and insurance bills to pay. $9.70 wouldn’t even make a dent in that. If minimum wage was increased to $15.11 an hour, it would make it was easier for people to support their families by giving them more money to spend. Maybe so many people wouldn’t be in debt if they earned more.