Campaign organizers rally downtown with hopes to increase minimum wage
BATON ROUGE - Elected officials, state representatives, and organizations rallied downtown Monday to kick-start the 'Unleash Local' campaign. Their mission is to get the local government to increase the standard minimum wage.
"We are asking the state to repeal statewide preemption of local municipalities on the issue of wage, the second thing we are asking them to do is raise the minimum wage," said Ashley Shelton, Executive Director of the Power Coalition.
The state currently controls minimum wage. To make the cost of living affordable, the campaign wants the state to give up that control and allow local governments to set up their own minimum wage.
"We have been fighting this for five years in the legislature, and finally we have been working with people in communities to really say its time for a change," said Shelton.
Diana Huyn works at a local sushi restaurant. She came to the rally telling people what it's like to live on less than $10 an hour. She feels it's ridiculous and unethical.
"The government doesn't understand I have other things to pay for—rent, school, put food on the table," said Huyn. "I have to choose healthcare over putting a roof over my head."
The campaign hopes to bring the issue to the capitol ahead of the upcoming state legislative session.
"This is about letting the folks have the resources that they need to manage and run their families in ways that they feel good about with clean affordable housing and access to healthcare," Shelton said.
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