State Legislation Introduced to Increase Minimum Wage in Illinois
Several community organizations and leaders support state legislation introduced by Senator Kimberly Lightford (SB 1565) that would increase the Illinois minimum wage to $10.65 by 2014. Workers in the southeast side of Chicago speak in support of this proposed legislation as they face the hard consequences of living in poverty. "My husband and I work full-time and still do not have enough money to support our family. Every week I have to pay $100 in gas and pay other bills, which leave me with no money for other expenses," states Laila Aleman.
Reverend Hilliard Hudson from Pilgrim Baptist Church states, "The issue of the minimum wage needs serious attention, due to the need for family finance deficits. It is my concern to help the people obtain a fair and decent wage that will support the family and uplift morale of those that are trying to sustain themselves in these difficult times. If we see the real problem of our economy, then the optimal word to helping families would be to sacrifice."
"The current minimum wage is too low for current cost of living. Working families need help. No one who works full-time should have to live in poverty. It is long past due to give working families a raise. High unemployment has forced many working families to live on one income and in our struggling economy the minimum wage increase would actually stimulate the economy through increased consumer spending without extra cost to the taxpayers," states Pastor Carl Quebedeaux from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
On Tuesday, 24, 2011 residents from the southeast side of Chicago travelled to Springfield to talk to their legislators and let them know of the importance of passing such a law. At the rally held in the Capitol building, Sen. Lightford, Sen. Delgado, Sen. Trotter, Rep. Dunkin, and others joined to speak in support of such legislation. Workers from Centero de Trabajadores Unidos aslo gave testimony.