HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - We are continuing our conversations partnering with the YWCA’s 21-day "Stand Against Racism" challenge.
This week, we’re talking about the importance of a living wage.
A living wage is the way we can support our families, pay our bills, housing and more.
But oftentimes, the minimum wage is not enough to be considered a living wage.
A living wage is often defined as the minimum amount that a worker must earn to afford their basic necessities.
But with inflation hitting a 40-year high in the U.S., working families are having a tougher time staying afloat.
It’s being looked at through the YWCA’s Stand Against Racism challenge because it’s a civil rights issue, as the people most impacted by low wages are historically marginalized population - women and people of color.
The minimum wage was established in 1938, and unfortunately, Congress hasn’t kept up with the needs of the population.
It’s why city leaders say it’s important to have these open and honest conversations to help fight against the system that enables workers to be exploited.
“So, while we wait for the federal government, the states are also starting to take a look at that. The General Assembly in Virginia has a plan to start to raise the minimum wage that started already in the last couple of years,” says Norfolk City Councilwoman Andria McClellan.
“But now it's really a function of local employers who need to step up instead of having to wait for the government.”
McClellan says even though this topic might not affect your family, there are people in our lives who are affected by it. She says we can do our part by having these conversations to help people understand the need to increase the living wage so that everyone in our communities can live a good life.
If you’d like to participate in a conversation about how you can help work together towards eliminating racism, there will be a Zoom meeting you can attend Thursday, April 28. Click here to register.