Many of our residents work hard every day and earn the minimum wage. Currently, the Federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and the state minimum wage is $7.79 an hour. The average person working full time on the minimum wage in Florida earns approximately $16,000.00 a year, before taxes. During the summer recess, I worked to bring awareness of the extreme difficulties in living on the minimum wage, and of the need to raise the minimum wage. As a result, I lived on the minimum wage for 5 days. After factoring out certain costs such as housing, it was determined that a person earning the minimum wage would have approximately $106.21 a week for food, transportation, medical, recreation and various other expenses. I can attest first hand that living on $106.21 is difficult as you have to make decisions such as, “Do I put gas in my car to go to the doctor or do I eat?”
My time on minimum wage ended in 5 days, but unfortunately, millions of Americans and thousands of South Floridians wake up every day not knowing if they can provide for their families and make ends meet. I am going to continue to work to raise awareness of the issue and hope that I and millions of others can ultimately convince the federal and state governments to raise the minimum wage. Also, in Broward County, in certain circumstances, companies doing business with Broward County are required to pay their workers a living wage, which is significantly higher than the minimum wage. I am going to continue to work to ensure that our living wage requirement is safeguarded as it ensures the financial stability of many workers and their families.
If you would like to learn about my time on minimum wage, please click on any of the links below.