Dear Future President,
I am a student in one of the most diverse schools in the country, Foster High School in Tukwila Washington. I see many different nationalities everytime I walk through these halls, I see people from all over the world every time I walk in the classroom. In Tukwila, we currently have a minimum wage of $9.47 an hour. I know people who are in high school working two jobs just to help their families. I know people's parents who never get to see their kids because they're working two minimum wage jobs just to keep food on the table. It's not fair to see the students in this school struggle. In Seattle, minimum wage was raised to $11 an hour and their on a set schedule to get it to $15 an hour. Kids that I go to school with will drive, walk, or bus it to Seattle to work just because of the pay increase. I believe minimum wage should be a living wage, and the people of Tukwila think that too.
Throughout my years of schooling K-12, I've never left the Tukwila School District. I’ve grown up knowing these people. Many friends of mine have had to move because of financial issues, this is not something that just happened, it's been happening for years now and it's hard to see people that I've grown up with struggles. One local new station states, “State officials announced that the current minimum wage of $9.47 an hour will not increase because inflation, as measured by the national Consumer Price Index, did not increase over the past year.” and this is a problem for those in need of money. Knowing this, people will need to continue to work the couple jobs they are now. It’s hard enough to land a job in this city is hard enough, and they have to keep grinding to pay their bills and buy groceries for their family.
With increase of Minimum wage also comes great job weaknesses, people are willing to pay less for people to do the work than what people are asking. “that the result of this would be fewer jobs than there would have been in the absence of such a significant rise in the minimum wage.” says one news reporter. This problem being makes it that much harder to land a job. The unemployment rate has been rising with the increase of minimum wage which was not the target plan. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average unemployment rate is 5.5% and it is only going up since 2015. State officials are trying to do something about this but with minimum wage going up, some people are willing to take less pay, and work the job and it's killing the people who were needing this minimum wage pay.
I am currently working a minimum wage job, I have bills to pay myself and with how much I am getting payed it can be hard at times. I come from a family that struggled to make it where they’re at and I am fortunate to be where I’m at today. But for others, this is not the case and I no longer want to see people in my city struggle. I strongly urge an increase in minimum wage. It would benefit everyone in the community I call home.
Sincerely, Tristan Caruthers
Foster High School