This Labor Day, I am grateful for my job at the Veterans Community Living Center at Homelake, which provides me with good benefits. I make a living wage and have paid days off to spend time with my loved ones. But I, like many other state employees who work in 24/7 facilities, will be working on Labor Day.
Fortunately for me, I only need one job to make ends meet, but for too many working people that simply isn’t the case.
Many Coloradans will spend this Labor Day working a second or third job, desperately trying to make enough money to pay rent and afford groceries. They are forced to rely on minimum wage jobs that do not cover the most basic of living expenses. Instead of spending time with their families on Sundays and holidays, they are working to pay the bills.
With wages stagnating and child care and educational costs soaring, many of my friends and family could use a raise. Too many working families are suffering because politicians refuse to raise the minimum wage. Jobs should help people build better lives, not trap them in poverty.
This November, I will vote to help my friends and family by raising Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020, because we need to put the interests of working families first.
Geronimo “Jerry” Olivas