The citizens of Hillsborough County have two months to create enough public pressure to have a living wage passed. Last night, a coalition of community groups held a rally and organizing meeting to discuss why a living wage is needed, and how to put pressure on county commissioners to make thee vote for it. WMNF’s Andrew Stelzer was there and filed this report.

ACT “do you believe there is a problem…YES …�

Father Denniston Kerr is a member of HOPE, a coalition of community groups that are fighting for a living wage in Hillsborough County.

ACT “I don’t do drugs, but I can understand the boys by the streetside�

Several Unions, church groups and county commissioner Pat frank met at the Allen temple Church to discuss the need for a living wage in Hillsborough County. 106 cities and counties already have a living wage, studies have shown no negative effects, and has been shown to lift people out of poverty. Currently the minimum wage in Hillsborough county stands at the national standard, 5.15 per hour. But for a full time worker, that only earns $897 dollars per month—for people with children, that puts them below the poverty level. The coalition is calling for a minimum wage of 9.97 per hour, and two dollars more for people who don’t get health insurance through their jobs.

Denise Hilton is the chair of EAST Tampa ACORN.

ACT “we do need a living wage…every year things go up…we can not let this continue…our children deserve to go to good schools

The county commissioners will be voting on the living wage on May 5th. The vote was originally scheduled for next week, but the commissioner instead decided to have 4 task force meetings on the topic. The meetings are open to the public, and according to commissioner Pat Frank, will likely feature members of the Chamber of Commerce arguing that a living wage will debilitate the county’s economy. That’s why commissioner Frank said citizens need to be all the more determined.


The 4 task force meetings will be held March 23rd, 25th, 30th and April 1st. the public is invited to attend. For more information about the campaign for a living wage call 221-4673.

For WMNF news, I’m Andrew Stelzer

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