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Why We Fight for $15


Why We Fight for $15

Aaron Mair

Tamara Elzubair and Elizabeth James live in my community of greater Schenectady, New York and can’t make ends meet. And that’s a problem.

Tamara, who makes less than $15 an hour, can’t afford to live on her own. Instead she lives with two of her three daughters and her three grandchildren even though she works two jobs, as a certified nursing assistant at a county nursing home and as a private duty aide.


It's disgraceful, that, here in the United States, which is the richest country in the world, that so many people aren't paid a living wage, especially if they work 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet, which they can't do on less than a living wage. That's why the $15.00 per hour is a good thing to fight for.


Although typically positions taken by the Sierra Club are opposed by labor (jobs vs the environment) occasionally there is an issue where they can work together and form a blue-green coalition. Once such issue is opposition to the TTP. The Sierra Club also sometimes gets involved in issue that are outside of environmentalism such a voting rights since their efforts to protect the environment depend on a functioning democracy. Supporting the $15 minimum wage seems like a stretch for the Sierra Club and there reasoning seems kind of contorted. But, in the big picture to protect the environment the Sierra Club does need as much support from labor that it can get so in this case by the Club supporting labor it does build better connections.