EDITORIAL: Livable wage shouldn’t be just for city

EDITORIAL: Livable wage shouldn’t be just for city
January 14
00:00 2016
Chronicle file photo
Kim Porter speaks to protesters gathered outside Winston-Salem City Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2015.

Lately there has been a good deal of talk about poverty. A nonprofit asked for money to fight poverty in its year-end appeal for funds, for example. Mayor Allen Joines, who is running for re-election, has said he has formed a 21-member panel to fight it.

Recently, in a discussion among people who help people in poverty, an interesting phenomenon came to light. This phenomenon seems to be a key element for people who are in poverty. It’s a cycle of poverty.

This concerns the working poor. When people are not making enough money to make ends meet, they seek help from social services. Food stamps and welfare help these people make ends meet. But when the people are fortunate enough to make a little more money that puts them over a threshold, those social services are cut. The people are worse off than they were before they received more money in wages. So, there is no incentive for people to make more money to make ends meet.

Social services are governed by laws, mostly state laws. Rob Schofield, in his Forum column, talks about how North Carolina legislators and Governor McCrory have cut those services drastically over several years. In the meantime, the number of jobs available in the state has not grown to meet the number of people who are seeking jobs. This makes it harder for people, especially those in poverty, to move up to jobs with livable wages.

A livable wage would help bring people out of poverty. It is such an important issue that Council Member Derwin Montgomery advocated a $15-an-hour wage for city workers after a protest supporting a livable wage showed up on the steps of City Hall in November.

A livable wage is needed for all kinds of workers.

The key is having people in elected offices who will make the laws governing social services and livable wages favorable toward people who need help.

This year, citizens have the chance to put people into office who can change lives for the better. The N.C. General Assembly is full of people now who don’t seem to have compassion for its poorest residents. As Rob Schofield says: “The plain and unavoidable truth is that state leaders did precious little in 2015 (or 2011, ‘12, ‘13 or ’14, for that matter) to improve the lives of average North Carolinians.”

Kim Porter, a community organizer for N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network who led the rally in November, said: “Our elected leaders must work for working people, immigrants and people of color. We’re going to make our voices heard in this election.”

Feb. 19 is the deadline to register to vote in the March 15 primary. Education is the key to selecting candidates who can change the direction in which we are going.  Start now determining who those candidates are so that Winston-Salem and North Carolina can reverse the downward direction lawmakers have been taking us. Make your voices heard.


About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors