“Get more education and you can find a better job,” they say. In April, I graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in cell and molecular biology, but I cannot find a job in my field in the Durango area. Currently, I work at a pet boarding shop. I love working with the dogs and the customers, but because I earn less than $12 an hour, I simply can’t make ends meet living in Durango. My husband works at a company making $15 an hour; more than minimum wage but still not a living wage for a family of three.
Raising my wage would help us afford the basics of life, such as food and rent. We are currently on WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) and we have been since I found out I was pregnant in early 2015. We have also had to rent out one of our two bedrooms just to make rent each month. Although we want nothing more than to be contributing members of the Durango community, we are saving up so that we can move to find higher wages.
When you consider Amendment 70 to raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2020, please think of hard-working Coloradans like us. It’s smart and fair to pay hardworking people a living wage.
Hollie Wall Dalenberg