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Don't wait for Congress, fight to raise Md.'s minimum wage

U.S. CongressBarack Obama

I'm glad that the Baltimore Sun is speaking up about what readers have known for too long: Even though our economy is improving, this prosperity isn't reaching working families ("Labor reawakens," April 26).

President Barack Obama is doing the right thing by trying to move Congress to increase the federal minimum wage. It would help millions of American families that are struggling to make ends meet. But we can't wait for Congress to get this done — it's too important.

Right now, families in my community and across Maryland are struggling on minimum wage, making impossible choices like deciding between paying bills or getting medication. While we're counting every penny, low-wage employers are experiencing record profits.

Faith, labor and community groups are coming together to increase the minimum wage here in Maryland to $10 per hour. The increase would mean hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending that would help create jobs. It would also help the roughly 350,000 Maryland children who have at least one parent making less than $10 per hour.

I'm proud that my union is leading the charge to improve wages and working conditions not just for its members but all working people.

Ditanya Rosebud, Baltimore

The writer is a delegate of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

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