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Raising the minimum wage is just a start [Letter]

Volunteers of America

A recent Sun poll showed that a majority of voters in every part of the state support increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour ("Most Marylanders back raising minimum wage," Feb. 17).

As chief of staff for a large, Maryland-based health and human services nonprofit, I'd like to add my voice to that support but also recognize that there is more work to be done.

While groundbreaking, this increase still amounts to an annual income of less than $23,000. That is far less than what it takes to live here. It is unlikely to significantly reduce the soaring demand for non-profit health and human services that organizations like Volunteers of America Chesapeake provide.

The minimum wage increase, a living wage requirement and the political commitment which spawned them are critical to any serious effort to address the widening income inequality in our region and throughout the nation. It's a start.

Franklyn Baker, Lanham

The writer is chief of staff and external affairs officer for Volunteers of America Chesapeake.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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