In an email statement that Karrie Delaney sent out recently, Karrie said she believes we need to have a higher minimum wage here in Virginia.
“Time and again Republicans like Jim LeMunyon have voted against raising wages for Virginia’s families,” Karrie wrote. “Too many Virginia workers put in 40+ hours per week and still live below the poverty line. No one should work a full time job and still struggle to make ends meet.”
That’s pretty much a standard belief among Democratic candidates now as we’ve seen far too many people struggle to get by despite working full time (and sometimes even multiple jobs). But there’s still a struggle to get bipartisan support and the multiple minimum wage bills introduced in the General Assembly this year didn’t even make it out of committee.
As supporters of a minimum wage increase are growing frustrated with the lack of progress and Karrie has brought the issue up, it shouldn’t be surprising that she was asked about the issue at a meeting of local labor activists. In particular, she was asked if she supported a $15/hr minimum wage.
Karrie wouldn’t commit to $15 an hour, but instead said she believed we needed to have a living wage and look into what that wage would be. This was an interesting response considering that both gubernatorial candidates on the Democratic side have already supported $15 an hour, Delegate Sam Rasoul introduced legislation at that level in the General Assembly, and the Fight for $15 has been receiving a significant amount of attention.
Now there could be several reasons behind why Karrie wouldn’t commit to having the minimum wage be at the $15 an hour level. Even Tom Perriello admitted in a recent town hall, for instance, that $15/hr in Northern Virginia isn’t the same as $15/hr in a place like Martinsville. Having a regionally based minimum wage is therefore one option that leaders might want to pursue.
Karrie, however, didn’t really have time to get into why she preferred supporting “a living wage” instead of supporting a certain numeric wage.
As people discussed this later, the question became whether or not candidates like Karrie should be fighting for a certain wage amount or if supporting “a living wage” in general is enough.