Raise the Wage Huntsville rallies to push city council members to pass ordinance

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Raising the minimum wage has been a heavily debated topic throughout our nation. Earlier this week the Alabama House of Representatives proposed a bill banning cities from passing minimum wage laws.

Thursday, dozens of Huntsvillians gathered outside City Hall and raised their voice about working for a living wage.

"What do we want? A living wage! When do we want it? Now!” Supporters chanted a number of sayings in support of a raised wage.

It was a plea for a living minimum wage for the full-time working people of Huntsville. There are more than 34,000 workers in Huntsville who are all too familiar with the daily realities of working at $7.25 an hour.

"You can be working a full time job doing your best raising two kids and you are five thousand dollars below the poverty line," said Raise the Wage Event Organizer, David Odom.

Raise the Wage Huntsville is urging city council members to pass an ordinance that would gradually increase the wage from $7.25 to $8.50 and eventually $10.10 an hour.

"That means when I am so tired from working all day long,” shared single mother, Sarah Slager. “That I know at least I can go and I can get dinner tonight."

The burden a single mother faces while raising her family was a main topic at the rally.

"They are desperately trying to be home with their kids and read books and do homework and provide a healthy meal and they can't do it on $7.25 an hour," said event supporter, Susan Higgins.

More than 30 cities across the country have raised the minimum wage. But with legislation on the line to prohibit cities from passing minimum wage laws, this group is motivated to press our city leaders on the issue.

"Our city leaders can do better for the Rocket City,” said Odom. “People who work a full time job and they still need public assistance and food pantries to help make ends meet."

Raise the Wage Huntsville will be back at City Hall March 3rd to address the council at their work session at.