With this post you see a picture of Mayor Parker I took at this discussion.
I asked Mayor Parker if she supported efforts of Houston-area fast food workers to gain a $15 minimum wage and if she would support living wage legislation for the City of Houston. Fast food workers in Houston and elsewhere in the nation have campaigned for a $15 hourly minimum wage.
(Click here to view the full NeilAquino.com site.)
Mayor Parker said that while she did support a federal minimum wage, that she would not pursue any minimum wage increase specific to the City of Houston.
(It should be noted that Mayor Parker's leading challenger in the current election, Ben Hall, has not addressed the issue of fair play for working people either. This post is in no way advocacy for Mr. Hall. Mr. Hall's campaign to this point has been inane.)
Mayor Parker said she felt that such minimum wage legislation would put Houston at a competitive disadvantage with surrounding areas, and that some jobs should be entry level positions to get people started with work.
The Mayor did acknowledge many people working fast food jobs are older rather than entry level employees.
Here is a link to the Harris County portion of the Living Wage Calculator of the Poverty in America website of Penn State University. The upshot is that you can't make it in Harris County and in America with the money you make working in very many jobs in this country.
Mayor Parker--a Democrat--is a decent enough person. I wager that if the federal government tomorrow raised the minimum wage substantially that she would have no objection.
The real issue is our own responsibilities. If we don't value each other as working people trying to get by in tough times, you can be certain many of us will get next to nothing for the hours we spend working.
Below is a picture I took at City Hall of a City of Houston speaker's podium that has no speaker.
The responsibility to advocate and demand for the great issues of the day rests with each of us. The work of freedom is up to each of us.
We each need to step up to that podium.
We can't wait for our failing political system and failing institutions to come around.
The hours of our lives that we spend working and looking out for one another have great value.
Yet the hard facts are that this value will be acknowledged only if we demand that it be acknowledged.