Working Minnesota

Five State Reps. to Participate in Week-Long Minimum Wage Challenge Kicked Off Today By Rep. Winkler

For Immediate Release
February 18, 2014

Public Figures From Across the State to Participate in the Challenge as Part of Statewide Push for Higher Wages

Minneapolis–Saint Paul, MN- State Rep. Ryan Winkler (District 46A) helped to kick off Working America’s Minimum Wage Challenge at a press conference today. Five state Representatives from across Minnesota will participate in the Minimum Wage Challenge including: Reps. Karen Clark (District 62A), Frank Hornstein (District 61A), John Lesch (District 66B), Jason Metsa (District 6B), and Shannon Savick (District 27A). See below for a list of events that will take place across Minnesota on February 19th as part of the Minimum Wage Challenge.

The Challenge will run from Feb. 18-24 and is part of a statewide push to highlight the critical need to pass a Minnesota minimum wage increase. Rep. Winkler is the sponsor of a bill that would raise the minimum wage in Minnesota, which will be considered when the legislature is back in session.

Rep. Ryan Winkler said, “We want to show the urgency of this issue by taking on these challenges of daily living. Although this week cannot replicate nor do justice to someone’s actual experience, we hope that they at least open a window into the critical situation faced by Minnesota workers.”

During today’s press conference, Rep. Lesch said that many legislators talk about “living within our means” without fully recognizing the reality of life on the minimum wage. Speaking about why he is participating, Rep. Lesch commented that it is important to take legislators to take themselves out of the comfort of their own lives and walk in the shoes of the people they represent. Moreover, Rep. Savick added that for many living in greater Minnesota, living on the minimum wage is an even harder.

The first day of the Challenge will focus on setting a budget for things like food, living expenses, transportation and other every day expenses and determine, roughly, what is affordable. Other days of the week will include various other challenges associated with living on the minimum wage, like grocery shopping and finding housing. On the final day, each participant will host a “reality check” meeting with low-wage workers whose real experiences shed light on the impact of bad economic policies better than any week-long challenge possibly could.

Schedule of Events for February 19th, the Grocery Day of the Minimum Wage Challenge:

Rep. Karen Clark - 4pm
Seward Co-Op
2823 East Franklin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55406

Rep. Frank Hornstein - 9am
Linden Hills Co-Op
3815 Sunnyside Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55410

Rep. John Lesch - Late Morning/Early Afternoon TBD
Cub Foods
1440 University Ave W
St Paul, MN 55104

Rep. Jason Metsa - 11am
Super One Foods
601 4th Street North
Virginia, MN 55792

Rep. Shannon Savick
Time/Location TBD

Please contact Shannon Maurer, 202-604-2464, or Brianna Halverson, 612-803-3458, for more information about the schedule of events or to arrange interviews.

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