The Womxn Project is a statewide organization focused on leveraging the power of art, activism, advocacy and education to advance the principles of reproductive justice, which demands that we all have the right to determine when and how we build our relationships, families and futures and that we have the ability to live and raise our children with dignity.
We are proud to submit testimony in support of S.323, which would ensure that domestic workers in Rhode Island at least receive Rhode Island’s minimum wage of $11.50 per hour. Currently, these workers are subject to the federal minimum wage of $7.25, which is simply not enough for any family to get by. Domestic workers, the majority of whom are women of color and immigration woman, provide services such as care and support for elders and for people with disabilities. They are nannies who care for our children or the people who clean apartment buildings.
The minimum wage was meant to help us all be able to achieve a standard of living where we can take care of our health and our families. To be frank, $11.50 is still very low and far below what is considered a basic standard of $15 per hour. But we should at least make sure the people caring for our homes and loved ones are provided with whatever as a state we have called the “minimum”. To not do so is pushing far too many people into the cycle of poverty. This hurts individuals, their families and our communities.
The loss in income of denying a minimum wage means less money to support a family – less for housing, food, health care and education. This inequity impacts marginalized communities and keeps families from attaining their full potential. Less income means that people cannot put aside money for times of crisis or to build up savings for a college education for their children or for their own retirement.
We simply must do better and do more for the people who do so much to care for our state. This is a first step to advancing and ensuring the dignity and financial stability of our families and our communities, but it is an important one. We urge you to vote yes on this legislation. Thank you.
Contact: Jocelyn Foye, 401-400-0061, [email protected]