City Council could encourage raise of minimum wage

To Mayor Bill Ham, members of the City Council and City Manager Charlie Duggan,

Can you imagine living on a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour? That totals $15,080 annually for 40 hours of work weekly. After deducting Social Security, it’s an annual wage of $13,916. The minimum wage issue is what I want to address in the next few minutes.

I know that this legislative body is NOT permitted to legally increase the Auburn minimum wage due to state legislative action earlier this year in response to the city of Birmingham’s desire to do such. The Birmingham situation is presently under review by a Federal Court, but the outcome will not impact any other legislative entity in Alabama. 

Presently, 28 states and The District of Columbia have passed laws increasing the minimum wage and a few additional states had pending legislation on their Nov. 8 ballots.

The last time the federal minimum wage was increase was in 2009. Sine that time, soon to be eight years ago, the cost of living in Alabama has increased by more than 10 percent. 

You may be thinking, why is Mike Halperin bringing an issue to this legislative body when it cannot legally change the law? Well, in my opinion and perhaps yours, Auburn is located in Alabama, but is NOT Alabama. Auburn is a progressive, caring and dynamic community with a commitment to positively impact all of its citizens. Therefore, on the issue of raising the minimum wage for our lowest wage-earners, there are specific recommendations I would like to share.

1. This body could pass a resolution encouraging all Auburn businesses to raise the minimum wage by January 1, 2017. It is recommended that the increase be to $8.25 per hour with annual increases of 50 cents an hour until it reaches Walmart’s minimum wage of $10.

2. This body could encourage the Chamber of Commerce to pass a similar resolution.

3. This body could establish a committee to gather information to determine which businesses presently pay less than the recommended $8.25 per hour and contact them encouraging them to increase their minimum wage.

4. This body could encourage our state representatives to vote for an increase in the minimum and take leadership action to promoting an increase throughout the state by encouraging other local legislative bodies to encourage their representatives to do the same. 

As a previous small business owner at one location in a neighboring city, I am sensitive to the bottom line facing small businesses. However, some of local businesses with multiple locations and millions in revenue have not increased the minimum wage since 2009.

You and I can afford to pay an additional dime for a hamburger or quarter for a sandwich to offset any unlikely financial hardship of these multinational businesses and others. Those at the bottom of the wage scale cannot. So, please seriously consider this issue and the specific recommendations that I have presented.

My most trusted advisor for more than 47 years, my wife, suggested that the timing for this presentation was not right. Is there every a bad time to think about our working poor?

Michael Halperin

Auburn resident

Progress in providing improved care for Alzheimer's patients

Nearly half of all people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are in hospice care toward the end of their life. Even with the increasing number of Americans contracting the disease and requiring accurate hospice and palliative care, less than half of surveyed nursing homes have some sort of palliative care or hospice care directed exclusively for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. For people with advanced dementia, such adequate care – which focuses on managing and easing symptoms, reducing pain and stress, and increasing comfort – improves quality of life, controls costs, and enhances patient and family satisfaction. But, as the demand for such care grows with the aging population, more must be done to ensure an adequately trained workforce.

We would like to thank Representative Mike Rogers (AL-03) for co-sponsoring the PCHETA Act, and for recently meeting with his constituents to discuss its potential impact.  The bipartisan Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (S. 2748/H.R. 3119) would increase palliative care and hospice training for health care professionals, launch a national campaign to inform patients and families about the benefits of palliative care, and enhance research on improving the delivery of palliative care.

We are deeply grateful for the support we’ve received from Representative Rogers.

In order for the Alzheimer's Association to meet our mission to end Alzheimer’s disease once and for all, public office officials must take bold action in confronting this epidemic now. It is only through adequate funding and a strong implementation of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease that we will meets the Alzheimer's Association's goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025. 

Courtney Vanoy

Vice President and Co-Founder of Alzheimer's Foundation of America on Campus in Auburn


(1) comment


Minimum wages has its name for a reason. People who are getting the minimum wage are struggling monetary problems daily. If the minimum wage was raised it would give more chances for ordinary household to plan their family budget well. However, there is another way to get more money and not to cut the expenses. A small loan taken and repaid in time will lower the interest rate on your credit card and will help think about the future investment. They right place to find a lender is to contact the North'n'Loans website online.

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