Increasing Employee Wages
Even Career Pros Should Push for $15 an Hour Minimum
BY CALLEY BLISS
Even though I’m a 34-year-old, college-educated, professional white woman from a middle class Midwestern home, I’ve had plenty of experience with minimum wage jobs. And they haven’t been relegated to my teenage or college years. In the last decade alone, I’ve waited tables and tended bar at a number of establishments.
In fact, I was holding down yet another part-time restaurant gig to help make ends meet last November when a young man holding a clipboard knocked on my door and asked if he could speak to me about an organization called 15now.org, and about getting behind a movement to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Serendipity? After the election, this was the cause I was planning to get involved with, and here they were at my front door.
To better explain why this movement is important to me (and should be to you), both here in my home state and throughout the U.S., let me take you quickly through my own career trajectory. I want to be clear: not everyone who makes minimum wage spends his or her life toiling in fast food or janitorial work. (more…)
Injustice is Served
Convicted Day Care Provider Maintains Her Innocence In Gripping Memoir
Editor’s Note: As The Reporters Inc. continues production of its upcoming documentary about wrongful convictions, The Innocent Convicts, we also occasionally feature the insights of others who’ve faced similar ordeals.
In March 2010, 49-year-old Lynn Moller, a day care provider in Madison, Wisconsin, was found guilty of three counts of child abuse involving two children in her care. Moller had run her day care without incident for 16 years when the allegations first surfaced; she has never wavered in her claims of innocence despite losing every appeal.
In August 2016, Lynn wrote a riveting first-person account of her ordeal for The Reporters Inc. The overwhelming response prompted Moller to pen an entire book about her experience. Just released, we’re pleased to present this exclusive excerpt from Injustice is Served.
Late in the afternoon of Sept. 23, 2008, my state day care licensor, Cathy Leaverton, stopped by. She said there had been a complaint about me. We went down to the day care room to talk. She sat in the rocking chair next to my desk. I sat at the desk. My husband Ki was present also.
“This will be hard for you to hear,” she began. “There has been a complaint lodged with our department saying that you were banging a child’s head into the wall.”
I almost laughed when she said this, until realizing she was dead serious. She said a six-year-old girl was watching TV and said she saw me bang the head of a child named Cody into the wall in the bathroom. (Editor’s Note: The names of the day care children and their parents have been changed in Injustice is Served.)
Well, I thought, the only six-year-old girl in my care had been Annie, for two days in August.
Leaverton asked me where the TV was. When Annie attended, it had been mounted to the wall right above the rocking chair in which Leaverton sat. “The kids sit on the floor here to watch TV,” I explained, indicating the position. “The bathroom is over in the corner; it’s not possible to see in there while watching TV.”
Ki asked Leaverton if she wanted to get up and look from different perspectives in the room; she refused, saying she didn’t need to do that. Ki then went into the bathroom and opened and closed one of the cupboard doors. That made a banging sound, a common sound heard throughout the day. Did Annie hear that and her imagination went wild?
I had no explanation for why Annie would say what she did. (more…)