Today former Congressman Joe Garcia announced he is taking on the minimum wage challenge to bring attention to the everyday struggles faced by the tens of thousands of Floridians currently earning minimum wage or less.
The challenge will run between Monday and Friday of this week, or until Garcia outspends his budget. The challenge requires that he live off no more than $17 per day, which adds up to just $85 for the entire five-day stretch. That means finding transportation, food and entertainment that doesn’t break the bank.
Joe Garcia issued a statement on why he decided to take on the challenge:
“I am facing the minimum wage challenge to raise awareness for all the South Florida workers who live under these circumstances every single week,” said Joe Garcia, Candidate for Florida’s 26th Congressional District. “Right now, there are mothers and fathers who can’t spend time with their children because they have to work three jobs to keep a roof over their heads. Putting more money in the hands of the lowest earners doesn’t just help their families, it also helps the small businesses where these families go spend that money.”
Actions to increase the minimum wage in Florida have stalled due to Governor Rick Scott and State Republican legislators' opposition to the policy despite mounting evidence which shows that minimum wage increases do not kill jobs. In fact, studies have shown how states that adopt a higher minimum wage experience higher job growth than states that do not. Approving a gradual increase of the minimum wage to $15 an hour makes sense for Florida’s businesses and families.