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A mom goes to a hearing about minimum wage to make a point. I think it worked.

Amanda Monroe testified at a hearing about raising the minimum wage to show why $15 per hour would make all the difference in the lives of her and her son.

A mom goes to a hearing about minimum wage to make a point. I think it worked.

"I believe that every person that is willing to work and work hard deserves dignity and respect and the ability to support their own families."

Meet Amanda Monroe, a mom who recently testified at a New York Wage Board hearing. She really lays it out clearly for people to empathize and understand what it must be like. But the last 15 seconds? She reaches my heart, man.


Although Amanda had a career, The Great Recession took its toll.

Amanda started working in billing at a medical center in 1999. She worked her way up in a specialist's office at a rheumatology center and then enrolled in college at Bryant & Stratton four years ago for her medical assistant's degree.

She had her son (the one sleeping in the video above) in 2010 and lost her job about the same time. The economy, still on a slow rebound from The Great Recession, meant plenty of people were looking to fill jobs like the one she lost.

She couldn't find work for the first two years of her son's life.

In fact, the industry had changed: Without a degree, she couldn't even get in the door. Finally, she ran out of unemployment. Upon discovering that she qualified for state-assisted child care, she realized she was in a bad place.

"You have to be so poor to qualify for child care assistance," she quipped. "You have to basically have zero."

As Amanda explains in the video, the current minimum wage doesn't cover the most basic needs.

Amanda finally took a job at Dunkin' Donuts and, eventually, McDonald's. She really wanted to make sure her son to had the best childhood education possible, but it meant that there were extra fees that went to child care costs.

She started paying $15 per week to the child care provider. That cost has gone up; now, she owes $37 every week, which she can't afford. It wasn't long before she owed the child care provider over $100 — three week's fees unpaid.

"I borrow money," she said.

Amanda is forced to rely on food stamps, Medicaid, and subsidized child care, but it's still not enough. She needs $15 an hour so she can take care of her son and make sure he has access to the future he deserves.

There are many more stories like hers out there. This is why the fight for a $15 per hour minimum wage matters.

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Frito-Lay

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Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

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We have seen some glimmers of hope from both human innovation and nature itself, however. In 2016, a bacteria that evolved with the ability to break down plastic was discovered in a Japanese waste site. Two years later, scientists managed to engineer the mutant plastic-eating enzyme they called PETase—named for polyethylene terephthalate, the most common plastic found in bottles and food packaging—in a lab.

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Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather has become a beloved voice of reason, knowledge, and experience for many Americans on social media the past few years. At 88, Rather has seen more than most of us, and as a journalist, he's had a front row seat as modern history has played out. He combines that lifetime of experience and perspective with an eloquence that hearkens to a time when eloquence mattered, he called us to our common American ideals with his book "What Unites Us," and he comforts many of is with his repeated message to stay "steady" through the turmoil the U.S. has been experiencing.

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via DanielandDavid2 / Instagram

Editor's Note: We used "black" in lowercase for our headline and the body of this story in accordance with emerging guidelines from the Associated Press and other trusted news outlets who are using uppercase "Black" in reference to American descendants of the diaspora of individuals forcibly brought from Africa as slaves. As part of our ongoing efforts to be transparent and communicate choices with our readership, we've included this note for clarity. The original story begins below.

On February 26, 2019, Stacy and Babajide Omirin of Lagos, Nigeria got quite the shock. When Stacy delivered identical twins through C-section one came out black and the other, white.

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