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Congressional candidate delivers minimum wage petitions to congressman’s Superior office

 A candidate for congress took the fight to raise the minimum wage to her opponent’s Superior office.Congressional candidate Kelly Westlund joined local activists for a press conference outside of Rep. Sean Duffy’s office in Superior and delivered more than 10,000 petition signatures from across Wisconsin on Thursday, calling on Duffy to support raising the minimum wage.

The petition states: “With the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us, working-class Americans deserve a raise. I support raising the minimum wage to at least $10.10 per hour, and call on Rep. Sean Duffy to tell us where he stands — with working people who just want to put food on the table, or with corporate CEOs who just want bigger bonuses.”

“There is a growing movement in support of raising the minimum wage and it’s time for Sean Duffy to stand with his constituents,” Westlund said. “I have here over 10,000 signatures from Wisconsinites who believe that our representative in Congress ought to stand with working people instead of corporate CEOs, and support an increase in the minimum wage to at least $10.10 per hour.”

Steve Carlson of Trego also spoke on behalf of his stepdaughter who has worked minimum wage jobs her entire life. Carlson said after seven years working at the same motel, she only recently started receiving a wage of $10 per hour.

“She’s been in the workforce for over 13 years, has worked hard and done well, and still she is just over the federal poverty line,” Carlson said. “Because she has been paid poverty wages all her life, she has been eligible for public assistance programs like food stamps, heating assistance and BadgerCare. Without this assistance, she wouldn’t be able to make ends meet.”

The majority of people working for minimum wage are over the age of 20, Westlund said, adding that people just want an opportunity to work to build a good life. She said raising the minimum wage to at least $10.10 per hour is essential for creating economic growth.

“History and common sense tell us that the best way to restore economic growth is to expand economic opportunity to those who don’t already have it, Westlund said. “Increasing the minimum wage will put money into the pockets of people who will spend it, creating real economic stimulus that just doesn’t happen when CEOs get bigger bonuses. That increased buying power is good for working people, and it’s good for the economy.”