During a Bernie Sanders rally Monday a woman broke down in tears while speaking about how difficult it is to live on minimum wage earnings.
Sanders asked the crowed in Iowa Falls to share what living on less than $12,000 a year is like.
“It’s so hard to do anything, to pay your bills,” Carrie Aldrich said through tears as she weighed in on the topic. “You’re ashamed all the time.”
“When you can’t buy presents for your children, it’s really, really hard,” she continued. “I worked three, four, five jobs sometimes, always minimum wage.”
Despite having a college degree, Aldrich said disabilities have stifled her ability to land higher paying jobs.
Aldrich doesn’t follow the “stereotypes” associated with minimum wage workers; she is Caucasian, college-educated, a legal citizen and a divorcee. Her willingness to stand up and share her hardships sheds light on the fact that anyone, regardless of race or upbringing, can find themselves experiencing poverty and misfortune.
At that moment, Sanders showed a very real, touching side to him as he responded to the sobbing woman’s comments.
“It is not easy for people to stand up and say that,” he observed. “But the truth is that until millions of people that are experiencing exactly what you guys are experiencing do say that, we don’t make change. So, I thank you for saying and for telling us what’s going on in your lives. Because the truth is you can’t make it on $12,000, you can’t live in dignity on $10,000 or less.”
Following the event, Aldrich and Sanders shared a friendly embrace. "I want people to know they're not alone out there," Aldrich said.
Sanders has been very vocal about his support for the “Fight for $15” movement that calls for the increase of national minimum wage to $15 per hour.
On the day that low-wage workers across the nation staged walk-outs and rallies in protest for better living wages, Sanders tweeted “I don’t believe it is a terribly radical idea to say that someone who works 40 hours a week should not be living in poverty.”
I don’t believe it is a terribly radical idea to say that someone who works 40 hours a week should not be living in poverty. #FightFor15— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 10, 2015
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @BernieSanders