Watch Troy Jackson’s barnburner on the minimum wage

When Democratic National Committee member Troy Jackson took the stage at the Maine State Democratic Convention on Saturday, he noted that he had the “good fortune of running unopposed” for his position, and so had decided to devote his remarks to an issue he felt was more important. He then gave a barnburner of a speech in support of the referendum on Maine’s ballot this November to raise the state minimum wage to $12 by 2020.

“I know this is unorthodox, but I think it’s important enough to bring it up, that we have to get out and work for this referendum coming up in November,” said Jackson. “$15,600 a year is what you get for a 40-hour workweek in Maine if you’re working minimum wage, and that is not enough for anyone.”

Jackson noted that he served on the Maine Legislature’s Labor Committee for ten years and has seen how powerful business interests have undermined previous attempts to increase the minimum wage.

“I’ve seen the faces of the lobbyists time and time again, who fought to make sure not even a quarter was given to single moms, elderly people, people that needed it the most,” said Jackson, “So what did the people do? Just like here with this DNC superdelegate stuff, the people had to do something to change it, because they didn’t feel the legislature was giving them what they need, so they went out and got a referendum and now it’s coming up on the ballot in November.”

Jackson, a superdelegate himself who supports Senator Bernie Sanders for president, is also running this November to reclaim the State Senate seat he formerly held representing Aroostook County.

“The lobby’s got the money to put the advertisements up, put the newspaper clippings in. And on the other side, who do you have? You have poor people. You have people that don’t have enough to get by. They don’t have enough to put the oil in the tank. So let’s make sure that we work like crazy Democrats to make sure that referendum passes this fall, because honest to God I don’t think there’s anything we could do that would be more important,” said Jackson, to loud applause from the crowd at the convention.

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