Upset over living wage bill, protesters target Abele's home

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Dozens of low-wage workers and their supporters are asking Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele to take a walk in their shoes -- literally. They staged a protest Thursday, March 13th at Abele's home.

They're trying to persuade Abele from vetoing a living wage bill, which would raise the minimum wage for county employees and those working for businesses contracted by the county.

"To have to choose between providing medicine for your children and paying your rent, to have to choose between paying your heat and paying for food. That's the hard choices these families have to make every day," Jennifer Epps-Addison -- executive director of Wisconsin Jobs Now said.

Abele released the following statement to FOX6 News on Thursday, March 13th:

“For three years I’ve been restoring programs that address poverty in Milwaukee County. I’ve kept bus fares flat and increased service, I’ve added millions of dollars to mental health care and I’ve restored social programs across the County. I’m proud that we did those things without raising taxes or impacting the County’s important safety net services. The same cannot be said for the Board’s living wage mandate.

As the Comptroller’s analysis shows, this mandate will cost taxpayers millions of dollars and threatens the viability of our Family Care Program.

I ask that everyone who cares about the frail and elderly citizens who rely on Family Care to call their County Supervisor and urge them not to slash funding to these vulnerable citizens and encourage them to sustain my veto.

I also continue to invite Supervisors to consider broader action to address poverty that doesn't undermine Milwaukee's fragile economy, such as joining me and other Democratic leaders in pushing for an increase in the state and federal minimum wage.”