When Scranton, Pennsylvania Mayor Chris Doherty slashed fire fighter pay to minimum wage the public outcry was deafening.

Some fire fighters qualified for food stamps while others worried how they would pay their mortgage.

Some fire fighters watch their teenaged children earn more money working part-time summer jobs.

Millions of Americans never thought they would live to see the day that they wouldn’t be able to support their families. It’s a painful reality that’s happening in this country every day.

The minimum wage has been $7.25 per hour since 2009. The increase three years ago was the first federal increase in over a decade. The cost of living – food, clothes, utilities and mortgages have all risen over that time and Americans have struggled to keep pace paying their bills.

Outgoing Virginia Senator Jim Webb is co-sponsoring a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $9.80 over the next two years.

As Wall Street and banks still earn better-than-expected profits, middle class Americans are still left scrambling to make ends meet.

Elected officials need to be held accountable for keeping the promises they made to help working people and keep the American dream alive.

America can’t be strong without strong workers. Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty found out the hard way that public workers deserve respect.

After receiving negative attention worldwide, the City was legally required to reimburse fire fighters and other public sector workers. In addition, workers will receive a 6 percent interest on wages lost.