Originally published by The Spokesman-Review (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/jun/09/activists-kick-off-initiative-to-raise-idaho/)

by Kip Hill

As a health teacher at Lakes Middle School in Coeur d’Alene, Warren Ducote saw firsthand the effect of poverty on students’ emotional and physical well-being.

“You see the depression, the anger that’s built up inside, the kids acting up and being unable to focus on school,” Ducote said.

Ducote joined religious, education and community activists Saturday morning in Coeur d’Alene’s Riverstone Park to kick off a voter initiative that would raise Idaho’s minimum wage from the federal minimum, $7.25 per hour, to $9.80 per hour over the next four years. The group, led by Anne Nesse, thinks Idaho’s meager compensation compared to other states is a moral issue that needs to be handled by voters rather than the Legislature.

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