As a server at a restaurant in downtown Portland, I’d like to clear up some misperceptions about Question 4, the minimum-wage referendum.

Contrary to some of the fears out there, tips are just as high or higher in states that have raised or phased out the subminimum wage for restaurant servers. Think about it: Do you tip more in New Hampshire, where the subminimum wage is lower? Would you tip less in New York, where it’s twice as high? Of course not.

Raising the wage simply means fewer of my colleagues will live in poverty. That’s why restaurant workers overwhelmingly support raising the minimum wage and why many restaurant owners have joined them. In fact, more Maine restaurants have now publicly endorsed Question 4 than oppose it.

Rent and heat costs have skyrocketed while the minimum wage has stayed at $7.50 an hour (or $3.75 plus tips). It’s time for a raise.

Ali Monceaux