Dr. Horton: The Faces of 15 Now Tacoma

As told to Sara Morken
Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015
Reprinted from a Facebook Post

Health Care Professionals for $15 Now Tacoma! Vote Yes Initiative One in Nov!

My name is Dr. LeRoy Horton, I am a dentist with two offices and a long time Tacoma native. I primarily practice in surgical reconstructions and implant dentistry. I have been a long term supporter of raising the minimum wage and here is why:

  1. As an ethical business owner I believe that my employees add the heart of the value of my business. And because of that, no worker, especially an employee of mine, should work 40 hours a week and still be in poverty.
  2. My business serves the general public, and if the general public has more expendable income, my revenue will only increase accordingly. This means potentially more jobs as I may have to hire more employees to meet increased demand, as well as more profit for me. New flash: this income demographic spends 100% of their income, mostly at surrounding local businesses. We will all make more money.
  3. As of right now the minimum wage currently puts a full time worker at under $20K annually. Which will qualify them for state assistance on many levels. So we are subsidizing big corporations like McDonald’s and Walmart. We should make these corporations pay a fair wage and not burden the tax payers.
  4. There are healthcare facilities like mine (but not mine) that pay their specially trained staff minimum wage. I personally feel that it is paramount that skilled workers that are in a position to directly affect the health of patients should be well compensated for their responsibilities and liabilities. I for one would not want a health care worker treating me while dealing with the mental anguish of being in poverty even though they work full time.
  5. I want all my employees to feel proud of what they do, and do be able to maintain their dignity knowing that their employer values them and their contributions. So I pay them well and fair.
  6. I have two dental offices with 8-10 employees each. My back office and front office staff (minus doctors/hygienists) range from $15-$25/hr. We have built in raises every year to adjust for inflation as well as for every anniversary. And surprise…I still make a great living.
  7. Business owners often think of them selves as the center of the business. I however see that my business can only run with a well trained, well compensated team. Every position is paramount to providing good service and ensuring revenue streams. More owners and corporate executives should feel this way.

So this has been my testament as a business owner in support of raising the minimum wage.