The major issue next year in Seattle will be the push to get a $15 minimum wage either passed by the City Council or the voters. And I’m heartened to see that Council Member Elect Sawant is going to keep the pressure on.
Asked whether she’d be willing to wait until the end of mayor-elect Ed Murray’s first four-year term—Murray has said he wants to get to $15 an hour by the end of his first term in office—Sawant said no. “I think that’s too late, because working people … have to put food on the table today. They have to pay the rent every month. They can’t tell their landlord to wait four years.”
However, despite the emphasis on urgency, she struck a more conciliatory note on the specifics. “This is not something that we want to come up with unilaterally.” (Sawant has a habit of referring to herself in the plural).
I think that’s a bit of an unfair characterization given that she’s there with a large group of people, but whatever. The larger point that there will be a continued push from Murray’s, and the median council member’s, left probably bodes well for passing it.
I know Murray campaigned on passing it and I have no reason to doubt he wants to pass it for political as well as moral reasons. But I worry that he’s more concerned with irenic posturing to business interests than pressing ahead when there’s momentum. So hopefully this campaign will be a check on the people who are surely trying to process it to death.
If you’re interested in checking it out, there’s 15now.org. Looks like right now, they’re just trying to get your contact info. But there will presumably be more info once the push kicks into high gear.