A lot of things had to come together just right to lead towards yesterday’s 9-0 passage of Seattle’s historic $15 an hour minimum wage. But if you want to really piss off righties, you might want to remind them of the integral role that former ACORN activists played in sparking the $15 movement.
The very notion of demanding a $15 wage—the number 15 itself—came out of the first fast food strike in New York City on November 29, 2012, a strike organized by New York Communities for Change. And NYCC itself was organized by former ACORN activists, rising from the ashes of the right-wing witch hunt that dried up ACORN’s funding and forced its collapse.
Ironically, after ACORN’s demise, NYCC’s leaders decided to refocus on their community organizing roots, a focus that led it to its efforts to organize fast food workers. NYCC was also one of the first organizations to provide support to Occupy Wall Street, helping that spontaneous movement grow and spread. And it was on Occupy Seattle that Kshama Sawant and her Socialist Alternative comrades first cut their local organizing teeth. Thus both Sawant’s stunning election and Seattle’s highly successful fast food strikes can trace their roots at least indirectly to NYCC’s post-ACORN grassroots activism.
In a way, you could even make an argument that Seattle’s $15 minimum wage might never have happened without ACORN’s collapse! So, hey… thanks, righties!