March 5th: First public hearing on $15 minimum wage will set precedent!

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City Councilmembers will host a Town Hall on Wednesday, March 5 to hear input from the public relating to raising the minimum wage in Seattle. The meeting will be jointly-sponsored with the Mayor’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee. This will be the first official public forum for Seattleites to share their thoughts on the concept of raising the city’s minimum wage, and will likely set a precedent for upcoming debates on the official level. Big business will certainly send their lobbyists to fight against the raise by spreading all kinds of misinformation, so it is critical that we pack the room with supporters of $15/hr to far outnumber its opponents, and sign up to testify in favor.

The session will be entirely public comment. Each member of the public will have up to 2 minutes to address Councilmembers, committee members and the town hall audience. Public comment sign-up sheets will be available in the building’s lobby at 5:00 p.m. The event starts at 6:00. It’s first come first serve, so you should get there early to sign up and ensure the speaking list is dominated by people supporting $15/hr!

Supporters of $15 should explain why workers need and deserve a minimum wage of $15, but also urge the committees to guard against loopholes and delay in implementing a new minimum wage. We say:
1. No tip penalty. A minimum wage is the minimum a worker should receive, all benefits and tips must be in addition to that.
2. No workers excluded. All workers face the same high living costs. Businesses and non-profits that cannot afford $15 should be supported by taxing large corporations, not on the backs of their workers.
3. No delay. The rent is due now, not in 2, 3 or 5 years. Workers need $15 now!

The City Council’s Select Committee on Minimum Wage and Income Inequality will have the second of nine scheduled meetings to discuss the issue on Friday, March 21 at 9:30 a.m. in City Council Chambers. For future meeting dates, visit the Council’s Minimum Wage webpage (meetings are subject to change). A video recording of the hearing will be available on the webpage after 4 p.m. on Friday, March 7.

Translation and Interpretation services available upon request. Please contact Josh Fogt at (206) 233-3811.