All posts by Bryan Watson


The fight for a $15 is heating up in Massachusetts

Jack Zhang

The fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage is heating up in Massachusetts. Thanks to the workers who paused to sign our petitions, 15 Now New England has collected almost all the signatures required by the state to put a non-binding $15 an hour question on the ballot in six districts.

Our petitioning events have opened up a dialogue with our fellow workers about the minimum wage and the rising cost of living. Almost everyone agrees that the current minimum wage of $8 an hour is too low. In Massachusetts, there are several minimum wage initiatives, including Raise Up Massachusetts’s $10.50 proposal and the Massachusetts state senate’s $11 bill.

This would be a step forward but only small one. Neither of those figures represent a living wage. In a city like Boston, $15 is just the starting point for livable, and that’s cutting it close. Working people signing our petitions have mentioned this key point to us again and again: they agree with other minimum wage initiatives because any increase is good, but those initiatives don’t even come close to a living wage.  That’s why low-wage workers all over the country are demanding 15.

To empower the working people of the districts we’re campaigning in and build the foundations of a movement. 15 Now New England has started monthly neighborhood meetings in Boston. Our first neighborhood meeting has been held in Dorchester. Neighborhood meetings in East Boston, Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury are scheduled for next month. We anticipate having some in Worcester and Lowell as well, two cities in which we are also collecting signatures.

These neighborhood meetings are open to the broad public. We encourage participants, especially newcomers to 15 Now, to lead the discussion and speak up about community problems.  Seattle showed us that empowering working people to take matters into their own hands is the way we can win.


15 Now is on the ground in New Jersey

On June 26 New Jersey 15Now Chapter rallied with the “War Against Poverty” coalition in Trenton, NJ.

To get involved with this growing movement in New Jersey contact us on Facebook.

New Jersey statewide 15Now planning meeting on July 23rd at 12Noon in the AFT building on Rutgers campus.  More info here


15 Now Movement in Wisconsin Intensifies

15 Now Movement in Wisconsin Intensifies

On Thursday, June 26th, the Dane County (Madison and surrounding suburbs) Board of Supervisors voted to place a nonbinding referendum to raise the minimum wage to $10.10/hr in November. 15 Now and allies packed the house with 50 supporters and argued passionately during the public testimony for the Supervisors to amend the resolution to $15 an hour minimum wage. Joining this demand were members and leaders of local unions like the TAA, AFT 4848, AFSCME (locals 171, 2412, 60), IWW, Green Party, Progressive Dane, 9to5, National Organization of Women, Socialist Alternative and the ISO.

15 Now supporters pointed to the clear data that shows a $10.10 minimum wage, while a welcomed step forward, is still a poverty wage statewide in Wisconsin, not just Madison and Dane County. In 2011,more than 1 in 5 Wisconsin workers held a poverty wage (defined as under $10.97/hour) job.

 Winning $15 in Wisconsin will take a strong grassroots movement.  Please donate $15, $25, $50, $100 today to end poverty wages! Help us raise $29,000 to hire a full time organizer for Wisconsin.

Supporters of $15 minimum wage testified both as activists and from their own personal struggles as low wage workers, as single parents with multiple low wage jobs, as college grads with massive loads of student debt and no real prospect for living wage jobs and much more. We laid out statistics and hard-nosed data that decimated the ridiculous notion that $10.10 an hour is enough to live on.

We also pointed out how the Democratic Party at a national level and their candidate for WI Governor, Mary Burke, are backing a $10.10 minimum wage to manage the interests of their corporate paymasters over that of working people because a $10.10 minimum wage is wholly insufficient.

Virtually no one spoke against the idea of a $15 wage in principle. Speakers who defended $10.10 restricted their points to questions of strategy. Their arguments focused on the dubious notion that this is a stepping stone to voting for $15 in the future and that this is a state-wide effort and we have to be in line with what’s being put forward in the other counties.

15Now and our allies made a clear impact in moving the debate forward. We spurred Supervisor Al Matano to introduce an amendment for $15, seconded by Sup. Michelle Ritt and voted in favor by several in a voice vote (which made it hard to tell who all voted yes). Sup. John Hendrick introduced another amendment to add a question along lines of asking voters: “Should state of Wisconsin allow Dane County to raise its minimum wage to $15/hr.” Both unfortunately failed, and the measure passed as originally written, but we live to fight another day. We are moving forward from a higher vantage point and will look to build much greater grassroots support and organization in the fight for a $15 minimum wage.

The experience confirmed the absolute need to build a strong grassroots movement and not rely on the Democratic Party to represent our interests  The inspiring victory of $15 in Seattle shows that we organize – we can win!


You can watch video of the County Board meeting here


The Movement Spreads: 15Now Los Angeles


This past week 15 Now activists met for the first meeting of 15Now Los Angeles to discuss next steps for the movement.  Also this past week a proposal to raise California’s minimum wage to $13 an hour died in an California Assembly labor committee – failing to reach the needed votes to advance to the floor of the assembly.  The first meeting of 15 Now discussed the absolute need to build a grassroots movement of working people and not to rely on the Democratic Party, which has unfortunately proven itself a representative of corporate interests over those of the millions of working people languishing in poverty.

If you live in the LA area and want to get active in the movement for $15 an hour minimum wage – check out the facebook page and sign up.

Please donate $15 today to help us hire a full organizer for California. We need to raise $29,000.  Donate today at


15 Now Los Angeles

Jose Vanderburg

15 Now Los Angeles is just getting started but it’s part of a growing movement in the Southern California seeking to bolster community awareness on income inequality. We hope to foster a shift toward a higher value placed on work done by hundreds of thousands low wage workers and bring about a $15 minimum wage in the City of Los Angeles.

On May 15 our organizers came out for the the union-lead global fast food strike and rallied with some grassroots blood, handing out literature debunking the myths behind raising the minimum wage as well as leaflets outlining the strategy and victories in Seattle.

We collected contact information from over 60 different activists ready to continue to build the movement in LA. We aim to continue collecting signatures and officially launch 15 Now LA in the middle of June.

To build support, our core organizers are taking to the streets during the week, walking up and down Venice Beach Blvd. in our bright red 15 Now shirts getting people informed, involved and invigorated to make 15 Now a reality in Los Angeles California. Peace.