I wholly support the 15 Now campaign and the courageous working people of Seattle for leading the nation on this crucial economic justice issue. Dignity and fairness in the workplace will never be handed to us on a silver platter. We have to fight for it. We have to organize for it. We have to sacrifice for it. And if necessary we have to shake the rafters of power until justice is served. All eyes are on you Seattle. Give ’em hell.
(Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, The Nightwatchman)
Thank you, Seattle, for leading the way in this national fight for our economic lives! We write to express our gratitude and support for the $15 Now campaign.
Working people across the country are inspired and encouraged by your campaign for a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage, which carried Kshama Sawant to her historic election to the Seattle City Council. Your continued campaign – and eventual success – will help all of us in the struggle for economic justice across the US and beyond.
As you know, the minimum wage has been lower than a poverty wage since 1982. If the federal minimum wage had grown at the same rate as worker productivity, or if it simply tracked the economic gains swindled by the 1%, it would sit at $22 per hour.
Working people initiated this fight for $15 in courageous walkouts and strikes last year at fast food and Walmart chains in over 60 cities and in federal buildings in Washington DC. These workers have taken enormous risks to stand up for a fair economy. We must follow their lead by building a broad national movement in the fight for 15 Now.
The greed of the 1% knows no bounds. The rest of us are paying the price, as over 60% of Americans now report that the cost of living exceeds their income, while the stock market continues at near record highs and income disparities hit the most extreme levels since 1928.
We must transform this economy for the 1% into an economy that serves us all. We need jobs at living wages, free universal health care and education including college, and affordable housing, transportation and utilities. We need an Emergency Green New Deal to provide jobs for everyone while eliminating fossil fuels, halting climate collapse, and making wars for oil obsolete. This is all within our reach if we the people lead the way.
This is what you have begun to do in Seattle. We stand with you. Thank you for leading the charge. Onward to $15 Now!
-Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala
(Green Party 2012 Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates)
Regarding the fight for 15 Now Campaign:
SAFE is a community organization whose mission is to fight for racial, social and economic justice and gender equality by fostering working class power through direct action, coalition building, education, and advocacy. In organizing poor and working class people of diverse cultures and nationalities, we shall encourage individual empowerment and community leadership to generate a movement effecting systemic change and societal transformation.
SAFE naturally voted unanimously to endorse the 15 Now Campaign during our weekly Solidarity Meeting on Tuesday, January 14th of 2014.
The Seattle/King Country NAACP and the NAACP Alaska, Oregon, Washington State Area Conference supports 15 Now. The fight for $15, along with the struggle against unemployment, are the critical first steps toward economic justice in our time.
– Gerald Hankerson, President of the Seattle King-County NAACP & NAACP Alaska, Oregon, Washington State Area Conference