On Sunday, March 2nd, 15 Now activists stepped onto the streets of Queens, New York City as part of a lively contingent in the St. Pat’s For All parade. This annual event in the historically Irish American neighborhood of Sunnyside is an alternative St. Patrick’s Day event organized because of the long-standing exclusion of LBGT groups from the main parade in New York City. St. Pat’s For All attracts a wide range of groups and a working class crowd. Continue reading →
March 5 – the first public hearing of the Seattle council about raising the minimum wage reveals the huge support for $15 and the fear-mongering of business’ advocates for poverty wages
By Ginger Jentzen
The first speaker to address the Seattle City Council and Mayor Ed Murray’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee set the tone at the Town Hall on Wednesday. Stephen Price, wearing a red 15 Now shirt, reminded the crowd of 800 of the millions struggling in poverty, while a tiny elite hoard obscene wealth. He was followed by Jason Harvey, a Burger King employee for the past 8 years, who expressed his fear: “If you pass this with 100 exceptions, you end up hurting people like me who need your help.” After 4 hours and 94 public testimonies, the message was clear: Seattle supports a strong $15/hr with no exemptions, no tip credits and no delays! Continue reading →
Thank you to everyone who participated in Wednesday’s public hearing on raising Seattle’s minimum wage. After four hours and 94 public testimonies, the message was clear: Seattle overwhelmingly supports raising the minimum wage to $15/hr with no exemptions, no tip penalty and no total compensation! A whopping 74 people spoke in favor of a strong $15/hour minimum wage, with only 11 people completely opposed.
With 700 people in attendance, a sea of red shirts stretching from wall to wall, and thunderous applause and cheering in support of $15/hour echoing throughout the building, it is clear that the momentum is building. And let’s keep it up by going all out to mobilize for the March for 15 on March 15th! Learn more and invite your friends here.
In the meantime, check out some of the media coverage of this historic moment!
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.
Out of this weekend’s 15 Now Action Group meetings, supporters began an energetic mobilization for the March for $15 on March 15, handed out leaflets, postered across the city, and planned neighborhood protests against low wages during the March 7-15th Week of Action!
The 15 NowAction Groups hit the ground running over the weekend with 5 initial Seattle District meetings. Already several of the District groups have divided into Neighborhood and Campus Action Groups, set their next meetings, and made initial plans for action!
The February 15th Day of Organizing was a great success, with Action Groups being initiated in every district in Seattle. It was standing room only in SEIU 775’s downtown headquarters, as 400 people took part throughout the day.
The fight for 15 is taking off all around the country. Today organizers of 15 Now and Raise the Wage Davis (RWD) spoke about ways we can collaborate in our efforts to raise the minimum wage. Raise the Wage Davis was just formed recently, inspired by the victory of a $15 an hour ballot initiative in SeaTac and the election victory of Kshama Sawant last fall. They plan to collect 7,000 signatures by May 1 in order to get an initiative on the ballot this fall which would raise the minimum wage of all workers in Davis, California to $15 an hour.