On Monday, January 20, Seattle’s annual event to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. drew approximately 5,000 marchers. The entire demonstration was flooded with 15 Now (http://www.15now.org) picket signs demanding a $15/hour minimum wage.
To commemorate the life and legacy of MLK, Jr. 15 Now marched in the annual MLK Day celebration. Our picket signs, banners, and supporters in red 15 Now t-shirts dominated the scene, drawing media attention to this growing movement. Check out some of the articles published on the 15 Now contingent:
Come to the rally before the march at 10:30, wear your red “fight for $15″ shirt (you can get one at the rally). After the rally come to the big 15 NOW banners at 23rd and Jefferson in front of Ezell’s: help us set up a visible, loud and powerful contribution to this year’s MLK rally and march for $15 in 2014!
When Martin Luther King Jr. took part in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom a central demand was a $2/hr minimum wage. With inflation that’s 2014 $15 in 2014! Join our contingent in the annual MLK Day March to let the establishment know that Dr. King’s dream is still alive.
Wear your red $15/hr t-shirts. Come to the rally at Garfield High School before the march.
$15 Now and Working Washington are also hosting a workshop on the $15/hr movement at Garfield from 9-11:30am.This event is sponsored by the MLK Celebration Committee.
Here is a great video of some of the speeches from our kickoff rally this past Sunday. Kshama Sawant of Socialist Alternative, Dave Freiboth of the King County Labor Council, Socialist Party member of the Irish Parliament Joe Higgins, and Robby Stern of Puget Sound Alliance for Retired Americans.
“When we win $15 an hour, it will be because we kept up the pressure,” SEIU 775’s Sterling Harders told a cheering crowd, “and that is why SEIU 775 and Working Washington support 15Now.org.”
The kick-off rally for 15 Now started with a roaring chant that declared to big business and Seattle politicians that Seattle workers want $15, and we want it NOW. The rally included a list of prominent speakers, including our new socialist city councilmember Kshama Sawant and Irish Parliament member Joe Higgins, in addition to representatives from organizations that have endorsed the 15 Now campaign, such as SEIU Local 775, SEIU Local 6, PSARA, and Socialist Alternative. Also present to share their stories were immigrant worker/organizers from El Comité and Casa Latina, and workers from hotel, fast food, and airport industries. Below are a few of the media articles generated by this ground-breaking rally:
Join the Fight for $15 Now! Come to the kick-off rally this Sunday January 12 to put Seattle’s establishment on notice: we want $15 and we want it NOW!
Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant along with her Socialist Alternative supporters and union allies have launched the 15now.org website to strengthen the grassroots movement for a $15/hour minimum wage.
by John Nichols, originally published at The Nation
Across the United States this week, new mayors and city council members are being sworn in as the leaders of the cities that elected them in November. The inaugurations of mayors draw local attention—and, in cases like that of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a good measure of national attention—but there is generally less focus on the city council members.
Inauguration in Seattle has usually been a low-key affair. But not this year.
Hundreds packed the lobby of Seattle City Hall on Monday. Some came to see Ed Murray, the city’s first openly gay mayor, take the oath of office. But many more came to catch a glimpse of Kshama Sawant, Seattle’s first Socialist City Council member who has attracted international attention.
Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant interviewed on Democracy Now 1/6/14-Kshama discusses her historic victory running as a socialist, the role Occupy played in turning the political tide in the US, the struggle of Boeing workers, and the $15 Now campaign.
I am pleased to hear about Mayor Murray’s executive order to begin the process of making $15/hour the minimum wage for all city workers. This move towards $15 for an estimated 600 city employees is an important step in the right direction and a victory of the growing movement of low-wage workers. It starkly demonstrates the unprecedented political momentum for a $15/hour minimum wage for all of Seattle.
As an immediate step, I appeal to Mayor Murray to insist that the thousands of city subcontractor employees not covered by today’s order also be raised to a minimum of $15.