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Minneapolis is getting a raise

After years of strikes and organizing across Minneapolis, over 71,000 workers are on the verge of winning a $15 minimum wage in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis City Council introduced language on June 6th to pass a $15 minimum wage later this month! This is a huge victory for workers who’ve built a movement across Minneapolis, and gathered nearly 20,000 signatures for #1FairWage of $15 for all workers by 2022, no exemptions.

We are so close to winning $15 with #1FairWage in Minneapolis. But we can’t let upnow.
Donate $15 today to get $15/hour over the finish line! Get involved with 15 Now!

When we organize, we can win! Our movement has built massive support across Minneapolis, and workers organizing has brought tremendous pressure on City Council to pass $15. Until the very last vote, our work is not finished! We built enough pressure from below that even the Chamber of Commerce has accepted $15, but they will fight to defend their profits by trying to undermine the proposal: for example, by artificially extending the implementation period, or exempting young workers.

Join 15 Now on June 22nd at City Hall, beginning at 3:30, or as soon as you can join us! Let’s deliver a clear message to city council: a $15minimum wage means economic opportunity for women and workers of color disproportionately filling low-wage jobs. Delaying $15 means keeping working people in a fight to survive, not fully living. Minneapolis demands $15/hour, lifting over 71,000 workers by 2022, no carve-outs, with real enforcement to ensure that wage theft doesn’t undermine our victory when $15 becomes the law.

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Minimum Wage Victories in 2016 Show We Can Beat Trump’s Agenda

Minimum wage victories swept the nation in 2016, with $15 winning in Washington D.C., parts of Oregon and New York, the entire state of California and more, resulting in raises for 11.8 million people. In the past four years of the nationwide fight for $15, low-wage workers have won $62 billion in wage increases (NELP report).

In Minnesota, as in Ohio most recently, the state government could block workers’ rights legislation at the local level. It’s called pre-emption, and it’s been happening in states across the country. And at the national level, Trump has even appointed a Fast Food CEO as labor secretary, someone who says he doesn’t believe in a minimum wage!

Watch, share, and retweet the 15 Now MN video on pre-emption:

Our movements have won tremendous victories since fast-food workers first took strike action in 2012. Low-wage workers pushed $15/hr on the agenda in the first place, and it’s going to take a powerful movement of low-wage workers to fight back against people like Trump and Andrew Puzder, the CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr, and the President-elect’s pick for  the new Secretary of Labor. Puzder is against raising minimum wage, fiercely anti-union, and a strong advocate for “trickle down” economics. That makes sense. The average full time Hardee’s worker makes $15,130 a year. Meanwhile, Andrew Puzder made $17,162……. a day!

Puzder will fit right into the new administration. In addition to its rampant poverty wages, Hardee’s ads have been criticized for objectifying women. When asked about this, Puzder said “I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American.”

Puzder claims
 that paying people a living wage will be an added regulatory cost that businesses will have to offset by increasing unemployment, which data clearly shows is not the case. According to a recent release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the city of Seattle, which passed a $15 ordinance almost 2 years ago, hit a new cycle low of 3.4% unemployment.

When people like Trump and Puzder say “make America great again”, they mean to make their billionaire buddies richer at the expense of working people. We can’t wait for Trump’s team to put forth “trickle down” policies that will only benefit people like Trump and their colleagues. We need to build mass movements to fight against right-wing attacks and for working people.

Big business interests will use every tool they have to continue raking in record profits: whether it’s lobbying for a tip penalty and other carve-outs that undermine minimum wage, or by ramming through pre-emption legislation across the states.

We need to continue building our movement, to demand that elected officials don’t leave the door open for Trump’s agenda and corporate attacks!

Help us grow the movement. Donate at www.15now.org/donate

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Big Business won this round, but the fight is far from over | 15 Now Minnesota

While this is a setback, we still forced $15 on the agenda – and it’s here to stay.

The Minnesota Supreme Court sided with Mayor Hodges, Minneapolis City Council and the Chamber of Commerce to strip Minneapolis of the right to vote on a $15/hour minimum wage. While our charter amendment is blocked, the fight for $15 in Minneapolis is far from over. We forced the council to open a debate about an ordinance by the second quarter of 2017. The Supreme Court’s decision affirmed that the Minneapolis City Council has the power to pass $15/hour as an ordinance at any time. Now more than ever we need to keep up the momentum to demand the council pass our proposal for $15 as an ordinance.

Join fast food workers on Monday, September 12th at 1:00pm at Wendy’s in North Minneapolis (421 W Broadway Ave) to demand City Council pass $15/hr. Let’s keep up the momentum.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

For decades they ignored poverty wages in Minneapolis, but we kept organizing and we forced them to take notice. Then they said $15/hour was unrealistic. They fought back with everything they have, taking this to the conservative Supreme Court. This morning we demanded that Mayor Hodges and Minneapolis City Council drop the appeal, but they refused to even consider it. The fact they are this threatened fundamentally shows how strong we are. But we kept organizing, and we’ve paved a path to win $15/hour!

We have terrified big business and the political establishment in Minneapolis. Our grassroots campaign has already won the public battle over the hearts and minds of the people to end poverty wages. 68% of Minneapolis residents support our charter amendment. The same poll showed a stunning 83% of African Americans and 74% of women voters support our proposal, groups that are disproportionately affected by poverty wages. Big business knew we would win, which is why the DFL controlled City Council and Mayor Hodges worked overtime to block a popular vote on $15, even going so far as uniting with Republican Justices at the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The Minnesota Supreme Court has a long track record of siding against working people. One Minnesota Justice was even one of Donald Trump’s potential choices to replace Antonin Scalia on the US Supreme Court. This did not stop City Hall from relying on this court when it seemed clear $15/hour would win at the ballot. City Hall even welcomed the Chamber of Commerce as an ally on the appeal, allowing them to file their own separate legal argument to block $15/hour from voters. Why did they go through all this trouble? To defend powerful corporations like Target and Best Buy, who want to keep making massive profits off the exploitation of working people in Minneapolis.

We started this campaign for simple reasons. 62 families own as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population. The CEO of Target makes $11,000/hour, while the average retail worker makes around $10/hr. The Twin Cities are home to 17 Fortune 500 companies – the highest concentration in the country – yet also the worst racial inequities in the nation. Passing $15/hr will be an economic opportunity for over 100,000 Minneapolis workers, and it would put almost a billion dollars back into pockets of low-wage workers each year – that’s what the City of Minneapolis just stole from voters. We’ve come so far, but now we need to continue the struggle.

Through determined organizing, low-wage workers have dramatically changed the political landscape in a few short years. In 2012 the first fast food workers went on strike demanding $15. In 2013, Minneapolis City Council Members refused to even explore raising minimum wage. Then low-wage workers won $15 in SeaTac, a suburb of Seattle. In 2014, 15 Now formed in Seattle and led a movement to make it the first major US city to pass $15/hour. Since then, dozens of cities have followed suit. Now a majority of Americans support a $15/hour minimum wage, and it’s commonly accepted as an important policy in cities with high costs of living and poverty rates, like Minneapolis.

While the Supreme Court’s decision blocks one path to $15, low-wage workers have already blazed another. It’s now widely accepted that Minneapolis has the power to pass our proposal for $15 as an ordinance. In fact, City Council passed a nonbinding resolution to pass a minimum wage ordinance, but failed to set a dollar amount or time frame for implementation. Because of our movement, 68% of Minneapolis residents support our reasonable proposal, $15/hour for big business by 2020 and small business by 2022. Make your voice heard on September 12th, and demand City Council pass our proposal for $15/hour.

Let’s regain the momentum and keep $15 on the agenda by organizing a mass rally on September 12th. Let’s show City Hall and the Chamber of Commerce that while they won this round, the fight is far from over.

-Ginger Jentzen,
Executive Director of 15 Now Minnesota
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Build a Movement to Fight Racism and Poverty – 15 Now Minnesota Statement on Philando Castile Murder

via 15 Now Minnesota
The atrocious murders of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling at the hands of police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota have triggered a national fightback to demand justice for black lives. So far in 2016, police have killed 136 black people in the U.S. Unfortunately, a peaceful demonstration in Dallas was marred by the horrific deaths of 5 police officers by snipers. 15 Now Minnesota condemns this violent act, which will not help to win a united movement against the systemic racism, poverty, and injustices disproportionately faced by communities of color.   

Thousands are angry, pouring into massive demonstrations in New York, St. Paul, Oakland, but many are already skeptical that an investigation will bring justice. Even in spite of the live, viral videos, in the case of Eric Garner and other young black victims of police violence, the grand jury process and Department of Justice investigations have not resulted in convictions or jail time for police officers.

15 Now Minnesota stands in solidarity with the movement for black lives. We demand the officers involved be indicted. We call for a united movement of working people to fight for our communities’ basic needs: an end to systemic, racial profiling, for fully-funded public education, a $15 minimum wage, and jobs with full union rights.

Working people face a Tale of Two Cities in our metro area. The Twin Cities are home to 20 Fortune 500 companies, and yet some of the worst racial equity outcomes in education and poverty rates in the US. We need a top-to-bottom restructuring of the police departments. We need an end to “broken windows” policing and the war on drugs, which is really a war on young people of color and an end to the school-to-prison pipeline which traps millions into a deep cycle of poverty.

In Minneapolis, supporters of a $15 minimum wage handed in 20,000 signatures to put a charter amendment for $15 on the November ballot. Another organization, the Committee for Responsible Policing, has proposed an amendment to require personal insurance for police officers. But City Hall has indicated being “ideologically opposed” to petitions that amend the City Charter. The city establishment has signaled that it hopes to keep both measures off the ballot, despite refusing to take action on the injustices facing communities of color and working people in Minneapolis. We refuse to allow the signers for both petitions to be silenced: Let voters decide!

At the vigil and occupation outside the Governor’s mansion, union members showed up in scrubs and transit driver uniforms, to stand against the murder of Castile who was a union member and St. Paul Public School employee. The labor movement should go further and mobilize its members to protect the peaceful demonstrations demanding justice for Philando Castile, and actively build the fight for $15/hour as a concrete step against low-wage jobs that are disproportionately filled by women and people of color. After the snipers in Dallas and white supremacists shot at the 4th precinct occupation last winter, violence against protesters could be used to repress the peaceful Black Lives Matter mobilizations.

Winning $15 in Minneapolis would raise the confidence of workers across the Twin Cities, demonstrating that when we organize and build coordinated actions, we can win. To win justice for Philando, we must build demonstrations, rallies, walk-outs and actions demanding an end to the racial profiling that is killing black, working class people nationwide. We are organizing for a concrete victory in a fight against the business as usual racism that has resulted in the devastation of working class, communities of color. By building a united movement, we can win a $15 minimum wage and strike a blow against the racist system of poverty wages.

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Justices Reject Franchises’ Appeal over Seattle’s $15 min. Wage — McDonalds is NOT a Small business

Our Movement is Winning! Join the fight for 15 Now!
Donate to grow the movement today: www.15Now.org/donate

From the Washington Post
SEATTLE — The U.S. Supreme Court weighed in for the first time Monday on a $15-an-hour minimum wage, signaling it does not plan to stop the movement that is spreading across the nation, worker advocates say.
The justices refused to hear a challenge to Seattle’s law, which franchise owners said discriminates against them by treating them as large businesses.

From The Stranger (Seattle)
The International Franchise Association argued the law discriminated against franchises and violated the Commerce Clause. They lost that argument last year in U.S. District Court and the 9th Circuit. [The May 2nd] decision means those lower court decisions will stand. That’s good news for workers in Seattle and in cities across the country looking to follow our lead on $15.

 

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Onto the Ballot, Into the Streets: California Workers Win a $15 minimum wage

California workers are the most recent to win a major victory in the movement for a $15 minimum wage. Only days after labor, community groups and low-wage workers qualified a statewide ballot initiative for $15/hour by 2021, Governor Jerry Brown counter-proposed raising the wage to $15 by 2023. If anyone tells you radical change isn’t possible, and to settle for incremental change instead,” writes US Uncut, “tell them to look at what the Fight for 15 movement has accomplished.”


In Seattle, Tacoma, Oregon and now California, low-wage workers and supporters used a ballot initiative to force $15 onto the agenda. In each case, big business and their allies saw the writing on the wall. Independent political action has been a key component to every concrete victory for $15 to this date, including strikes, mass demonstrations, and political challenges through ballot initiatives, to clearly expose the interests of big business against the interests of working class communities. Faced with a strong workers movement, politicians who previously ignored $15/hour came under pressure to side with workers’ demands.

In Minneapolis, 15 Now Minnesota is launching a ballot initiative for a $15/hour minimum wage. Despite thousands of workers and supporters organizing for $15 as a concrete step to deal with Minnesota’s worst in the nation racial and economic disparities, city officials haven’t acted to solve the crisis of poverty pay facing over 100,000 workers, mainly women and workers of color. Winning $15 in Minneapolis will take a mass movement of workers building pressure from below, ready to take $15 to the ballot and turn the passive 82% support for $15 in Minneapolis (shown by a recent poll) into active organizing to win.

Earlier this month, Oregon workers won a tremendous victory when Governor Kate Brown signed a statewide minimum wage increase, raising Portland workers to $15 by 2022. While Oregon workers and $15 supporters continue the fight against state government pre-emption on municipal legislation to deal with workers’ rights issues, the statewide increase would not have happened without a strong ground campaign fighting to get $15/hour on the Oregon ballot.

The movement for $15 should be very clear: even when politicians cut across worker organizing to reach consensus with business, these victories are a result of the strength of grassroots organizing by low-wage workers, labor unions and supporters.

Working class communities are winning by organizing independently. Our movement has shifted the national debate. Even Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who didn’t initially support the call for a $15 minimum wage, has shifted under pressure from worker organizing, to raise the demand for $15 as part of his call to build a “political revolution against the billionaire class”.

When status quo politicians don’t clearly stand on the side of working people, we’ve proven our movement can assert itself by mounting a political challenge, through a ballot initiative or by running our own candidates who will firmly represent the interests of working people.

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NY Times Editorial Board Calls for $15 Minimum Wage Nationwide

“Sooner or later, Congress has to set an adequate wage floor for the nation as a whole. If it does so in the near future, the new minimum should be $15.”
New York Times Editorial Board
Dec 26th, 2015 (Image via NY Times) 

We know the widespread support for a $15 minimum wage is because of the massive movement of low-wage workers organizing and building grassroots pressure to win. On January 1st, Seattle workers will get another raise in the steps toward $15/hour.

Can you donate $10, $15, or $25/month to win a $15/hour minimum wage nationwide?

We need to continue building support for $15/hour in 2016 in our communities and workplaces. Because of this growing workers’ movement, the mainstream press and establishment politicians have been forced to answer to workers’ rights. We know that without massive pressure from below, politics as-usual means little changes for working people and big business continues to make massive profits off poverty pay, unchallenged.

In five states and nine cities – including California, New York, Oregon and Washington, D.C. – voters and lawmakers will consider proposals in 2016 to gradually raise minimum wages to $15 an hour.

The ballot initiatives and pending legislation will build on momentum from this year, in which 14 states and localities used laws, executive orders and other procedures to lift wages for all or part of their work forces to $15 an hour.”

Across the country, $15/hour is a fight we can win. 

DANIELLE PETERSON / Statesman Journal

Fight for $15 in All 50

Major Victories Possible If Labor Launches a National Campaign for a $15/Hour Minimum Wage

by Ty Moore, 15 Now National Organizer

On April 15, fast-food strikers and other low-wage workers are planning their biggest protests yet for “$15 and a union.” The driving force behind these actions, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), reportedly aims to turn out 60,000 workers and supporters in over 200 cities across the country.

Chapters of 15 Now are going all-out to build for the April 15 demonstrations, to demand union rights and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

According to a January Hart Research poll, 63% of the country now suppors a $15 federal minimum wage. Support is even higher in most big cities. The time is right for the big unions to help launch an all-out national campaign for a $15 an hour minimum wage. Let’s use April 15 to kick things off!

Everywhere, anger at corporate greed – and the extreme wealth and racial inequities – is reaching a boiling point. The fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage has the potential to become a powerful mass movement uniting low-wage workers demanding union rights, people of color standing up against racism, and young people facing a dead-end future.
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Court rejects McDonald’s claim that they’re a small business

Join 15 Now, labor unions, and Councilmember Sawant on March 28 to let workers know they are getting a raise!

“The $15/hour minimum wage movement delivered a resounding one-two punch against right-wing opponents of 15,” began a triumphant Facebook post by Socialist Seattle City Coucilmember Kshama Sawant on Wednesday, March 18.

Sawant and 15 Now played an instrumental role in helping pass the historic minimum wage law in Seattle that goes into effect on April 1, giving a pay raise to more than 100,000 workers in the city, and eventually raising the minimum wage to $15/hour. With just a few weeks until the law goes into effect, big business is still resisting.

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250 Rally for $15 in Minneapolis with Kshama Sawant

On Sunday February 15th, 15 Now MN hosted a rally and fundraiser featuring Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who spoke alongside activists and community leaders. Over 250 supporters attended the event and contributed $10,000 toward building the grassroots campaign for $15 at MSP-airport and in the city of Minneapolis!

15 Now national organizer Ty Moore kicked off the rally by pointing to the growing momentum nationally for a $15 minimum wage and a recent poll showing 63% of Americans support raising the federal minimum wage to $15. Following Moore were speakers from Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL) and the 15 Now MSP-airport campaign. Ubah Warsame, a wage and housing rights activist from Seattle, offered solidarity with the struggle in Minneapolis and energized the crowd before CTUL leader and fast-food worker, Guillermo Lindsay, and MSP airport organizer Kip Hedges spoke to the effects of poverty wages on their co-workers and the dramatic impact $15 would have on their lives.

Guillermo Lindsey, CTUL leader and fast-food worker
Guillermo Lindsey, CTUL leader and fast-food worker

“I want to invite everyone here into a transformational struggle for $15, like the campaign for an 8 hour day was for workers 100 years ago,” said Kip Hedges, who will soon file a federal lawsuit against his illegal firing by Delta airlines which sparked outrage and galvanized support for the $15 demand at MSP-airport

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant highlighted the 15 Now movement’s victory, which will lift 100,000 workers out of poverty in Seattle and return an estimated $3 billion back into the pockets of workers over the next decade. “The interests of corporations are fundamentally in conflict with the interests of working people,”

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant
Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant

Sawant said, encouraging supporters to build a fierce grassroots campaign for $15. “Even though the US is the richest country in the world,” Sawant said, “[big business says] we must debate about whether workers deserve $15. Low-wage workers make this country run, we need $15 for all the workers who make Minneapolis run.”

Minneapolis City Council Members Jacob Frey and Alondra Cano spoke at the rally in support of a minimum wage increase for the City of Minneapolis, with Cano coming out in favor of $15 by the end of 2015 amidst loud cheers from the crowd. City Council member Lisa Bender also made a public donation of $1,000 to the campaign, and has since come out publicly for $15. Jacob Frey also pledged support for a minimum wage hike, though says he is not yet ready to commit to $15/hour.

Mark your calendars! Join NOC, Working America, CTUL and 15 Now MN for a Worker’s Rights Forum: $15 and Beyond on Saturday February 28th from 2-4pm. Let’s join the growing number of cities and states across the country who are taking action to raise the minimum wage, provide workers earned sick days, ensure fair scheduling, and enact other measures to address our worst-in-the country racial disparities.

15 Now wants to thank all those who spoke and donated on Sunday for their courage and support! Thanks to the Green Party of Minnesota and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) for sponsoring donations, and to Minneapolis City Council Members Alondra Cano, Lisa Bender and Cam Gordon for endorsing 15 Now!

The support from Councilmembers Cano, Gordon and Bender indicate the tremendous potential to win $15 in Minneapolis this year.  The active and organized grassroots campaign of low-wage workers and supporters was key to winning their support, and the strengthening of this campaign will be vital to winning the support of a majority of city councilmembers. We invite all supporters to get involved today to build 15 Now MN.

Solidarity!

15 Now Team

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Twitter @15NowMN  –  Facebook.com/15NowMN  –  fifteennowmn@gmail.com  –  www.15now.org

Press
Video, My FOX Twin Cities:
http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/28111346/seattle-council-member-to-headline-minneapolis-rally-for-15-minimum-wage

Star Tribune:
http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/291924751.html