All posts by Jesse Lessinger

Media Roundup: First National 15 Now Conference

The First National 15 Now Conference was a huge success! About 500 people attended from around the country, with a few from around the world. The conference voted on and adopted the Vision and Strategy Resolution for the national organization. It also voted to begin a signature gathering campaign for the Seattle Charter Amendment to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, with no tip penalty, no total compensation, no teenage or training wages, and a three-year phase-in for all but big businesses.

Seattle Times: Kshama Sawant has already won the Seattle $15 wage debate
Seattle Times: Signature drive to start for $15-wage vote

The Real News: Seattle Organizers Taking $15 Minimum Wage Battle to the Ballot

KIRO TV: 15Now decides to pursue signatures for charter amendment

May Day March for Immigrant and Worker’s Rights!

Deportations have reached the 2 million mark under President Obama’s administration — and immigrant communities are fighting back.  Joining El Comité and other community groups, 15 Now supports the call for zero deportations and 15 Now!

When: Thursday May 1st, 2014.  Rally at 2pm, March at 3pm.

Where: The march will begin at St. Mary’s Church (611 20th Ave South, Seattle, WA 98144) and will end with a rally at Westlake Park.


el comite

Media Roundup: Mayor Unable To Present Min. Wage Proposal Today

Kshama Sawant Responds To Mayor Murray’s Press Conference

Kshama Sawant on $15 Minimum Wage: “Ultimately, the Decision Will Be Made By the City Council”

City council member Kshama Sawant says she’s “not surprised” that the mayor’s minimum-wage committee wasn’t able to reach a deal today. “I think it’s important for people to realize that it’s not an earth-shattering surprise,” she says, describing the goals of the group’s labor-side and business-side members are fundamentally “divergent.”

Read more on The Stranger

Next Stop For the $15 Minimum Wage Battle: the City Council

It’s city council time. Because the real power here is in the hands of the council, which will be responsible for passing actual minimum-wage legislation. (Despite understandable focus elsewhere until now, the power’s been theirs all along.) Council members will say they’re listening widely and intently on this issue, and that may be true, but they’re not at all required to use what comes from the mayor or his committee.

Read more on The Stranger

Recent news coverage on minimum wage issues

How much does it really cost to live in a city like Seattle?

Overwhelmingly, of the hundreds of studies that have been done — and they have been done on real world examples from around the country — there’s no impact on employment when you modestly increase the minimum wage.

Read more on PBS

The Minimum Wage Work Strikes Back: Across the U.S., Fast Food Workers Are Asking, “What Am I Worth?”

Fast-food workers begin each week with uncertainty. They do not know how many hours they will work or when those hours will be. They do not know whether they will come up with the cash?—?and it is always cash?—?to make it to the job. They do not know if the lights will still be on when they get home. They do not know where, in a few months, home will be. They hunt for cheaper or easier or safer, knowing that to combine them is impossible.

Read more on The Medium

New Study: Who Are Seattle’s Tipped Workers?

Tipped workers generally earn below $15 an hour, including tips. Although there has been much attention paid to a few high-earning, tipped restaurant workers, this group is not representative of the tipped workforce in general.
Tipped workers generally earn below $15 an hour, including tips. Although there has been much attention paid to a few high-earning, tipped restaurant workers, this group is not representative of the tipped workforce in general.


The $15-an-hour minimum wage in Seattle has been focused on a debate over tipped workers, who according to our analysis, comprise of less than 10% of workers who earn below $15 an hour.

In this policy brief, we shine a spotlight on all tipped workers in Seattle, so that city elected officials can focus on practical solutions for raising the minimum wage, instead of relying on speculation about who tipped workers are and what incomes they earn. To inform our research, we combined an analysis of government data with interviews of workers in various tipped professions. Our analysis demonstrates that the average tipped worker in Seattle is roughly 32 years old, has at least some level of college education, and earns less than $15 an hour – even if you include tips in their hourly earnings.

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Are you a small business owner who stands with workers?

Small businesses in Seatac who have come out supporting Prop. 1 for a $15/hr minimum wage testify that their businesses are booming. This is because workers who now have more money to spend, are spending it at these small business that they know supported them from the beginning.

If you’re a small business owner who stands for fair wages by supporting $15/hr in Seattle, show your support by displaying one of our eye-capturing signs below at your storefront window. Email and we will personally deliver it to your location!


Panel 6:30 TONIGHT on $15 minimum wage charter amendment


With Seattle charter amendment filed, 15 Now leader at Capitol Hill Community Council minimum wage panel this week

Reposted from Capitol Hill Seattle Blog

Monday morning started with a bang for the movement to push forward an un-mitigated $15 per hour minimum wage in Seattle as 15 Now organizers have filed language for a charter amendment with the City Clerk. Meanwhile, 15 Now’s head and others in the maw of the talks surrounding income inequality and raising the minimum wage in Seattle like the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce’s Michael Wells will be at the April meeting of the Capitol Hill Community Council Thursday night for a panel to discuss the issues.
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