Just three days on the job, Seattle’s new mayor Ed Murray, announced plans to raise the minimum wage for city workers: “Today I will issue an executive order directing my department heads to develop a comprehensive strategy to implementing a $15 minimum wage in the City of Seattle for city employees.”
Socialist City Council member Kshama Sawant rode the minimum wage issue to victory in Seattle. “My commitment is unwavering and unshakable on getting $15 an hour and making progress on making Seattle an affordable city.”
Getting a $15/hr minimum wage for all of Seattle is going to take longer, but it is going to happen or be put to the voters. A ballot measure is possible because Sawant says she’ll start gathering signatures if city leaders don’t quickly pass a $15 per hour minimum wage.
An indefatigable supporter of the working class
The statements above are from an article titled “It Begins: Seattle Mayor Will Issue Executive Order to Raise City Workers’ Mininum Wage to $15/hr” on the Daily Kos website (January 3, 2014). And yes, the Kos did misspell “minimum.”
For readers outside of the Pacific Northwest area, $15 per hour (approximately $30,000 per year) may seem generous. Actually, it should rightly be considered an “almost living wage,” as the cost of living in this area is high and the average pay low.
Of course, this is relative: that kind of money in my hometown of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, would go a long way to providing an individual with a reasonably comfortable lifestyle. A couple making $30,000 each back there could easily to buy a nice piece of property with a good sized house on it. Here, a couple making that can afford a nice apartment . . .
Needless to say, I have nothing but respect for Mayor Murray for stepping up to the plate so quickly. But it was Kshama Sawant who came out of nowhere to beat all opponents (Democrat and Republican) to win her seat who has been the mover and shaker.
She has been an indefatigable supporter of working class citizens and families. Hopefully, she will be around a long time to implement or instigate positive social and economic reform in Seattle . . .