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Kshama Sawant

Seattle’s Socialist Council Member Pressures City for $15 Minimum Wage

· Regional News (gen 36:20) · No Comments

When an initiative has to be bullied through in order to pass, there’s a good chance it will do little to help members of the city.

But that’s exactly what incoming socialist Council member Kshama Sawant is doing if Seattle’s Mayor-elect doesn’t “deliver something substantive relatively soon” for $15 minimum wage. From The Seattle Times:

Seattle Mayor-elect Ed Murray Thursday set a four-month deadline for a committee of labor and business leaders to deliver a recommendation on a higher minimum wage and called on the City Council to act by the end of July.

The tight timeline reflects the pressure he and other city leaders are under from some activist unions and incoming socialist Councilmember Kshama Sawant who say they’ll file an initiative for a $15 minimum wage if Murray’s committee doesn’t deliver something substantive relatively soon.

“The beginning of April is a point to review the balance sheet of where we are before we consider putting a measure before voters,” said Sawant, who agreed to serve on Murray’s 23-member Income Inequality Committee but also noted that no low-wage workers were named to it.

Murray acknowledged that consensus between labor and Seattle’s business elite might be difficult to reach.

Beyond this, individuals in favor say it’s not about socialism, but “good government.”

“I think we can get to $15 an hour. It’s not about socialism. It’s about good government and good business sense.”

Or as SEIU’s Rolf said, “Poor workers make poor customers and exceedingly bad taxpayers.”