Monday, April 21, 2014

Petition to raise minimum wage in Seattle to $15/hour

From Robert Reich:

If you've seen my film "Inequality for All" you know that raising the minimum wage is one of the most important steps we can take to reduce income inequality in America. If we're going to get as many workers out of poverty as possible, we should raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

That's why I'm so excited about what’s happening in Seattle, Washington. Fueled by a November election victory in which the minimum wage in a Seattle suburb was raised to $15, Seattle leaders are now considering raising the minimum wage to $15 for everyone. If Seattle adopts a $15 wage, it could be the spark that sets off a wildfire of minimum wage victories across America.

Nearly 70% of Seattle voters want a $15 wage, according to a January poll. But, predictably, big business is mobilizing to stop it. Faced with strong support for the $15 wage, they plan to use local small businesses as the public face of a campaign to create new loopholes and exemptions.

That's why Sara Condra, a low-wage worker and student living in Seattle, has started a petition on Democracy for America's YouPower petition platform urging the Seattle City Council to support a $15 minimum wage for all workers, without loopholes.

Sara is standing up to these corporations and I'm proud to support her. I hope that DFA members across the country will join us. Please sign Sara's YouPower petition telling Seattle leaders to support a $15 minimum wage for all -- without loopholes and exemptions.
Big business wants you to believe that jobs will be lost and small businesses will be hurt without creating new loopholes. We've heard that before. When I was Labor Secretary in 1996 and we raised the federal minimum wage, businesses predicted millions of job losses. In fact, we had more job gains over the next four years than in any comparable period in American history. Seattle is discussing phasing in a wage increase over the course of a few years, which would help those smaller businesses adjust.

Here's why $15 is so important: Had the minimum wage of 1968 simply stayed even with inflation, it would be worth more than $10 an hour today. While $10.10 is the wage that Democrats in Washington are promoting, it isn't enough to lift all workers and their families out of poverty. Most low-wage workers aren't young teenagers; they're major breadwinners for their families, and many are women. They and their families need a higher wage.

And now Seattle is on the cusp of leading communities across the country to adopt a minimum wage that will put more money in the pockets of working families.

Now is the time to make your voice heard across America. Help us build momentum behind minimum wage campaigns from coast to coast by adding your name to Sara Condra's YouPower petition urging Seattle’s leaders to raise their city's minimum wage to $15.

Thank you for helping set a new standard for our nation in raising the minimum wage.

Robert Reich
Former Secretary of Labor

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