Seattle’s Well-Managed Pathway To Higher Wages
How Seattle — where the $9.32/hour minimum wage was already the highest in the country — in one fell swoop raised its minimum wage more than 60 percent is just as astounding as the number itself. Thanks to the inspired leadership, dogged determination and some rather unorthodox methods of Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle has succeeded where other cities, states and the federal government have failed. Taking an “it’s a matter of how, not if” stance, Murray tasked this group, which comprised differing perspectives, constituents and agendas, with creating a workable plan for raising Seattle’s minimum wage to $15/hour. He gave them four months to present a formal plan to the city council. Failure to meet the deadline, the mayor promised, would result in he and the city council taking the matter into their own hands – which no one in the group wanted. As a result, on June 2, the city council unanimously approved adoption of a $15/hour minimum wage, making Seattle the first major city in America to take such an action to address income inequality.
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