“What we have is an historic moment. Seattle has an opportunity to say something about poverty. It’s a moral and a political question.”
Momentum continues to build up as voices like this echoed through the chambers of town hall on March 5th when 800 people showed up to participate in the hearing for a precedent setting $15/hr minimum wage ordinance in Seattle. When looking out across the room you saw a sea of red shirts from wall to wall, you heard a cheerful roaring that boomed throughout the entire building and you most certainly felt the sheer energy and fighting spirit of a 15 NOW movement.
Here are some media clips including video footage, radio feeds and articles capturing this ‘historic moment’ in Seattle…
City Councilmembers will host a Town Hall on Wednesday, March 5 to hear input from the public relating to raising the minimum wage in Seattle. The meeting will be jointly-sponsored with the Mayor’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee. This will be the first official public forum for Seattleites to share their thoughts on the concept of raising the city’s minimum wage, and will likely set a precedent for upcoming debates on the official level. Big business will certainly send their lobbyists to fight against the raise by spreading all kinds of misinformation, so it is critical that we pack the room with supporters of $15/hr to far outnumber its opponents, and sign up to testify in favor.
Out of this weekend’s 15 Now Action Group meetings, supporters began an energetic mobilization for the March for $15 on March 15, handed out leaflets, postered across the city, and planned neighborhood protests against low wages during the March 7-15th Week of Action!
The 15 NowAction Groups hit the ground running over the weekend with 5 initial Seattle District meetings. Already several of the District groups have divided into Neighborhood and Campus Action Groups, set their next meetings, and made initial plans for action!
The February 15th Day of Organizing was a great success, with Action Groups being initiated in every district in Seattle. It was standing room only in SEIU 775′s downtown headquarters, as 400 people took part throughout the day.
The fight for 15 is taking off all around the country. Today organizers of 15 Now and Raise the Wage Davis (RWD) spoke about ways we can collaborate in our efforts to raise the minimum wage. Raise the Wage Davis was just formed recently, inspired by the victory of a $15 an hour ballot initiative in SeaTac and the election victory of Kshama Sawant last fall. They plan to collect 7,000 signatures by May 1 in order to get an initiative on the ballot this fall which would raise the minimum wage of all workers in Davis, California to $15 an hour.
With local hip-hop artist RA Scion performing on stage and the bass turned to full blast, the 15 Now campaign and its community allies celebrated the closing of the long-awaited February 15th Day of Organizing, Education, and Music. Upwards of 400 people paraded into SEIU 775’s headquarters throughout the day, filling up every seat and spilling into the hallways to listen to speakers like Green Party 2012 Presidential candidate Jill Stein, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, and SEIU Local 775 President David Rolf. But, most remarkable was the experience of participating in the workshops facilitated by (extra)ordinary workers and activists, who organized themselves into neighborhood action groups, shared experiences on movement building, and discussed responses to common questions about raising the minimum wage. This weekend will prove to be a critical time of preparation, as we carry this movement to new heights with the March For 15 on March 15th, massive May Day actions, and much more to come this year until a $15/hour minimum wage is won!
If you missed this tremendously successful event, or you were there but want to relive those epic moments, watch this news coverage!
Today is a very important day. Come join us anytime you can, and stay as long as you can. Talk to hundreds of other activists and leaders engaged in this crucial fight for Seattle workers and youth this year. See you there!