Fabulous to see my old comrade from back in the first David Dinkins campaign become the next mayor of NYC. I think he’ll do very cool things. But, I’m even more thrilled to see a significant victory out West — a serious hike in the minimum wage. Can you say $15 an hour?
Four years ago, I wrote a blog called “Poverty, A Lost Decade and The Shame of America” about the poverty that has led to a record number of people falling below the federal poverty line. And a big driver of that was the level of the minimum wage, which should be at least $20 an hour if you take into account productivity over the past 30 years. Which is why the president’s proposal to get the minimum wage up to $9 an hour is so meek.
Not everybody is meek. And it seems like a tiny bit of progress is being made:
An initiative to create a $15 minimum wage for many workers in SeaTac is winning.
An early vote count Tuesday showed the measure carrying 54 percent of the vote. Because Washington state votes entirely by mail, more ballots are left to count.
The proposal would require a $15 minimum wage for many workers in and around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Proponents say the plan will support the local economy while opponents express concern about the impacts on businesses.
For sure, it’s one community with a particular economic circumstance. But, it’s a start.