Move over, de Blasio: Meet the big-city mayor vowing to get his city a $15 minimum wage
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says public workers will get $15/hr within months, and private sector workers could be next
Three days before being sworn into office as Seattle’s Mayor, Ed Murray signed his first executive order: directing city departments to develop a plan to start paying city employees at least $15 an hour. That order follows Murray’s December announcement of a task force charged with developing a proposal to raise private sector wages. Interviewed this week, Murray told Salon that public employees “should have confidence” they’ll be making at least $15 “in the next several months” and “I think that we are gonna get to $15” for Seattle’s private sector workers as well.
In the Q&A that follows—worth your time to read—Murray shows The Stranger, if not Kshama Sawant, some respect:
The argument was made to me, by the newly elected socialist council member Kshama Sawant, that both you and your opponent were “very carefully avoiding” the $15 issue until it was brought up by her campaign and by fast food workers. Do you think that’s a fair criticism?
It is absolutely incorrect, and it’s really sad to see progressives questioning other progressives’ motivations.
I have a history as a legislator working on issues related to the—related to poverty, related to civil rights. I’m on film at a forum that the local newspaper, the Stranger, did, and a youth organization called the Bus did. They asked us to stand in a square—it was done more as a game/forum for candidates – and they asked who supported a $15 minimum wage. I stood in that minimum wage [square]. I had no idea who Sawant was at the time. I wasn’t paying attention to her race. And the individuals in labor who organized the fast food workers were labor leaders who supported my campaign, and who I have worked with for years. So again, it is—given my own history, I think it’s unfortunate that she is questioning folks’ motivation. I certainly am not questioning hers.
Ed confirms that the Stranger is "the local newspaper." The local newspaper, singular. Our new mayor acknowledging that we are, in fact, Seattle's only newspaper? What more could we ask for?