I'm glad he's on our side in this particular struggle, and if Seattle's $15 minimum wage ultimately goes to the ballot, I sure hope he spends big in its defense. But if Nick Hanauer is in fact "a leader in push for $15 minimum wage," as the Seattle Times implies, who exactly is following him? Certainly not the thousands of fast food workers nationwide who have risked their jobs striking for a living wage, or the hundreds of organizers from labor unions like SEIU and activist groups like Socialist Alternative who have relentlessly campaigned to push this issue along.
Nothing against Hanauer—he's playing a useful role too. But this eagerness to anoint him a "leader" (you know, because he's very, very rich), comes off as a willful denial of the grassroots nature of this movement. In spirit, in tactics, and in personnel, the fight for a $15 minimum wage arose from the ashes of Occupy Wall Street. No doubt Thomas Carlyle would approve of this Great Man interpretation of history, but to tout a 1 Percenter as a "leader" of this movement is not only counterfactual, it is counterproductive, as it inevitably raises suspicions about motives.
Hopefully, future historians will ignore the first draft.