POWER TO THE IMPOLITE PEOPLE The way they won a minimum-wage hike wasn’t Seattle nice.
  • Anna Minard
  • POWER TO THE IMPOLITE PEOPLE The way they won a minimum-wage hike wasn’t Seattle nice.

Seattle just enacted the highest minimum wage in the country. That's right: Seattle, the place famous for surface-level niceness, locals who refuse to jaywalk even in the rain, and political process that never ends. Seattle, where, as part of that instinct toward perpetual process, the mayor can rarely craft policy without first setting up a committee of stakeholders to collaborate so that no one ever feels left out.

On June 2, in a state that already had the highest statewide minimum wage in the country, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that will slowly but steadily raise the city's wage floor to just under an inflation-adjusted $15, over the course of the next decade. (On June 3, Mayor Ed Murray signed it into law.)

After the historic vote, Council Member Kshama Sawant acknowledged the well-founded Seattle stereotype of a "hippie city" where we "wear socks with our sandals." But recently, Seattle's been looking a little less chill and more ready to brawl. And hey, Seattle: It looks good on you. CONTINUE READING --->