'15 Now Tacoma' to Petition City Council to Raise the Minimum Wage!

Sarah Morken, Tom McCarthy

With the demand for a $15 per hour minimum wage sweeping the nation, the Tacoma City Council will have the chance to join the movement of cities taking meaningful action to address growing inequality on Tuesday, October 14th. Tacoma 15 Now – a chapter of a grassroots national movement with campaigns in more than 20 cities – will be delivering more than 1,000 signatures to the City Council’s monthly Citizen Forum. They are petitioning that Tacoma adopt a $15 minimum wage ordinance. Tacoma 15 Now spokesperson Katelyn Driskill says, "After months of talking to people in the streets and in public meetings, it’s clear that Tacomans overwhelmingly support a $15 per hour minimum wage."

Seattle and even the suburban community of Seatac have garnered national media for demonstrating leadership in addressing a universally recognized national problem – growing inequality. Tacoma has the opportunity to share in the limelight of a progressive movement for a $15 minimum wage.

Over the last two years, fast food workers all over the country have walked off the job to demand $15 and a union. In 2013, voters in Seatac, WA passed a ballot initiative raising the minimum wage to $15 for many airport-related jobs. In Seattle, socialist Kshama Sawant ran for city council with a platform of $15 per hour minimum wage...and won. In wake of Sawant’s victory,  the Seattle City Council approved a measure that will enact a phased-in $15 minimum wage. San Francisco voters will decide this November whether to enact a $15/hr minimum wage and many other cities are moving forward with their own legislation. Tacoma 15 Now spokesperson Katelyn Driskill says, "The time has come for $15 per hour in Tacoma."

Some facts about the minimum wage here.

While pro-business critics often claim that a higher minimum wage will kill jobs, the evidence to support that contention is lacking. Washington has had the highest state minimum wage since 1998 and this has correlated with modest job growth. Putting more money in the hands of workers has had a positive effect on local economies, including for small business. The past 30 years have proved that the economic policy that favors transnational corporations has dramatically increased inequality and failed America.

The 15 Now Tacoma chapter will present the petition of working families to the council on Tuesday, October 14th at the monthly Citizens' Forum.  Low wage workers and other community members plan to make statements in support of enacting a $15 minimum wage in Tacoma. Minimum wage worker Will Hassert said, "Please come out and support this. If $15 per hour minimum wage and paid sick leave were passed, I could afford to go to the doctor as often as I should. I have epilepsy. Even with health insurance the medical care for that is expensive." Members of the public and community are encouraged to attend and support an ordinance to build our local economy by putting a decent wage in the hands of working families.

  • When: Tuesday October 14th, City Council Meeting starts at 5 pm.
  • Where: City Council Chambers,Tacoma Municipal Building, First Floor, 747 Market Street, Tacoma, WA 98402

15 Now Tacoma has been endorsed by The Pierce County Central Labor Council, The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists of Pierce County, A. Philip Randolph Institute of Tacoma, the Communist Party of Pierce County, and Jobs with Justice of South Sound.

Contact 15 Now Tacoma for more information: 15NowTacoma253@gmail.com. Also like us on Facebook “15 Now Tacoma” to stay updated on campaign events.