by: Essex Porter Updated:
Seattle's new Socialist council member details her new plans to ramp up the pressure for a $15 an hour minimum wage-- so workers won't have to compromise.
Kshama Sawant had her first meeting today as a member of the mayor's advisory committee on a higher minimum wage.
She says it's too early to tell how that process will turn out, so she's organizing workers so that she can deal from a position of greater strength.
"If we want to see $15 an hour become a reality in Seattle for all the workers who need them, then the workers themselves need to be part of that movement,” Sawant told KIRO-7 in an exclusive interview.
Sawant urged workers to show their strength by attending a rally at the Seattle Labor Temple at 2:30 on Sunday afternoon Jan. 12.
Sawant didn't rule out compromises on a $15 an hour wage, such as phasing it in or exempting small businesses. However, she indicated such talk is premature.
"Compromise is really a question to be asked at the end of the road, not at the beginning of the road. Right now we should building our forces and that's why it's important for people to join our grassroots effort," she said.
Asked if she is concerned that rallying public pressure in this way might create resentment among her fellow council members and Mayor Murray, Sawant responded, "The reality is that as government elected people, we are serving the people of Seattle. And absolutely central to our job is the point of view of the people of Seattle."
Sawant is putting the spotlight on the $15 an hour minimum wage, but says she feels just as strongly about more mundane issues like zoning and potholes. "Anything that negatively impacts the daily life of all the hard-working people in the city who make this city run is not mundane but very close to my heart."
Click here for more information on the rally at the Seattle Labor Temple.