• Council member Sawant takes up battle for $15 minimum wage

    By: Maria Guerrero

    Updated:

    SEATTLE -  SeaTac passed a new, $15 an hour minimum wage.

    Now Seattle’s newly-elected Socialist city council member is calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage for the Emerald City in 2014.

    Kshama Sawant made an announcement Tuesday morning regarding her plans to secure an increase.

    "2014 is going to be the year of a $15 an hour in seattle. That is clear," said Sawant.

    Sawant said she has been talking to fellow council members, others in local government, community groups and organizations and working people to ascertain what their needs are.

    She also announced a new website, 15now.org, which will be ready early next year.

    Sawant said it was a place where everyone who wants the $15 wage can get involved, and encouraged people to go there now to sign up for information.

    Sawant ran for the city council on the promise to fight for a new minimum wage.

    Supporters joined her in walking 15 miles from SeaTac to Seattle about two weeks ago.

    They wanted to put pressure on the city council to establish a $15 minimum wage.

    If approved, Seattle’s minimum wage would increase from $9.19 to $15.

    That increase would amount to a 63 percent hike.

    Sawant says in light of SeaTac approving a new minimum wage, there is “an enormous political momentum for making Seattle the first major U.S. city to pass a $15 minimum wage.”

    A lawsuit regarding SeaTac’s minimum wage is pending.

    Sawant said more details about her plans to secure the higher wage would be revealed next year.

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