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Movement for $15 minimum wage picks up steam in Columbus

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Seattle's approval of a $15 minimum wage last month — an effort spearheaded by socialist city council member Kshama Sawant — is energizing the movement across the U.S. for a living wage. Advocates are pushing for $15 an hour in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Petersburg, and other cities.

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15 Now – Columbus is dedicated to grassroots organizing for the same goal. They held a demonstration in the fast-food district bordering the Ohio State University on March 15, and collaborated with other organizations to make the $15 wage a prominent theme in this year's May Day rally in downtown Columbus. 100 new supporters signed up with 15 Now at the Columbus Pride Festival, and 300 signed up over Comfest weekend.

Many have argued that the $10.10 federal minimum wage proposed by President Obama doesn't represent a living wage. Economist John Schmitt has pointed out that if the minimum wage was tied to productivity instead of inflation, it would be at over $21 today.

15 Now – Columbus is looking at potential ways to raise the minimum wage in Columbus, including organizing low-wage workers, a City Council resolution, and a ballot initiative. For more information, send an email to 15nowcolumbusoh@gmail.com.

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