"Today, workers in Seattle have made history," said city council member Kshama Sawant in a speech after the council voted in June to make Seattle the first major U.S. city to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. "We forced the city establishment to lift the wages of 100,000 low wage workers in Seattle — to transfer $3 billion from business to workers at the bottom of the wage scale over the next 10 years," she said.
"We did this. Workers did this."
Sawant, a socialist, won a seat on Seattle City Council on a platform that included raising the minimum wage to $15. The victory in Seattle is inspiring a grassroots movement to win a $15 minimum wage in cities across the U.S., including Columbus.
To build upon this wave of momentum, 15 Now is engaged in a national fundraising campaign. On Tuesday, July 15 from 7 to 9 p.m., 15 Now – Columbus is hosting a victory party and fundraiser at the Global Gallery fair trade coffee shop, 3535 N. High Street in Columbus.
Everyone is invited to come and learn about the 15 Now campaign and how to get involved. Suggested donation is $15.
Organizations and campaigns officially endorsing 15 Now – Columbus are invited to table at the event. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
"In 15 Now, groups of workers and activists met weekly, held mass conferences and debates, organized rallies, and engaged thousands of people around the city about the need for a living wage," said Kshama Sawant after the Seattle victory. "We won the public debate — in a recent poll 74% of voters now support 15. We defeated the arguments of business in the corporate media.
"Let this be our guide," she said. "At every stage of the struggle, corporations and their representatives have sought to undermine our efforts. And future victories will also depend on the organization of working people fighting for our interests."