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Seattle voters really liked the idea of raising the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour back when it first gained traction, and even more of them like it now, according to a new poll:

Graph showing polling from January 2014 and May 2014 on proposal to raise Seattle's minimum wage to $15. In January, 68% support - 25% oppose; in May, 74% support - 24% oppose.
Of the three proposals on how to get to $15, Mayor Ed Murray's plan to phase the increase in over three years for big businesses and seven years for small businesses, while counting tips and benefits toward the $15 temporarily, has the most support. A business-backed plan to phase the increase in over eight years and permanently count tips and benefits toward the $15 has the least, stuck in the low 40s. The latter plan gains little support after the voters being surveyed hear an explanation of it, while the mayor's plan goes from 57 percent support to 66 percent support. A third plan, backed by Socialist city council member Kshama Sawant, which has large businesses begin paying $15 immediately while small businesses phase in the increase over three years, reaches 50 percent support after voters hear information about it.

Whichever plan they favor most—and let's not lose sight of the fact that the slowest, most limited increase is the least popular—Seattle voters are clearly ready for a $15 minimum wage. And, as other states raise their minimum wages to $10 and above, and fast food workers continue to press their for a $15 wage, may more cities move toward this level.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed May 14, 2014 at 11:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Zounds. 74% support for $15/hr. (6+ / 0-)

    That's astounding.

  •  Who could have predicted? (5+ / 0-)
    Republicans are the only group where a majority is opposed.
    Taken from
    Support for a $15 minimum wage is very strong among men and women, across all age groups, among
    strong and weak voters, among union and non-union households, among Democrats and Independents and
    in all areas of the city. Republicans are the only group where a majority is opposed.

    http://69.195.124.169/...
  •  Seattle-SF-Portland-Tacoma-L.A. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Another Grizzle, wu ming

    I am wagering the $15 minimum wage campaign goes just about in that order.

    My dream is to see Spokane with a $15 minimum wage. That would be sweet for them over there.

    "....No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth!"

    by Seattle Socialist on Wed May 14, 2014 at 11:57:11 AM PDT

    •  West Coast USA (0+ / 0-)

      I am only talking West Coast USA here, BTW.

      "....No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth!"

      by Seattle Socialist on Wed May 14, 2014 at 12:00:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It might (0+ / 0-)

      but I suspect everyone, everywhere is first going to sit back and see what happens in Seattle.

      Seattle is basically offering themselves up as an experiment and everyone will be interested in measuring (and spinning) the results.

      •  it already happened in sea-tac (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eyesoars

        unless i'm missing something, nothing catastrophic has happened to their economy yet. lord knows if it had, it'd be plastered all over the news.

        generally speaking, cities and states with the highest minimum wages have the best economies. this isn't rocket science, we've been having this conversation ever since the first minimum wages a century ago.

        •  Sea-Tac... (0+ / 0-)

          ...is small and relatively poor, so it probably isn't an especially good test case.  In addition, their $15 minimum wage has a lot of exemptions to the point that I think it may not apply to many employers.

          Seattle, on the other hand, should be interesting to watch.

          If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

          by TexasTom on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:01:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  revised $15 hr West Coast order.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      Sea-Tac - Seattle - San Francisco - L.A. - Tacoma - Portland

      unfortunately, Portland may take a little more time, because of stuff on the state end. but they will get there too.

      "....No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth!"

      by Seattle Socialist on Wed May 14, 2014 at 01:38:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not until the GOP strangle hold of Spokane ends (0+ / 0-)

      Step 1: Vote out Condon as Mayor
      Step 2: Vote out Al French as County Commissioner
      Step 3: Vote out the rest of the GOP Commissioner seats
      Step 4: Vote out Ozzy Kinezowich (sp?) as Sheriff
      Step 5: Ignore the Greater Spokane Chamber of Commerce [greaterspokane.org]
      Step 6: Complete the WSU School of Medicine
      Step 7: Vote out remaining Conservatives on City Council

  •  I am supporting $15/hr measures in this order: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Another Grizzle

    1. Mayor Ed's plan
    2. Sawant's plan
    3. Business backed plan

    And just my  own private personal poll indicates most of my friends/acquaintances agree, although there are a few Sawant hardliners, and even fewer GOP "Nothing" hardliners.

    •  I would change the sequence - (0+ / 0-)

      1. Sawant
      2. (Shaking head sadly) Ed
      Distant third, business backed plan

      Screw the phase-in, don't consider tips. The person serving my meal should be able to afford that same meal.

      Oh, and yeah, Mickey D, I'm talking to you. Two years to do a makeover for Ronald, and you came up with a creepier clown. http://www.nydailynews.com/...

      How about serving decent food and paying your employees a living wage?   A clown won't get me in the door.

      Georgia's governor signed into law a "guns everywhere bill" allowing residents of the state to carry guns anywhere in public, schools, churches, bars. You just never know when you'll need to shoot someone. Jerry Large

      by Piren on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:14:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting to note... (0+ / 0-)

      ...that the "middle of the road" plan (ie, the mayor's proposal) has the largest level of support.  It seems a bit like the Overton window getting pushed to the left for a change...

      If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

      by TexasTom on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:03:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This isn't surprising (0+ / 0-)

    The Mayor's plan has broad support from the business community, which alleviates any fears people might have about negative effects from the minimum wage increase.

  •  Germany (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notreadytobenice

    We need to constantly praise Germany, whose minimum wage is over $17.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Thu May 15, 2014 at 05:34:09 PM PDT

    •  Germany doesn't have a minimum wage methinks n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  pebcack error: see below. (NT) (0+ / 0-)

      Once you put convenient, lethal force in the mix, liberty becomes a zero sum game. -- DIgby on open carry.

      by Rikon Snow on Thu May 15, 2014 at 05:42:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is no blanket minimum wage in Germany... (0+ / 0-)

      And from what I've heard, while the minimum wages for native German workers are quite good, immigrant workers can get paid quite badly.

      If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

      by TexasTom on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:04:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  soon (0+ / 0-)
        Only Germany would come close to paying similar rates. Europe's biggest economy will introduce a national minimum wage next year for the first time, at 8.50 euros an hour. That's worth about $15 in the U.S.
        link

        Actions speak louder than petitions.

        by melvynny on Fri May 16, 2014 at 07:19:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I saw that after I posted (0+ / 0-)

          However, it is wrong to say that 8.50 euros is equal to $15 in the US.  In reality, at current exchange rates it is a bit under $12/hour...and if prices in Germany are comparable to Italy, it won't even stretch quite that far.

          If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

          by TexasTom on Fri May 16, 2014 at 11:07:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Average maybe, but not minimum. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexasTom
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has approved the country's first minimum wage, at 8.50 euros an hour (£7; $11.75), to start in 2015
    Source: BBC here

    Once you put convenient, lethal force in the mix, liberty becomes a zero sum game. -- DIgby on open carry.

    by Rikon Snow on Thu May 15, 2014 at 05:40:27 PM PDT

  •  Go Seattle, Washington! This is a big deal. n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rikon Snow, Piren, LSophia
  •  The problem I see is that in 7 years the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RabbleON, Piren, Spron

    minimum wage will need to be higher than $15.

    We need to jump to $15 right now and raise it every year along with inflation.

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature. If I had Bill Gates money, I'd buy Detroit.

    by ZenTrainer on Thu May 15, 2014 at 05:44:34 PM PDT

    •  Completely agree, JT. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZenTrainer

      Do it now and get it done. I'm willing to pay a few cents more per meal to assure that the workers receive a living wage.

      Georgia's governor signed into law a "guns everywhere bill" allowing residents of the state to carry guns anywhere in public, schools, churches, bars. You just never know when you'll need to shoot someone. Jerry Large

      by Piren on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:18:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  50% increase in one year (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZenTrainer

      That would be an interesting experiment.  Not sure that I think it would be a good idea, as it could be quite disruptive and result in quite a bit of (hopefully temporary) job losses.  

      If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

      by TexasTom on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:06:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The stong mayority... (0+ / 0-)

    have to be communist. We should send  Lanny Davis to overthrow that communist government ....oh is it Honduras...o Venezuela...ahl... is Seattle...sorry., never mind.

    •  Um, what? (0+ / 0-)

      We have a strong socialist in the city council. http://www.seattle.gov/...

      It's a good start. Though I have no idea what you're suggesting.  Lanny Davis because Benghazi?

      Georgia's governor signed into law a "guns everywhere bill" allowing residents of the state to carry guns anywhere in public, schools, churches, bars. You just never know when you'll need to shoot someone. Jerry Large

      by Piren on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:32:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry, (0+ / 0-)

    I was been sarcastic. Lanny Davis went to Honduras to help overthrow or consolidate the coup to remove Zelaya went he decide to increase the minimum wage in the central american nation...

    I believe the 15 dollars minimun is ok...but will be wiser to have a wage the adjust as the inflation go up.

    •  I think two of the plans (0+ / 0-)

      have cost-of-living increases built into them.

      I am so excited for my city.  Go, Seattle!

      •  If its such a great city (0+ / 0-)

        why didn't the employers just raise the wages anyway? After all, the majority of these positions are: a. in food service and retail; b. staffed by women; c. staffed by hispanic, black or asian workers.

        What's so great about a city it only does good when compelled to do so by the coercion of the state?

        Of course we're talking about a city where the minimum wage law will affect 24% of workers, and where the average white person earns more than twice of the average black person. More than twice.

        I suppose throwing out the scraps to the hungry so they don't get any revolutionary ideas is probably a good thing in the long run.

        •  Does it solve all of our problems? (0+ / 0-)

          No, of course not.  It doesn't eradicate systemic inequality, make housing more affordable or shore up our pathetic transit system, to name only a few.

          However, it is a huge step in the right rejection - and, for once, one mandated by the voters, and, for that, I rejoice.

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