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:
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.