By Jeff Highbarger
Seattle has made history. On Tuesday, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to approve a serious hike in the minimum wage, from the current state minimum of $9.32 to $15. This will be the highest minimum wage in the country, and it is estimated that it will affect as many as 100,000 workers will stand to benefit from this bold action.
As we have seen massive levels of inequality stare us in the face over the past few decades, this move has to be seen as a sign of people finally standing up and demanding that any system that redistributes wealth from the poor to the rich be replaced with a system that keeps anyone who is willing to work from having to live in poverty. There is hope that this minimum wage movement will spread across the country, and there are signs that this is happening.
While the implementation of the increase is a little convoluted (between three years and seven years, depending on the size of your business and a few other factors like whether you offer health insurance to your employees), the message is clear; anyone who works in Seattle, one of the most expensive and wealthiest cities in the nation, then that worker deserves a living wage.
This is a moment to be proud of our leaders for finally advocating for the majority, and not an elite few. This is a moment to be proud of all of the grassroots activists who made those leaders finally tackle the issue of inequality with more than just rhetoric.
This is a moment to be proud to live in Seattle.
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