Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has revealed the details of a promised “Income Inequality Symposium” scheduled later this month on the Seattle U campus just days before another massive show of support is planned for the $15 Now movement.
Saturday, supporters of City Council member Kshama Sawant’s push for a $15 minimum wage will gather in the Central District’s Judkins Park before a march on the city to demand the higher wages. The March for $15 on March 15 event is expected to be part of similar efforts across the country. The Seattle event information is here —
All eyes are on Seattle. We can win a battle in the war against poverty wages. Our city is poised to be the first major city in the U.S. to pass a $15/hour minimum wage for all workers. A win here will improve the lives of tens of thousands of low-wage workers and their families. It will send a shockwave across the country and help spark a national movement for better wages and working conditions.
The rally is expected to begin at 1 PM The march route has not been announced publicly at this time.
The mayor’s symposium, meanwhile, is slated for two weeks later on the 27th on Seattle University’s 12th and E Madison campus. CHS reported last week on the start of public hearings on raising Seattle’s minimum wage and the growing push for protecting small and independent businesses in the process.
The upcoming symposium will be structured to provide additional guidance to the mayor’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee. The committee has an end-of-April deadline for providing recommendations to Murray on raising the minimum wage. Meanwhile, Sawant’s camp continues to prepare legislation that she has promised to present to Council in “early 2014.” $15 Now and other groups are also pushing forward on preparations for possible ballot initiatives to turn the decision over to voters.
In an announcement Thursday, Murray’s office revealed details of the March 27th session described as a “symposium featuring panelists and experts from around the nation.”
Announced speakers and panelists include San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos; Philadelphia City Council member Wilson Goode; Chicago Alders Roderick Sawyer, Toni Foulkes, John Arena, Lori Pfingst, Center for Budget and Policy; Dorian Warren, Columbia University; Michael Reich and Ken Jacobs, Berkeley; Marieka Klawitter and Bob Plotnik, University of Washington, and Paul Sonn, National Employment Law Project. Murray and Council member Nick Licata will also be on hand “as well as local business leaders and other stakeholders being announced daily,” the announcement promises.
The full-day symposium is free to attend but you must register here. And bring $5 if you want lunch.