US Labor Secretary + Mayor + Minimum Wage Advocates Gather at Island Soul

I somehow missed this one last week, but Theo Martin’s Island Soul hosted an event on Wednesday celebrating the first day of Seattle’s $15-a-day minimum wage plan.The guest list was pretty impressive,with US Labor Secretary, Tom Perez; the Mayor; city council members; and other minimum wage advocates all participating. The Seattle PI’s website has the best coverage of the event:

Photo: Josh Trujilo. Seattle PI

Photo: Josh Trujilo. Seattle PI

The first pay hike in Seattle’s $15-an-hour minimum wage plan kicked in Wednesday, hours after Republican leaders signaled they won’t allow the Washington state Senate to vote on a more modest plan for a $12 statewide minimum wage.

“You are setting the trend for America,” U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez told a boisterous gathering hosted at Island Soul.

Theo Martin, owner of the popular Columbia City restaurant, laid on a special $15 lunch and said he is already paying $15-an-hour, which some small businesses don’t have to reach until 2021.  He equated good wages with good business.

“Half the crew we have were there when I opened the door ten years ago,” said Martin.  “I want it so people can do more than just work here.  They can eat here as well.”

The article goes on to address the road ahead for the plan, including opposition in Olympia.

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