Murray980
Seattle's new mayor wants a plan in place to address income inequality within his first 100 days in office. (AP Photo/File)

Seattle's new mayor makes move toward $15 wage, addresses inequality

Seattle's new mayor wants a plan in place to address income inequality within his first 100 days in office.

Seattle Mayor-elect Ed Murray released a list of strategies Thursday to address opportunity gaps that threaten Seattle's diverse character.

"Is this going to be a city for the rich? Or is this going to be a city that's diverse economically, racially, ethically? That's the challenge before us," says Murray.

Murray wants to make affordable housing more available, and strengthen the city's public transit system to connect more people to their jobs.

He also mentioned offering education and training options structured to help working adults, and link them to better paying jobs, according to a list of strategies released by his newly appointed Income Inequality Advisory Committee.

Murray chose a diverse group of people in business, labor, government and academics to hash out the details.

His plan comes on the heels of mounting pressure to raise the minimum wage to $15 in Seattle. Earlier this month, supporters of the $15 minimum wage marched from SeaTac to Seattle, where Proposition 1 was passed after the October election, making SeaTac the first $15 minimum wage city in the nation.

While Murray says he supports a minimum wage increase, he says that's not how to fix the inequality problem altogether. "The issue of minimum wage is only one part of how we're going to address an affordable Seattle. We need to look at issues of housing, of education."

Murray's committee will be co-chaired by one business and one labor leader to address a "meaningful increase in the compensation for Seattle workers."

Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant, who is a member of the committee, says she will wait until April to decide whether to push for an initiative to the people. Earlier this week, she said she wanted to put the issue to the voters.

Murray says he wants the council to decide this issue and doesn't want business and labor to waste money on an expensive initiative campaign.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


MyNorthwest.com, Staff report
The team that brings you MyNorthwest.com
Top Stories

  • Failing
    So far, it's good news for car tab fees in King County, and bad news for bus riders

  • Minimum Age Debate
    There's a push to raise the age to from 18 to 21 in order to legally buy tobacco

  • Time for Change, Already
    Shannon Drayer is expecting some changes after the Mariners' eighth straight loss
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know a student who stands out in the classroom, school and community?
Help make their dreams come true by nominating them for a $1,000 scholarship and a chance to earn a $10,000 Grand Prize. Brought to you by KIRO Radio and Comprehensive Wealth Management.

Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.