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Socialist city councilmember helps launch '15 Now' campaign for $15 minimum wage

Hundreds of people gathered at the Seattle Labor Temple Sunday for the launch of the "15 Now" campaign, an effort to bring a $15 minimum wage to all workers in the city. Speakers at the event included newly-elected socialist City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant. (KIRO Radio/Brandi Kruse)

Hundreds gathered at a rally in Seattle Sunday to demand a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage.

The gathering at the Seattle Labor Temple marked the launch of the "15 Now" campaign, led by newly-elected socialist City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant.

"We can make this $15 an hour demand the first step of a long series of demands that we need to raise in order to reverse the falling standards of living," Sawant told reporters before the event.

Philip Locker, a campaign organizer, said working people have been hammered during a time of record profits for businesses.

"We think it's modest and quite compromising to put forward the idea of $15. That is not a living wage. It would be a big step forward, but we need far more. A living wage would be more than $15," Locker said.

During her speech, Sawant pledged to donate $15,000 of her six-figure city council salary to the campaign each year.

The group has planned a second rally for Martin Luther King Day.

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