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Socialist councilmember promises $15 an hour in Seattle next year

Socialist City Councilmember Kshama Sawant announced at City Hall Tuesday she will introduce a minimum wage bill in Seattle. (KIRO Radio/Tim Haeck)

The candidate whose main campaign theme was $15 an hour is promising to introduce a minimum wage bill in Seattle.

Socialist Kshama Sawant told reporters at a City Hall news conference that she is buoyed by the passage of a $15 an hour minimum wage in the city of SeaTac in November.

“$15 is a figure that has captured the imagination of working people all over the country,” she said. “This is something working people want to fight for.” She calls a minimum wage bill an obligation saying it will bring about a “substantial improvement in people’s standard of living.”

Representatives of organized labor and the NAACP joined Sawant at the news conference to declare their support for a minimum wage bill.

Sawant said she’s still gathering information and wants the law to be “as inclusive as possible,” but she would not offer other details of her proposal.

“I’m talking to research economists and policy analysts, people who have a lot of experience doing this kind of work,” said Sawant.

In January, Sawant is asking people to declare their support for a minimum wage law by visiting a new website and signing up.

“This cannot happen over a decade or so, this has to happen as soon as possible,” said Sawant. She said she wants to make 2014 “the year of $15 an hour.”

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