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

Dec 19, 2013, 1:45 PM | Updated: 2:29 pm

Seattle’s new mayor wants a plan in place to address income inequality within his first 100 d...

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

(AP Photo/File)

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 News

Photo: A driver uses a phone while behind the wheel of a car on April 30, 2016 in New York City....

Micki Gamez

AAA: Washington is one of the worst states for distracted driving

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and to to shine a light on the subject, AAA Washington has teamed up with Safe Drive Club.

10 hours ago

Photo: Police arrested a man accused of shooting a Tacoma boxing legend...

Julia Dallas

Police make arrest in shooting of Tacoma boxing legend following nationwide manhunt

Police have arrested a 27-year-old man in connection with the shooting of a Tacoma boxing legend after a nationwide search.

11 hours ago

byrd barr place a/c...

Frank Sumrall

Byrd Barr Place providing A/C units to qualifying low-income families

Byrd Barr Place is offering energy assistance for lower-income households, including gifting available air-conditioning (A/C) units to those in need.

12 hours ago

Photo: A utility box was damaged after a person recklessly drove through an Auburn park....

James Lynch

Teen driver arrested after allegedly tearing through crowded Auburn park, hitting woman

An Auburn park was crowded with people last Saturday when an 18-year-old driver jumped the curb and sped through.

13 hours ago

seattle police...

Frank Sumrall

‘SPD is dying’: What Seattle police officers are saying during exit interviews

When asked what had a negative effect on morale in their exit interviews, Seattle police officers were nearly united in their responses.

14 hours ago

Photo: Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom at...

Michael R. Sisak, Jennifer Peltz, Eric Tucker and Jake Offenhartz, The Associated Press

Trump tried to ‘corrupt’ the 2016 election, prosecutor alleges as hush money trial gets underway

Trump tried to illegally influence the 2016 election by preventing damaging stories about himself from becoming public, a prosecutor said.

17 hours ago

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