NAACP Commends Sea-Tac, Seattle and New Jersey on Victories in Minimum Wage Fights

(Washington, DC)– The NAACP released the following statement commending the city of Sea-Tac, Washington and the state of New Jersey on its victories in raising the minimum wage. Sea-Tac voters approved Proposition 1, which raises the minimum wage to $15 an hour for travel-related industries in the airport and in the city and calls for annual increases tied to inflation, paid sick leave and tip protection. Employers are also required to offer part-time workers more hours before hiring additional part-timers and to keep employees for at least three months after an ownership change. New Jersey voters approved raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour and also voted to amend the state Constitution to tie future increases to inflation. New Jersey becomes the 20th state to establish a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum.


From Lorraine Miller, Interim President & CEO of the NAACP

"In this economy, Americans must earn a living wage to attain a higher living standard, make ends meet and support their families,” stated Lorraine Miller, Interim NAACP President & CEO. “Raising the minimum wage is a necessary step to address our country’s record level income inequality and to build an economy that works for everyone.   We are encouraged by Sea-Tac and New Jersey’s victories for workers’ rights and will continue to move onward in our fight for economic justice and fairness for all.”

From Hilary Shelton, the Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau and the Sr.  VP of Policy & Advocacy

“No one in America should be working and poor,” stated Hilary Shelton, Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau and the  Sr.VP of Policy & Advocacy. “It’s unfair and unjust. The city of Sea-Tac and state of New Jersey are moving the minimum wage fight in the right direction for workers and the economy. Low wage workers are comprising a larger sector of our workforce and we need to advance policies that ensure they are empowered with economic opportunities to support themselves and their families.”

From Dedrick Muhammad, Sr. Director of NAACP Economic Department

“Raising the minimum wage is a necessary step to bridging racial economic inequality,” stated Dedrick Muhammad, Sr. Director of NAACP Economic Department.  “With black and brown communities disproportionately represented as low wage workers and becoming a larger segment of our country’s workforce, we must have livable wages to grow a racially inclusive middle class and to grow our country’s economy.”

From Gerald Hankerson, NAACP Alaska Washington Oregon State Area Conference President

“This is a great day in Sea-Tac, Washington! Income inequality is back on the civil rights agenda,” stated Gerald Hankerson, NAACP Alaska Washington Oregon State Area Conference President. “We are signaling what every day Americans having been saying for years: we are ready for economic fairness to be back at the forefront of our national conversation and policy agenda.”

From Richard T. Smith, NAACP New Jersey State Conference President

“The voters of New Jersey have spoken,” stated Richard T. Smith, NAACP New Jersey State Conference President.  “In just New Jersey alone, the average person must earn $28,000.00 to meet their basic necessities.
The passage of this ordinance and amending the constitution so minimum wage is tied to annual cost of living increases is a necessary step to making sure our people are more economically secure.”


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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.  You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

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