NAACP Releases Statement on Seattle Decision to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 per hour


(Washington, DC) – Today the NAACP released the following statement applauding the Seattle City Council's historic vote yesterday to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour – the highest in the United States. The plan, which includes a lower training wage aimed at teenagers, will phase in the higher, local minimum over three to seven years, depending on the size of the business and benefits they provide employees. Next April 1, when the plan takes effect, every worker will get at least a $1-an-hour raise.

From Hilary Shelton, VP of Policy and Advocacy:

“We applaud the city of Seattle for their leadership in ensuring that their workers have more of a livable wage to support their families. We appreciate Seattle’s initiative in following President Obama who has demonstrated his commitment to fair pay by signing an executive order to raise the minimum wage for employees of federal contract workers.  Congress – both the House and Senate – must take note that the tide is turning and it’s time they follow suit and move to pass the Minimum Wage Fairness Act so that all Americans can have a decent wage for a good days work.”

From Dedrick Muhammad, Sr. Director of NAACP Economic Department:

“The NAACP believes that every worker deserves a livable wage.  The divide between the rich and poor in this country has grown astronomically over the last four decades.  We commend the Seattle NAACP and all those advocates who have worked so hard to make Seattle the new national leader in having a living wage as a minimum wage.”

From Gerald Hankerson, President, Alaska, Oregon and Washington State Conference and of Seattle NAACP:

I commend Seattle for setting the stage in closing the opportunity gap between the rich and the poor. One of the main challenges being faced by working class Americans is the fact that workers’ pay no longer rises with their productivity and hard work.  Seattle’s decision is a game changer and I believe this victory can build similar economic justice and fairness movements across the country for all American workers.”



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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