Photo Credit: (flickr / Bob Simpson)
The Minneapolis City Council passed a law Friday making it the first Midwestern city to adopt a $15 minimum wage, increasing the salaries of 71,000 workers by 2024.
With the historic vote, Minneapolis joins a growing wave of progressive U.S. cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C., where the Fight for $15 movement and other grassroots organizations have scored major labor victories.
— Fight For 15 (@fightfor15) June 30, 2017
Before the vote, which passed 12-1, Minneapolis city council members credited activists and organizers from Fight for $15 and Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha for pushing the bill forward.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) tweeted a video of himself singing “Money (That’s What I Want)” in celebration of the news.
The Minneapolis City Council just approved raising the minimum wage to $15!
That’s such good news, I had to sing a song to celebrate. pic.twitter.com/puxBV8lA7G
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) June 30, 2017
“Keep it up. We’re going to fight here in Washington, you guys are fighting there in Minneapolis, we’re fighting all over the country so the American people can get a raise,” Ellison said.
In May, Ellison, the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, alongside Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the Senate introduced a $15 minimum wage bill that has little chance of passing in a Republican-controlled Congress.
In the face of austerity and social safety net cuts in the federal government, grassroots organizers and activists are looking more and more to local and state arenas to implement policies that combat poverty and inequality.
Lauren Kaori Gurley is a freelance writer and master’s candidate in Latin American studies and journalism at New York University. Her work has been published in In These Times, the American Prospect and the American Journal of Economics and Sociology. Follow her @laurenkgurley.