The fight to raise minimum the wage to $15 in Minneapolis began four years ago as fast food workers began demanding $15 and a union. By 2015, there was a full-on citywide campaign with almost no support in City Hall. During that time we were told that we were dreaming a little too big, that Minneapolis wasn’t ready, that we had just raised the minimum wage to $9.50, that raising the minimum wage to $15 would just be too impossible to achieve, and that we should reconsider to something more practical. "Perhaps $12 an hour?"
But workers kept fighting for what they deserve: a living wage. Together with our coalition partners, we have built an independent power made up of workers who challenged the political powers to fight for what they deserve, daring to imagine the politically impossible into reality and demand change in powerful ways.
On the day our office burned down, two years ago, we had planned a march for a $15 minimum wage. Despite the upheaval and shock of finding ourselves without a space, we occupied the streets as planned. We marched, we danced, and we raised our voices boldly demanding a world for workers.
Last year, in the face of inaction from the city, workers collected 20,000 petition signatures to take a $15 minimum wage to the ballot for voters to decide. When the City Council blocked it from going to the ballot, we sued them, and won -- only for the Minnesota Supreme Court to rule against us and strike it from the ballot. So now here we are. Minneapolis City Council has proposed a citywide $15 minimum wage ordinance that will increase in increments within 5 years until it’s completely implemented in 2022. The entire month of June will be the summation of the work we’ve put in the last few years -- and we need your voice! Here's a glimpse of our timeline:
- June 22, 3:00 PM - Public hearing on $15 wage ordinance. We need your voice! If you can only come to City Hall once this month, come on June 22. Join us to make sure the City Council hears why a $15 minimum wage is so important to you and to our community! Testimony will begin at 3:30 and go until the last person has spoken.
- June 28, 3:00 PM - City Council Committee of the Whole meeting for amendments. There will be no testimony on this day -- but if you can, join us to make sure the ordinance gets stronger, not weaker!
- June 30, 9:30 AM - Final vote/passage of $15 wage ordinance. Join us as the Council passes the final ordinance into law!
It's a historic month for the Fight for $15 in Minneapolis! Thanks for everything you've done to get us here -- now, let's take it over the finish line together.