Mayor-Elect Ed Murray Announces Plan to Raise the Minimum Wage


December 19, 2013

Contact: Jeff Reading, Office of the Mayor-elect

(206) 684-3952,

SEATTLE – Calling it a “disparity strikes at the very core of who we are as a democratic society,” Mayor-elect Ed Murray today committed to addressing Seattle’s growing income divide, and – in a first step toward that commitment – announced his plans to raise Seattle’s minimum wage.

“Our city is becoming an unaffordable city for too many middle-class families, artists, students, young people, service-industry workers, immigrants new to the country,” said Murray, who personally endorsed the goal of a fifteen-dollar-per-hour minimum wage during the mayoral campaign. “Seattle really is on the cusp of falling beyond the financial reach of too many of those who give our city its diverse character – of the very people who make this city run.”

Murray stood at a press conference with leaders in business, labor, members of the City Council and other community stakeholders who have agreed to serve on his ‘Income Inequality Advisory Committee,’ a workgroup charged with delivering an actionable set of recommendations for increasing the minimum wage within Seattle. The Advisory Committee will be co-chaired by David Rolf, President of SEIU 775NW, and H.S. Wright III, founder and CEO of the Seattle Hospitality Group.

“These individuals are not here as the latest installment of the Seattle process,” said Murray. “They are here to participate in a structured effort, within a defined timeframe, with clear goals and clear deadlines, while driving toward a clear end-product – which is a proposal I can submit to City Council this summer.”

The Advisory Committee will submit its recommendations by May 2014 to Murray, who will then transmit a formal proposal for City Council review and action by the end of July.

“We can boost the earnings of low-wage workers in a meaningful way and increase the economic activity of the region that comes with greater spending power – and we can do it without harming our employers or losing jobs,” said Murray.

Here is Mayor-Elect Murray’s Statement of Purpose.

The Advisory Committee roster can be found below.



Roster, Mayor-elect Murray’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee





David Rolf President SEIU 775NW
David Freiboth Executive Secretary MLK Labor Council
Sarah Cherin Dir. Gov. Relations UFCW 21
Diane Sosne President SEIU 1199NW
Nick Hanauer Partner Second Ave Partners
Pramila Jayapal Co-Chair We Belong Together
Eric Liu Founder Citizen University
Bob Donegan President/CEO Ivar’s Restaurant
Joe Fugere Owner Tutta Bella
Dave Meinert Owner Onto Entertainment
Craig Dawson President Retail Lockbox
Craig Shafer Owner Hotel Andra
H.S. Wright III Founder and CEO Seattle Hospitality Group
Janet Ali Human Resources Supervisor Nucor Steel
Ronald Wilkowski Executive Financial Services
Genevieve Aguilar Port Campaigns Director Puget Sound Sage
Maud Daudon President/CEO Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
Michael Wells Executive Director Cap Hill Chamber of Commerce
Pamela Banks President/CEO Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
David Watkins President Seattle Hotel Association
Bruce Harrell Councilmember  
Nick Licata Councilmember  
Kshama Sawant Councilmember-elect  
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