The following is from Working Washington:
SEATTLE (July 16, 2014) — King County Elections has now reviewed well over half of the referendum petitions submitted by Forward Seattle, and their fringe effort to repeal the minimum wage law has come up short. So far, 15,004 of Forward Seattle’s 18,928 petition signatures have been reviewed, and only 11,412 have been validated as legitimate signatures from actual voters — a 76% verification rate. At this point, Forward Seattle could not meet the minimum standard of 16,510 valid signatures even if every single one of the 3,924 remaining signatures were verified.
The numbers are clear: Forward Seattle’s minimum wage repeal will not qualify for the ballot. Our phased-in $15 minimum wage law will take effect as passed unanimously by the City Council and signed into law by the Mayor.
“Getting $15 will change my life because I wouldn’t feel like I’m in debt with everybody,” said Terran Lyons, a Seattle McDonald’s worker and a leader with Working Washington. “I could pay my bills on time and give my kids what they need. If my son loses his shoe when he’s playing outside, I won’t have to be worried about how I can buy him a new pair.”
Support for the $15 minimum wage law is so strong in Seattle that once word got out to the public that Forward Seattle was using misleading tactics to try and repeal the minimum wage, signature gathering ground to a halt — even moving in reverse as hundreds of people formally withdrew their signatures from the referendum in the final hours.
Seattle made history by taking on the crisis of income inequality with a $15 minimum wage will help ensure everyone can support themselves, afford the basics, and contribute to the economy. It will raise up Seattle’s 100,000 low-wage workers, providing a $3 billion boost to the economy over the next decade that will generate abundant opportunities for every business that is looking to bring in more customers.
The first raises under Seattle’s minimum wage law take effect April 1, 2015, and the first group of Seattle workers reaches $15/hour on January 1, 2017.