Statement on Income Inequality and the Minimum Wage

We launched a process in December to begin to address in a meaningful and thoughtful way what President Obama has referred to as the ‘issue of our time’: income inequality.

Understanding the strong public support for raising Seattle’s minimum wage, our process brought to the table representatives of the employer, labor, worker and non-profit communities to craft a solution in a manner that could address the unique needs of each.

I want to acknowledge the strong commitment and tremendous, good-faith effort of the committee members over these past several months. We are very, very close to a deal that all stakeholders can agree with, but we are still not there yet.

Tomorrow at 1:15 p.m., I am prepared to announce a plan for how we raise the minimum wage in this city. Standing with me, I hope, will be members of my Income Inequality Advisory Committee. And it is my hope that it will be all the members of my advisory committee. We may reach an agreement by tomorrow, we may not. But in either case, we will get to a good, thoughtful, meaningful solution that reflects the input and concerns of all who will be affected – which has been the goal of this process all along.

At some point, the interest in the process yields to an interest in the final product – and tomorrow we reach that point.