Patrick Robinson
Demonstrators walked, chanted, sang, carried banners and spoke about their effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, outside the McDonald's restaurant in the Admiral District on Thurs. Feb 20.

McPoverty demonstrators demand $15 hour minimum wage in West Seattle protest

The West Seattle Admiral District McDonald's restaurant was the local scene of a city wide series of demonstrations attempting to draw attention to an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. The demonstrators marched, carried banners and signs, chanted, sang and spoke about the issue.

Organizer Sage Wilson of Working Washington said, "We think a city wide call to boycott poverty wage fast food outlets, McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's means people across the city saw and heard about the crisis in low wage jobs, how it's hurting workers and it's hurting our economy. It renewed the call for a $15 minimum wage for fast food and for all workers that lifts them out of poverty and boosts the economy for everyone. When workers have more money, they spend it at local businesses.

In an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted in December, two thirds of Americans agree that an increase in the minimum wage is a good idea but the average response was around $10.25, not the $15 the demonstrators and others are calling for. The Congressional Budget Office report released Jan. 18 says that 900 thousand workers would be lifted out of poverty with an increase to $10.10 but also points out that some 500 thousand might lose their jobs at least in the short term.

Wilson said, "I can throw three studies out that disprove that and they can throw three out that prove it. We can debate studies all day. People should be doing that, the data is important but what I see is sort of a common sense thing. When we look at every time before the minimum wage is increased in our state or elsewhere business owners always say the same thing, 'The sky is about to fall'. But every time the minimum wage does go up that's not what we see happen. I think the experience is that you can tell a lot of stories before something like this happens and it sounds like it's going to be a disaster but the reality is, it always ends up better. The sky's not gonna fall."

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