Mayor Murray statement on minimum wage charter amendment

Mayor Murray released the following statement today:

“From the very beginning of a process that I launched in December, my goal has been to raise the minimum wage in Seattle  – but to do so smartly, and in a way that avoids a costly battle at the ballot between business and labor.

It was never my understanding that a charter amendment would not be allowed on the ballot in November; in fact, I was working from the opposite premise. There were several ballot measures that I believe could have easily gone to the ballot to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour overnight. Any one of them could have gotten the required number of signatures, and, I believe, any one of them could have won – which I also believe would have been harmful to our business community.

We all witnessed the $15 minimum wage initiative battle in SeaTac, and there was considerable momentum and pressure to use the very powerful initiative tool here in Seattle.  The threat of a petition to voters on this question – whether an initiative or charter amendment – was very real.

Our process produced a bold policy with a progressive outcome, but takes a rather conservative approach along the way. I continue to believe it’s the best deal for workers, the business community and the best approach for our city as a whole.”