The politics of Seattle's $15 minimum wage

Date created: 
2015-12-15
Identifier: 
etd9411
Keywords: 
Keynesianism
Minimum wage
$15
Urban social movements
Neoliberalism
Seattle
Abstract: 

Why did the City of Seattle pass a citywide minimum wage ordinance, increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour from the Washington state minimum wage of $9.47 per hour? This is an inquiry into the political workings of Seattleā€™s $15 minimum wage from both a policy perspective and a political activism perspective. I conducted an analysis of documents and public hearing videos from the City of Seattle and media documents on the ordinance to better understand the policy history surrounding the ordinance. I also conducted semi-structured, in-depth interviews with political actors involved in either activism or policymaking for the ordinance. I found that there were three crucial elements that worked together to create the Seattle minimum wage: Keynesian rhetoric, the election of City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, and political activism for a $15 minimum wage, with political activism working as a catalyst for the other elements.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Peter V. Hall
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.
Statistics: