House to Vote on Raising Federal Minimum Wage to $15

“What we’re doing is working,” said Mr. Wise, an early member and longtime leader of the Fight for $15 movement. “We’re a powerful voting bloc, and we will take that power to the ballot box.”

The push for a $15 minimum wage began in New York City, when a group called New York Communities for Change started visiting fast-food restaurants and talking to workers about their grievances. Along with the Service Employees International Union, it invited them to organizing meetings in Brooklyn. After getting together and talking, the workers decided to ask their employers for $15 and a union.

Even though $15 seemed out of reach, the workers settled on it because they thought it would enable them to afford rent, the subway, and the other costs of life in and around one of the more expensive cities on earth. About 200 people went on strike to demand the higher wage on Nov. 29, 2012, and a movement was born.

“Fast food workers always believed that there would be a national shift to $15,” said Mary Kay Henry, head of Service Employees International Union, which has helped provide institutional support to Fight for $15 from the outset. She recalled marching alongside them in 2012 and thinking that the goal was ambitious — because Democrats were talking about $9 and $10.10 minimums at the time. “I remember thinking, ‘Holy moly. How long is this going to take us?’”

Seven states have now passed legislation to gradually raise wages to $15, and cities including San Francisco and New York City already pay that much. In total, 29 states now have floors higher than the federal minimum, according to the Labor Department.

Companies have even joined in, with corporations including Amazon and Target raising their base wages to $15. By the 2016 midterm elections, $15 was resonating at a national level, making it into the Democratic Party platform. Support for striking workers has become common among Democratic presidential hopefuls including South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

“The successes in the municipalities and states are key,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who is now president of the American Action Forum. “All of that laid down the predicate that people wanted this.”


more recommended stories

  • Putting a Positive Spin on Oil Exploration in the Arctic Refuge

    When the Trump administration first pushed.

  • On Politics: Trump Returns to N.R.A.’s Side

    Gun rights advocates have waged an.

  • President Trump Cancels Trip to Denmark After Greenland Spat

    WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday.

  • Why the 2020 Criminal Justice Debate Is Completely Different

    Marijuana would be decriminalized, mass incarceration.

  • As Wildfires Get Worse, Insurers Pull Back From Riskiest Areas

    “It’s not necessarily the property that’s.

  • Julián Castro Qualifies for the Next Democratic Debate

    The former housing secretary Julián Castro.

  • Trump’s Rollback of Auto Pollution Rules Shows Signs of Disarray

    That means the process is now.

  • On Politics: Trump Prepares for Economic Trouble

    • Justice Department lawyers told the.

  • Jill Biden, Stressing Trump Matchup, Makes a Blunt Case for Her Husband

    Jill Biden laid out the political.

  • Apologies and Scorn Greet News of a Book by Mark Halperin

    Reports of a new book deal.

  • ‘I Am Sorry for Harm I Have Caused,’ Warren Tells Native American Forum – Video

    Channels & Shows Home Search U.S..

  • Elizabeth Warren to Appear at Native American Forum

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Senator Elizabeth.

  • ‘I Can Still Smell Him’: For 4 Legislators, This Law Is Personal

    Yuh-Line Niou told no one for.

  • On Politics: Trump’s Economic Conspiracy

    As the economy shows ominous signs,.

  • In Economic Warning Signals, Trump Sees Signs of a Conspiracy

    And signs of damage from Mr..

  • Julián Castro’s Obama Moment – The New York Times

    Mr. Castro divided his remarks into.

  • After Trump Body Shames Him, Supporter Says ‘I Love the Guy’

    Sometimes the self-declared greatest counterpuncher in.

  • U.S. Can Block Migrants Seeking Asylum, but Only in Some States, Appeals Court Rules

    A federal appeals court said Friday.

  • House Panel Will End Recess Early for Gun Safety Votes

    WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee,.

  • Lawmakers Accuse State Dept. of Defying Federal Law by Missing Deadlines for Yemen Reports

    WASHINGTON — In defiance of federal.

  • Debate Flares Over Afghanistan as Trump Considers Troop Withdrawal

    Skeptics say it is naïve to.

  • Trump’s Pittsburgh Speech Was a Paying Gig for Audience

    Thousands of union workers at a.

  • How Stephen Miller Rode an Anti-Immigration Wave to the White House

    Once a lonely cause, restrictionism had.

  • Israel’s Alliance With Trump Creates New Tensions Among American Jews

    A rabbi in St. Louis Park,.

  • In D.C., Trading Politics for a Paddle

    We launched into the Potomac River.

  • Joseph Kennedy III Said to Be Eying Edward Markey’s Massachusetts Senate Seat

    Mr. Kennedy delivered the Democratic response.

  • Eyeing Greenland, Trump Again Mixes Real Estate With Diplomacy

    WASHINGTON — Go ahead and file.

  • Peace Road Map for Afghanistan Will Let Taliban Negotiate Women’s Rights

    WASHINGTON — Roya Rahmani is neither.

  • After Trump Body Shames Him, Supporter Says ‘I Love the Guy’

    Sometimes the self-declared greatest counterpuncher in.

  • Fact-Checking Trump’s New Hampshire Rally

    What Trump Said “We have incredible.

  • Israel Says Rashida Tlaib Can Visit to See Her Grandmother

    This is a developing story. Please.

  • On Politics: Israel Denies Entry to Congresswomen

    • Despite ringing declarations of support.