Minneapolis just passed a nearly unanimous bill bumping the minimum wage up to $15. It will be phased in over the next seven years, and a little faster for larger businesses. A crowd of activists from 15 Now and Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL) had packed the city council office to witness the vote, and they broke out into celebration afterwards. But constituents aren’t the only ones feeling elated. Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison was so pumped that he sang a song on Twitter.
The video follows a classic folk song format in which the singer converses a little beforehand. Someone named Isaiah chats with Ellison from off camera as Ellison sits on his desk strumming his guitar. Ellison asks him what he’s up to, and Isaiah tells him he’s “celebrating this win.”
“Whats the news brother?” asks Ellison.
Isaiah tells him, “We just passed $15!”
At the end, Ellison thanks the people who marched as well as the city council for fighting for and passing the bill.
Other politicians had equally upbeat things to say about the law’s passage, if in a less musical fashion. “Today, we uplift all workers,” Council Member Abdi Warsame, said in a letter to be read aloud in her absence. “Today’s vote, while historic, is just another step in our unending journey to build a better city.” Council Member Lisa Bender addressed the 15 Now and CTUL activists who were present at the vote.“This is a huge victory for workers in Minneapolis … thank you for all of your work and all that you’ve done.”
Seattle, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., have also approved a minimum wage hike in recent years. Other cities throughout the country are grappling with the same issue, with mixed results. Evanston, Illinois for example, is voting today on whether or not they will block a minimum wage increase approved in October amidst the state’s larger budget crisis. But Minneapolis adds momentum to a growing movement, one that Ellison promises he’ll contribute to from Capitol Hill. “We’re going to fight here in Washington, you guys are fighting there in Minneapolis,” he says in his video. “We’re fighting all over the country so the American people can get a raise. Let’s go get it.”
(Via Star Tribune)