A new poll conducted by EMC Research finds a remarkable 68% level of support for a $15 minimum wage among likely voters in Seattle City Council District 6 (Fremont, Ballard, Greenwood). Overall support reaches an identical 68% citywide and is incredibly robust across all seven council districts. (Specific highlights available online; EMC Research has also made their full polling memo publicly available.)
These remarkable results come little more than a week before "Boycott McPoverty”, the February 20th one-day citywide boycott of the big burger chains (McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's) in Fremont, Ballard, Greenwood, and citywide called by Seattle fast food workers.
"I work at the Ballard Wendy's & and I’m struggling to support two children,” explained Teresa Fuentes, a fast food worker who both lives & works in the area, and has joined the call to Boycott McPoverty February 20th. "For one child who's a teen, it is hard to keep up with her expenses between paying for her phone bill and special clothes. For my four year old it is also difficult because every time I go to the store they want candy or a small toy and it's hard to say no. With a $15 minimum wage, I would be able to afford my car insurance which I can't afford right now. I would be able to get decent food, because right now I go to the food bank a lot of the time. The food from there goes bad in a day, and I would like to have the choice to go to the store and buy fresh food. I would be able to buy more clothes for my daughter and toys for my son instead of going to Goodwill."
"I think this boycott is necessary because it's important that everybody notice us and realize that we're hardworking people,” Teresa continued. "We need to stand up for our rights. A lot of people get comfortably without knowing that we struggle to get by. There's money for everything but not for us. The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. It's important to distribute money in a better way so that everyone has a dignified life.”
Burger outlets in the area which will be affected by Boycott McPoverty on February 20th include:
* Burger King - Ballard * McDonald's - Ballard * Wendy's - Ballard * McDonald's - Crown Hill
Who: Seattle fast-food workers and other supporters of $15 for Seattle
What: Call on the city to "Boycott McPoverty" in a one-day citywide boycott of the big burger chains (McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's) to support $15 for Seattle.
When: Thursday, February 20, 2014, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Where: All 25 big burger chain outlets inside city limits.
In less than 9 months, the Seattle fast food strikes have given birth to a wildly popular movement to boost the economy by ensuring workers are paid enough to support themselves. On May 30th, the day of the first strikes, the call for $15 was received as a quixotic aspiration destined for failure. But on Election Day, voters in SeaTac and Seattle made moved the issue dramatically forwards, and as Mayor Murray's task force discusses the best way to implement a $15 minimum wage, a broad consensus has coalesced in support of the call initially articulated by fast food workers.
* 68% of likely Seattle voters support a $15 minimum wage vs. just 25% who oppose
* Support is strong in every council district:
* District 1 (West Seattle): 58% - 37%
* District 2 (South Seattle): 74% - 17%
* District 3 (Capitol Hill): 71% - 20%
* District 4 (U District/Wallingford/Ravenna): 76% - 14%
* District 5 (Northgate/North Seattle): 75% - 23%
* District 6 (Ballard/Greenwood): 68% - 25%
* District 7 (Queen Anne/Downtown): 60% - 32%
* Strong enforcement rules (including fines) win 86% support
* Three in four voters agree that "If workers in Seattle earn higher wages, our entire community benefits"
* 71% agree that "A higher minimum wage helps local businesses because more workers making more money means they will have more money to spend"
About the poll:
* The poll was conducted by EMC Research, a leading public opinion & market research firm, thought a January 14 - 22 telephone survey of 805 likely November 2014 voters in Seattle, with a margin of error of 3.5%.
* Polling was funded by a coalition of organizations & individuals supporting $15 for Seattle, including Working Washington, UFCW 21, Nick Hanauer, SEIU 1199NW, the Teamsters, and the MLK County Labor Council.
Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington, email@example.com, 206-227-6014