Fifteen Stories Book
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Fifteen Stories E-Book
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Seattle made history by passing a $15 minimum wage that will boost the pay of more than 100,000 workers by $3 billion over the next decade – one of the largest economic victories for low-wage workers in decades. 

These are some of their stories. 

I love being around food, period. I was looking for something in fast food, so when I found that I can get a job at something that I love to do, which is making food and serving customers, I was like, Oh, kudos, yay! I can get the job!
— Brittany Phelps
There is a quote that says people who steal should quit stealing so they can give back to society. If you talk to a thief today he is going to laugh in your face and say what kind of job can I get to give back to my society? That is the point. I don’t have anything to give back to society with the work I’m doing now. It’s not my fault when I’m working as hard as I am working. I work hard for what little I get. I should be able to give back, but I don’t because I can’t. That’s unnerving to me.
— Jason Harvey
We’re all real people and we are hard workers and we do deserve to make an honest living. Especially because these big corporations are making bank off of us. We deserve a little bit of that too, instead of them making money off us working. We deserve a profit too, man. If it wasn’t for all of us, they wouldn’t have nothing, if it wasn’t for all the people that work for them, they wouldn’t have nothing.
— Crystal Thompson
After they asked me about the strike I was just like I’m not trying to really like waste my time for something, but then I was like, What else would I be doing with my time? Playing a videogame?
— Sam Leloo
The first day on my job, I was real amped for it. I was nervous, I didn’t want to make no mistakes, I wanted to prove that I can do the job. So it was kinda like — it was a rush. I’ve been serving since I was like 17, 18? A long time, yeah. But still, you know, it was still that rush.
— Larkin Potts, III
I kinda remember by first day. I remember they put me at the presenting part where I’m handing out the food to the customers where I’m saying have a nice day hope to see you again.
— Terran Lyons
I know there hasn’t been a lot of buzz about it, but Working Washington helped me and my co-workers organize a strike, the first strike in Target history.
— Hana Martinson
My dream is to make music, and honestly, my friends, they’re already there, they’re already following their dreams, but they had to quit their jobs in order to do it. And I’m just like, man, I got my apartment, man! They don’t understand, I got to work, and I just don’t know if I could get there. I definitely want to, but man, I’m conflicted sometimes.
— Malcolm Cooper-Suggs
Now I’m in SeaTac, Seattle, but I’m from Iran — Tehran. I came out in 1996, something like that. I came here for many different things: money, a better life. I thought it would be easier. It’s not. It’s hard. Hard to find the money, to take the money.
— Assadullah Valibieghi
My previous roommate got a management position at Domino’s and she knew I needed a job, hours, that kind of thing, so I got the job there. I didn’t enjoy the job but once me and my husband split up, it was okay, now I really need this job. I’m a single mom. Well, I have a boyfriend but, mother of a 10-year old son. So it started out as just a part time kind of thing, and now it’s...
— Michele Dean
I’m staying with my sister and sleep on her couch. They have bills to pay so I have to pay for my room and board which leaves me with no money of my own. I only get like $300 a paycheck. I can’t put anything away. It makes me feel bad, unaccomplished, like I can’t get anywhere no matter how hard I work. Because I work pretty hard.
— Julia DePape
Me and my other girls, we want to do it again. Like, if we could do it next week, we would do it again. That’s how fun it was.
— Martina Phelps
My pay is $958 because I just got an 8-cent raise, yaaay. And normally I get 30 hours, at least. I’m told that I do a good job all the time. I know I do a good job, and when the review came, I’m expecting to get 50 to 75 cents at least. When she told me eight cents, I was just like, really? I know she could tell I was upset, because of the way I looked at her, and then she proceeded to explain to me why, and I just... I don’t think the explanation was a good one. I think it was an excuse. I think it was something they probably were told to tell us, I don’t think it was her actual opinion, or the manager’s actual review of me, I think it was what they were told to do.
— Iesha James
Honestly, it was the strike – I just jumped right in. It was pretty cool. I was the youngest kid there, but seeing people who actually are really passionate and being affected every day was like, Damn. If I don’t stop it now, this is what I’m going to be, this is where my friends are gonna be at. It’s preparing, you know.
— Sam Herman
I just got a promotion and so now I make $10.60 an hour and I typically get about 35-40 hours a week. It often means that I’m working 50-60 hours a week when you consider my internship and my classes. And it’s exhausting, but at the same time it’s what I’ve gotta do.
— Nick Norman