Two Minneapolis City Council members and a long list of local labor organizers are throwing their support behind a candidate running for city office -- in Seattle.
Council Members Alondra Cano and Cam Gordon are among the co-hosts of a fundraiser supporting Kshama Sawant, a current member of the Seattle City Council who led the successful effort to raise that city's minimum wage to $15 per hour. Sawant, who was first elected in 2013, is the first Socialist Alternative party candidate to serve on the Seattle City Council.
Advocates of a higher minimum wage in Minneapolis have previously touted Sawant's work and invited her to be the keynote speaker at a February rally and fundraiser.
Other organizers of the upcoming fundraiser, scheduled for Wednesday at the United Labor Center, include Ilhan Omar, former aide to Council Member Andrew Johnson and recently-announced candidate for the Minnesota Legislature. Others on the list are leaders of groups that have recently been pushing for other workers' reforms in Minneapolis, such as predictable scheduling and citywide sick leave. They include Javier Morillo, president of SEIU, Anthony Newby, executive director of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change and Ty Moore, of the group 15 Now.
A Facebook posting about the event notes that Sawant's race is the most expensive in Seattle City Council history and crucial for the success of workers' reforms in other cities: "A defeat for Kshama is a defeat for working people and the fight for $15 everywhere."
The minimum wage issue has been raised in Minneapolis and last month, council members voted 10-3 to set aside $150,000 for a study on the impacts of a citywide or regional wage increase.
The Seattle municipal elections will be held Nov. 3.