I delivered these remarks at the Minneapolis City Council meeting on June 30, 2017, just prior to the vote to increase the minimum wage in Minneapolis to $15.
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I want to extend my thanks to everyone who’s had a voice in this conversation.
Whatever position people held, whatever they thought at the beginning, whatever they think at the end—every voice made this process better. Every voice made this ordinance possible. I want to give special thanks to the advocacy groups and the labor groups who really put their shoulders to the wheel on this to make sure that it happened, and that made space for it to happen in the city of Minneapolis. Everybody worked to make it better, and I appreciate that.
This isn’t an end today. For 71,000 people in the city of Minneapolis, this is a beginning. For 71,000 workers this is a new day and a new opportunity. This is a day to be celebrated and I’m glad that we are. For a lot of people we have raised the floor of poverty significantly. For a lot of people, this will lift them out of poverty. For all the reasons that have been discussed here today, this has an impact on the entire chain of events that transpires before and after somebody finds themselves in poverty. Issues of immigration, language, education—these impacts are all ameliorated by a $15 an hour minimum wage. And so we celebrate today for all of those reasons, and I celebrate with you.