At our General Membership Meeting on January 24, 2023, SDSA members voted 104 to 4 to endorse the Raise the Wage Renton (RTWR) initiative. RTWR is a 2023 ballot initiative that will raise the minimum wage for Renton workers above the state minimum (currently $15.74/hr) to about $19.00/hr starting July 1, 2024.
SDSA members responded strongly to the measure because they understand that in Renton, as elsewhere in the Seattle/King County area, transportation, food, and rent have grown more expensive, and low-wage workers are being left behind. Meanwhile many corporations are making record profits. They can easily afford to increase wages for their lowest-paid employees.
Members also supported this initiative because it will build DSA’s presence in South King County. After the successful passage of a similar measure in Tukwila, members are excited to support an initiative that not only will benefit workers and families but can also carry the socialist message to Renton workers and residents in the context of real-world concerns. SDSA’s support will create a lot of goodwill among working class residents of one of King County’s larger cities. It will also be a great recruiting tool for DSA within Renton.
The initiative is led by a PAC composed of Renton residents and workers, all of whom are DSA members. The initiative, which launched its signature drive just last weekend, is already endorsed by the Transit Riders Union, State Senator Bob Hasegawa, and Renton City Councilmember Carmen Rivera. SDSA’s new Campaign Organizer, Guillermo Zazueta, is helping to coordinate the campaign.
We need signatures of 15% of registered voters in the most recent election, or about 8,800 valid signatures. To allow for invalid signatures, we’re aiming for 15,000 total. Now that we’ve given the measure our strong approval, we need to plunge into the signature-gathering phase, because signatures need to be submitted by mid-June. RTWR is putting teams together right now, and we ask members to sign up here to volunteer. Let’s make 2023 the year that SDSA grows deeper roots in South King County by passing the Raise the Wage Renton initiative!