Tacoma voters may soon decide $15 minimum wage debate

local Tacoma wage initiative

TACOMA, Wash. -- Tacoma could be the next city in Washington to implement a $15 minimum wage, but the decision may soon be in the hands of voters.

Supporters of $15 minimum wage in Tacoma could start gathering signatures to put the initiative on a future ballot.

Elizabeth Lewis, a mother of two, works two minimum wage jobs. She and her family plan to support the 15 Now Tacoma campaign.

"When you're living paycheck to paycheck, you've got to choose is it going to be groceries, the bills or medicine for your kids; it's pretty hard," said Lewis.

Lewis and her family helped gather the initial 1,300 signatures on a petition presented to the Tacoma City Council this fall. The 15 Now Tacoma campaign has now filed the paperwork to put the initiative on a future ballot, but supporters will first need to gather more than 3,000 signatures by the summer.

However, not everyone is in support of the idea. Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce President Tom Pierson warns against the move.

"Here's a national organization coming to Tacoma, telling us what's best for our workers and our employees, and I think that's just wrong," said Pierson. He also believes businesses won't be able to absorb the costs and ultimately pass it back onto the consumers.

But the Lewis is willing to take the chance, if it means supporting her family better than she can now.

"It would help a lot of people in Tacoma put food on their table for their kids and stuff," said Lewis.


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