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Los Angeles Is Now the Largest U.S. City With a $15 Minimum Wage

Following the success of the #RaiseTheWageLA campaign, other cities are beginning to take note.

Image via Los Angeles Raise the Wage's Facebook page,

Following the examples set by San Francisco and Seattle, Los Angeles City Council passed a law to raise the minimum wage to $15 from $9 with an overwhelming 14-1 vote. This victory for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s #RaiseTheWageLA campaign makes LA the largest city to join the fight for a livable wage. The new rules will be phased in incremently over the next five years—the first wage increase will happen in 2016, to $10.15.

"Today, help is on the way for the one million Angelenos who live in poverty,” wrote Mayor Eric Garcetti in a press release. “I started this campaign to raise the minimum wage to create broader economic prosperity in our city and because the minimum wage should not be a poverty wage in Los Angeles.”

Business groups are predictably angry about this decision, presumably because it will eat at their profit margins. But if you can’t afford to offer your employees a living wage, you shouldn’t be in business.

Other cities are taking note of this historic vote. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement congratulating his West Coast counterparts and expressing his intention to achieve the same victory in New York City.

“Los Angeles is another example of a city that’s doing the right thing, lifting people up by providing a wage on which they can live. We need Albany to catch up with the times and raise the wage,” said de Blasio

The national Fight for $15 campaign will also be staging protests at McDonald’s headquarters at the annual shareholders’ meeting today and tomorrow to demand a company-wide $15 wage for low-paid workers.

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