"Come on up everyody, even if you were an activist who pressured us," Mayor Ed Murray said as he prepared to sign the historic $15/hour ordinance into law today at Cal Anderson Park.
Murray, self-admittedly "a little tired," smiled as he signed the law into effect.
"Thank God!" one woman holding a $15 Now sign said as soon as the ordinance was signed, kissing her hand and holding it to the sky.
"Although this is a historic day, this is a beginning, not an end," Murray said. "It is a step I recommend to cities across the nation. Seattle has shown that you can help employees without hurting employers."
Murray took the opportunity to enumeratre the issues next on his radar—universal Pre-K, public transit "for those who can't drive or don't want a car," and housing in a city that "no longer has housing stock that's affordable for everyone who wants to live here," which elicited cheers from the crowd.
Murray also took a moment to address the impending lawsuit from the International Franchise Association, upset over stipulations in the ordinance that would force most national franchises in Seattle to reach $15/hour in three years rather than the seven outlined for small businesses.
"I think it's unfortunate that these franchises have decided to take this to court. These lawyers are going to take money out of their pockets when they should be having dialogues with the corporations," Murray said.