UW Tacoma professors work with Tacoma minimum wage task force

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland recently announced the formation of a task force to consider Tacoma’s minimum wage. According the News Tribune, her announcement came a day after the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber wrote her a letter to ask for a “right-sized local solution” to raising the minimum wage in Tacoma to $15 an hour. The task force will convene this week.

PPPA Professor Katie Baird, along with Doug Wills, a professor from the Milgard School of Business, will act as Economic Consultants to the Tacoma Minimum Wage Task Force, providing a conceptual overview of the economics of wage support policies specific to Tacoma’s size, employment composition, and potentially competing locations.

15 Now, a Tacoma-based citizen group, has been collecting signatures since last year to see the measure placed on the November ballot. Their proposal would raise the minimum wage to $15 immediately. Strickland’s task force is expected to consider a more gradual increase.

Task force members include several local business owners, directors of local non-profits, pastors, a minimum-wage worker, Tacoma high school student, and Ali Modarres, the director of UW Tacoma’s Urban Studies program.