Yesterday afternoon, 15 Now advocates submitted over 4,000 — or 253-pages-worth — signatures to the Tacoma City Clerk.
The Pierce County Auditor's Office will begin the verification process on Wednesday, May 19, and expects to have it done by next Wednesday, May 27. (It will take longer than initially thought because of Memorial Day Weekend). Staff will check for signature errors, such as a voter signing twice or an invalid address. Daily updates will be posted on the elections webpage in the meantime.
Overall, 15 Now must have 3,160 valid signatures to go to the ballot, though the campaign may continue to collect signatures and submit them until June 17.
If passed by the voters, 15 Now will raise the minimum wage to $15 starting January of 2016. There will be no transition phase.
Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber CEO Tom Pierson are looking to put an alternative measure on the ballot, one that would have a phase-in period.
In a statement, 15 Now Tacoma expressed some frustration with the mayor and the chamber's efforts.
“15 Now Tacoma applauds the steps taken by the council at the best of the business interests of Tacoma,” organizers wrote. “We regret that we were not more involved in the decision making process and the untimely creation of the task force. We turned in our signatures today and can assure you there are more than enough to qualify.”