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'Fight for $15' Wants To Raise Nevada's Minimum Wage In 2017

(AP Photo/John Locher)

Martin Macias-Rivera holds a statue as he and others protest near a McDonald's restaurant along the Las Vegas Strip, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in Las Vegas. The protest was part of the National Day of Action to Fight for $15. The campaign seeks higher hourly wages, including for workers at fast-food restaurants and airports.

In late November, about a hundred protesters gathered on the Strip, demanding that minimum wage be raised to $15 per hour.

The protests coincided with others across the nation, under the banner of the “Fight for $15,” a movement dating back to 2012 when hundreds of fast-food workers walked off the job in New York City.

Those who support the campaign hope to see Nevada's minimum wage raised in the 2017 Nevada Legislature.

Laura Martin with Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada said while PLAN fully supports the efforts to raise the minimum wage it is really a "worker lead effort." 

Martin said there are has already been progress in increasing wages from California to New York.

“I think this campaign is so important because it made an issue a part of the entire national consciences that these billion dollar corporations are making these record profits because they’re forcing their workers to live in poverty to live of public assistance just so they can make a huge profit at the end of the year,” she said. 

Originally, PLAN had wanted to put a measure on the November ballot to change the minimum wage, but the group switched tactics and instead focused on electing people to the Legislature who supported increasing the minimum wage. 

Martin expects State Senator Tick Segerblom to introduce a bill to raise the minimum wage. And even if the federal government under the Trump administration is not amenable to increasing the minimum wage, Martin believes many statehouses around the country are.

She said that while those opposed to the change say it will hurt jobs in reality it puts more money into the economy.

“People aren’t losing their workers they’re gaining shoppers," she said, "They’re gaining people who have more money in their pockets to shop or buy food.”

Laura Martin, associate director, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada

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Kristy Totten is a producer at KNPR's State of Nevada. Previously she was a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly, and has covered technology, education and economic development for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. She's a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.