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'Imagine what's possible': King County nonprofit raises its minimum wage to $70K per year

A man sits on a stool wearing jeans and a hoodie that says CHOOSE 180 on it.
Courtesy of Sean Goode
Sean Goode is the executive director of CHOOSE 180.

A King County nonprofit organization says it’s going to pay its entire staff a minimum of $70,000 per year.

The wage increases are huge for some workers at CHOOSE 180, which works to keep young people from jail and instead helps them turn their lives around.

The idea for the wage hike came from employees, says executive director Sean Goode.

"At the core of what they said was 'Look, we support young people who live in challenging circumstances and situations, and we regularly say we need to change the material conditions that those young people are living in. Is it possible that we're paying our team members to live in those very same conditions?' " Goode recounted. "And for me, when I heard that, it was a gut punch."

Listen to his conversation with KNKX, through the player above.

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.
Posey Gruener is a former KNKX producer who worked on All Things Considered and Sound Effect.