Last updated on: 3/14/2016 | Author:

Nick Hanauer Biography

Founding Investor of
Pro to the question "Should the Federal Minimum Wage Be Increased?"

“If a worker earns $7.25 an hour, which is now the national minimum wage, what proportion of that person’s income do you think ends up in the cash registers of local small businesses? Hardly any. That person is paying rent, ideally going out to get subsistence groceries at Safeway, and, if really lucky, has a bus pass. But she’s not going out to eat at restaurants. Not browsing for new clothes. Not buying flowers on Mother’s Day…

If people are getting $15 an hour or more, they don’t need food stamps. They don’t need rent assistance. They don’t need you and me to pay for their medical care. If the consumer middle class is back, buying and shopping, then it stands to reason you won’t need as large a welfare state. And at the same time, revenues from payroll and sales taxes would rise, reducing the deficit.”

“The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats,” Politico, June 2014

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Founder and CEO, Civic Ventures, Jan. 2014-present
  • Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Marchex, Oct. 2007-present
  • President and Cofounder, League of Education Voters, 2001-present
  • Founding Partner, Second Avenue Partners, Feb. 2000-present
  • Co-Chair, Pacific Coast Feather Company, 1982-present
  • Co-founder, The Nick and Leslie Hanauer Foundation
  • Director, The Democracy Alliance
  • Founder, Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility
  • Board Advisor, Democracy
  • Founder and Chair of the Board, aQuantive, 1997-Aug. 2007
  • Founder,, Jan. 1998-Oct. 2000
  • Founding Investor and Board Advisor,, 1995-Jan. 2000
  • BA, Philosophy, University of Washington, 1981
  • Twitter handle: @NickHanauer
  • Born in New York, NY in 1959
  • Has been published in: New York Times, Bloomberg Business Week, The Atlantic, and Democracy Journal
  • Has appeared on: Charlie Rose Show, Fareed Zakaria, National Public Radio, Ed Schultz Show, and the Lawrence O’Donell Show
  • Has served on the board of: Cascade Land Conservancy, the University of Washington Foundation, the Seattle Alliance for Education, and the MT Lemmon Science Center
  • Has given TED Talks in 2012 and 2014
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should the Federal Minimum Wage Be Increased?