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Thursday, January 16, 2014

City Council Will Have a Minimum Wage Committee After All

Posted by on Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 5:36 PM

This just in from city hall: The city council plans to create a new committee to focus solely on the issue of the minimum wage. There was some talk in December of creating a minimum-wage committee—Kshama Sawant was reportedly hoping to lead it—but in the end, the topic got folded into Council Member Sally Clark's mouthful of a committee, called "Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency." Which means it would be vying for time on the schedule with super-important things like affordable housing and human services funding.

All nine council members will be sitting members of this, what's called a "select" committee. And hey, maybe it sounds like more process to you, but this has a very different feel from the mayor's task force, where labor and business have been meeting out of public view: Committee meetings are public. Very public—they're broadcast on the Seattle Channel, and anyone can show up or sign up to testify. Council Member Clark, who will act as chair, says that since "this is going to be one of the biggest things we tackle in this two-year cycle," they want to go a step further than that. To "maximize the ability for people to participate," she says, they'll hold some of the meetings in the evenings and in places other than City Hall.

Clark says she hopes this'll be more efficient than waiting till the task force sends down a proposal—and if they want to compete with the ballot measures that will likely be filed this June, they're working on a tight deadline, since she says she expects to see something from the task force around May.

Council Member Kshama Sawant, for her part, says she sees this as "a really welcome step from the council... a step in the right direction." She's especially excited that the plan includes meetings outside of the usual council workday, so that people who work during the day can come participate and give feedback. She echoes Clark, saying the "goal is to ensure maximum public participation." Hear that, all you people who like to shout into microphones at politicians participate in democracy?

The schedule of meetings should be released as soon as next week.


Comments (16) RSS

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theophrastus 1
can we especially delegate Councilperson Sawant to deal with Sam Bellomio?
Posted by theophrastus on January 16, 2014 at 5:45 PM · Report this
kk in seattle 2
So all your predictions about the Council members, and in particular Sally Clark, snubbing Sawant, burying her issues, freezing her out, and in general spending all their energy and focus on licking the asses of downtown developers to the detriment of the fine upstanding citizens of Seattle was, well, a complete sack of shit? Gee, I'm shocked.
Posted by kk in seattle on January 16, 2014 at 5:52 PM · Report this
Can we get a restraining order for Bellomio so that he can't show up to City Council anymore?
Posted by Hanoumatoi on January 16, 2014 at 6:10 PM · Report this
I'm still expecting Kshama to cheer Bellomio's initiative in Occupying the Seattle City Council.

So, you are cheering the fact that two years from now all the council members will be able to take the same claim that they've been working as a part of this committee to raise the minimum wage ?

And this is an improvement from the previous situation where only 4 council members could claim such ? Or do you think that more committee members = more decisive action ?…
Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency
Agendas (sign up for Agendas)
Meeting Video Archives
1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m.

Chair: Sally J. Clark
Vice-Chair: Tom Rasmussen
Member: Kshama Sawant
Alternate: Mike O'Brien

Councilmember Clark's committee will handle issues concerning affordable housing, homelessness, child care, and disability services, local and regional public health, as well as policies relating to economic development and affordability, including the minimum wage.
Posted by ChefJoe on January 16, 2014 at 6:41 PM · Report this
Typical Seattle City Council committee... cancelled again.

The Committee on Housing Affordability, Human Services, and Economic Resiliency meeting scheduled for Thursday, January 16, 2014 has been cancelled.

Posted by ChefJoe on January 16, 2014 at 6:43 PM · Report this
@2, they haven't done a damn thing yet... If they do act it won't necessarily reflect a lack of down town money unduely influencing city hall's priorities against welcoming a socialist, and her agenda, to the council, but rather the even greater influence of a mass popular movement that has already unseated one member who was formerly considered a left progressive dem.
Posted by Upchuck on January 16, 2014 at 6:52 PM · Report this
kk in seattle 7
@6: you mean we're two weeks into the year and they haven't done a damn thing (other than create a public process to move this forward)? Goddamn lazy fuckers. This wouldn't happen if we just had a dictator.
Posted by kk in seattle on January 16, 2014 at 9:04 PM · Report this
@7 what did incumbent council members do last term about minimum wage?
Posted by Upchuck on January 16, 2014 at 9:31 PM · Report this
@8, but only O'Brien and Licata knew that there was a problem. How could the others know? None of their friends were low-income. Funny how their ears perked up when Conlin lost.
Posted by sarah70 on January 16, 2014 at 9:59 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 10
What about all the predictions that Sawant was going to make it all about herself? We're two weeks in and it appears she's happy to take a back seat if things are moving in the right direction.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on January 16, 2014 at 10:48 PM · Report this
This is going to be an amazing clusterfuck. Looking forward to some fireworks.
Posted by kerri harrop on January 17, 2014 at 12:34 AM · Report this
raku 12
Capitol Hill Seattle just posted a blog post with a list of Capitol Hill business owners who wrote an open letter opposing $15/hour minimum wage.

"If the $15 minimum wage is enacted, we would go out of business immediately and all our 25 permanent staff (up to 50 seasonally) will be out of a job. It’s that simple."

CHS is also deleting almost every comment critical of these business owners and has no repudiation of these claims. Several commenters jumped in to call out some of the BS claims made, and even list the real estate these people own based on public records searches, but got deleted immediately. Slog, please post about this, as CHS appears to have gone right of the Seattle Times.

The owner of Red Light who said that quote owns a $728,000 house in Greenwood. The owners of Julia's own a $1,357,000 house. Dave Meinert, who predictably jumped in the comments defending capitalism and how much he's close to the brink, owns two houses in King County - including this mansion in Burien.…
Posted by raku on January 17, 2014 at 12:38 AM · Report this
Select Committees are not public. They are actually even less transparent, because this give the false impression that they are. All of the decisions to move forward, or not--are made in the offices of attorneys, and over dinner in down town or Queen Anne. Once the decision has been reached, the theatrical "Seattle process" begins, with everyone pretending to be skeptical and feigning duty of care, and then cast their vote in accordance with what Mr. Burgess or Sally Clark wishes.
Posted by hmmmmm on January 17, 2014 at 8:59 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 14
Less talk.

More action.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 17, 2014 at 11:05 AM · Report this
jseattle 15
@12 just because your comments have been removed, doesn't mean we are "deleting almost every comment critical of these business owners." We have removed your comments because you continue to post information about home addresses and house values of the business owners. You're correct. It's public information. We also don't allow identifying information like this to be posted in our comments. You should get a blog or post your information to Facebook.
Posted by jseattle on January 17, 2014 at 11:30 AM · Report this
raku 16
#15: It wasn't only my comments, and I posted no address information to your site. I posted home values because that is absolutely relevant when people make false political statements saying they will go out of business if they need to pay higher wages. It's even more relevant when you have posted absolutely nothing about the majority of Capitol Hill who supports a $15/hr minimum wage.

Shocking that you own a $650K house as well. What a surprise. Rich white guys unite.
Posted by raku on January 17, 2014 at 2:36 PM · Report this

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