Mike Klotz is co-owner of Delicatus, a Seattle delicatessen. This piece is part of a series of minimum wage op-eds from activists, business owners, low-wage workers, and experts. If you have an editorial you'd like to submit, send it here.
Council Member Sawant,
I am a progressive, and upon hearing of your campaign for city council, I found myself with a moral dilemma. I was excited to support a candidate who spoke of the injustices of corporations, but as a small-business owner, I was also concerned at the impact a 60 percent wage increase would have on the very business I worked so hard to create. My business partner felt as I did, and on October 26, 2013, he wrote you an e-mail addressing our very real concerns. Less than 24 hours later, he received a response from your campaign assistant* addressing our concerns and closing with this assurance:
We would not want to enact a minimum wage increase without also guaranteeing subsidies/tax credits to small business owners, an overhaul of the B&O tax code, and the establishment of a non-profit municipal bank to invest in small business. So in many ways, the plight of small businesses will be in a much better position with someone like Kshama in office fighting for the interests of ordinary people.
Because of that campaign promise, we both voted for you. And it is because of that statement that I find myself at odds with what you have done since taking office.