Yesterday, Eli reported that Council Member Kshama Sawant and Mayor Ed Murray seemed to be on totally different pages regarding the progress of the mayor's 24-member minimum-wage advisory committee. Sawant couldn't say whether she was still on the committee, but said she considered the committee over and done with, and then the mayor's office (via tweet) said "No one is off the committee. The committee is not done."

This afternoon, she sent an open letter to the mayor and the committee asking for clarification on the committee's process, and explaining that she does not support all the components of a deal that Mayor Murray presented at a press conference yesterday. She's asking if they're still meeting, will they be voting on proposals, what parts of their decision-making will be public, etc.

But she's also already moving on: Tomorrow, she'll be speaking at the big 15 Now national conference, where activists will start gathering signatures for a charter amendment for a $15 minimum wage.

Her letter to Murray:

To: Mayor Ed Murray
CC: Members of the Income Inequality Advisory Committee

Dear Mayor Murray,

During and following your press conference yesterday, you and your office stated that the Income Inequality Advisory Committee is not done and continues to function. Members of the Committee were told that Wednesday’s meeting was its final meeting. If the Committee is still in existence, please clarify when the next meeting is scheduled, so we can discuss any recommendations, including the proposal that was presented by labor representatives and me.

It was previously stated that the committee would have an opportunity to vote on alternate proposals. I request that the Committee members be able to put their proposals forward and have the body vote on them so that the public knows which proposals were discussed and which were accepted or rejected.

I also ask that you clarify to the media that there was no agreement—nor a vote—on the six principles you announced yesterday. I do not agree with tip and health care deductions, or to wait to include cost of living adjustments until the end of a phase-in period. I also do not agree with a phase-in for big businesses like McDonald’s and Starbucks.

Given that there were contradictory statements made to the media yesterday between your office and mine, I will also be making this letter publicly available, in the interests of clarification.

I look forward to making $15/hour, and an end to poverty wages, a reality for the 100,000 low-wage workers in Seattle.


Councilmember Kshama Sawant