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Seattle business group proposes amendment to overturn new $15 an hour minimum wage

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CR Douglas: Minimum wage debate

Restaurants are just one of the many businesses affected by the new minimum wage.

SEATTLE — A group of independent businesses filed a a charter amendment to Seattle’s new minimum wage law, which could force a public vote that would usher in a much slower approach to raising the minimum wage.

The group, Forward Seattle, wants the public to vote on a new minimum wage plan that would only raise the wage to $12.50 by 2020. This is much lower than the $15-an-hour phase in recently adopted by the Seattle City council.

The charter amendment, if voted on by Seattle residents in November, would effectively overturn the new $15 an hour minimum wage law.

“The citizens of Seattle are entitled to exercise their right to vote on an alternative way to increase the minimum wage which will so greatly affect the economic stability and development of the city,” Forward Seattle said in a statement Thursday.

Forward Seattle is proposing what they call a “straight-froward, no exceptions” approach toward adopting a new minimum wage. Subsequent wage increases would follow this schedule:

July 1, 2015 – $10.50

July 1, 2016 – $10.90

July 1, 2017 – $11.30

July 1, 2018 – $11.70

July 1, 2019 – $12.10

July 1, 2020 – $12.50

The group said they are pushing for the amendment because businesses are “underrepresented” in the wage debate.

“We believe that an increase in the minimum wage is a matter of justice, solvency, and survival, not just for workers and the Seattle local independent business community, but for the citizens involved in them and the public at large.”

Proponents of the new, already approved minimum wage increase have not yet released a statement on the proposed amendment.

This story will be updated when Forward Seattle holds a press conference at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.



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  • jazzy

    i watched the interivew and was prepared to disagree. But I didn't.

    He made good points, common sense points, but clearly he has not been watching Congress since the black man was elected. He suggests Congress should change the rules, raise minimum wage, lower tax rate on low income.. Sure, that would be great, but anyone who has paid attention know that the Republicans will block ANYTHING that can be seen as a victory for this administration. No way will Congress act to help the middle class. That is why Seattle and other progressive cities and states have to take matters into their own hands.

    good luck getting enough signatures to make the ballot. .not gonna happen. if you get Sawant fired up, she will fire up her base, which is close to 70% of Seattle voters.

    • Bob

      I like how you people think that republicans should compromise when your guy is in office but do the exact same thing when their guy is in office. That's the purpose of having three branches of government and opposing views. The problem with you "liberals" is that you don't like opposition and want to hush it up. You want total control without any oversight. You're basically dictators.

      • jazzy

        get the facts Bob. What we are seeing is historic obstructionism.

        Republicans have blocked 82 of Obamas appointments. Before Obama was elected, in the history of the Untied Stated, presidential nominees had been blocked 86 times. I wont even go into bills blocked..

        While I point out the flawed logic of Peter Nickerson, this issue isn't about Obama. Peter tried to make it a Federal issue, or a state issue (anyone else but him), but this is a County issue.

  • copa120663

    The person they just had on the phone, commenting from Business point of view, said that "they are all looking out for the same goal" What goal is that? To pay a living wage? To lower prices so the current wage is livable? No, their goal is Profits, let the workers be damned.

    • jazzy

      That was Kathrina Tugadi. She is the head of this dubious group. She wants better access to education, free transit and subsidized housing for low income people so she decided taking 3 dollars an hour from them will somehow get them all these things!

      • copa120663

        I am one of them. I am couch surfing due to the lack of income from the 2 part time jobs I have, looking for a third and a fourth just so I might be able to afford rent by myself again. I am not an unskilled employee, have almost 30 years of IT experience but suddenly I am unemployable and unwanted. I just want to be able to pay my bills and afford to eat too.

        • guest

          unemployable and unwanted? maybe you should look inward to determine why that might be, maybe an entitlement attitude?

          • copa120663

            Or maybe I have reached an age where its cheaper to pay a younger person less than they think they would have to pay me? Or maybe they choose to outsource jobs I could fill in order to squeeze out another penny of profit so they can give themselves a million dollar raise or hide a billion dollars offshore so they don't have to pay their fair share in taxes as all less-than-them citizens do….

            If they offered me less I would take less, I DON'T HAVE THE LUXURY OF REFUSING, do I? Not if I want an income…
            Thanks for playing your game, now Johnny tell them what they have won…..

          • copa120663

            Yes… Yes, thats right.

            "You know what? Next year I will get you a big wooden cross and the next time you feel under appreciated you can clime on up and nail yourself to it"

            I think not, I want a job that pays enough to live like everyone else, not above everyone else, but not below either. I guess thats too much to ask for a victim.

          • copa120663

            No, it is absolutely my fault I am unemployed, after I all I am in charge of hiring for all companies in the world, AND I control the wages too

      • copa120663

        Really? Thats like saying just get a job…..
        It requires resources that are unavailable to me at the present time because it takes something I don't have, MONEY! If all that was required was time then I have that, but time is not money when you have no job.

  • jazzy

    you are the anti stereotype! They don't care about you. They want us to believe all minimum wage earners are under educated and unskilled. You should contact the $15 NOW campaign, they could use you!
    Good luck!

    • copa120663

      It's coming up on 1 1/2 years of employment and over 5 years of under employment to no employment. It will get better when one of two things happen, raise wages without raising prices, OR lower prices.