Vast Majority of Seattle Voters Support $15 Minimum Wage

New Poll Shows 68 Percent Support Higher Pay

Vast Majority of Seattle Voters Support $15 Minimum Wage

Mary P. Traverse

If minimum-wage opponents weren't already shitting bricks, they're in for an awfully uncomfortable bowel movement: A new poll finds a stunning 68 percent of Seattle voters support a straight-up hike in the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour. No exemptions, no phase-ins, no strings attached.

The news for opponents only gets worse the further you delve into the details: 35 percent of voters "strongly support" the proposal, compared to only 14 percent who "strongly oppose," while support holds fast throughout the city and in every demographic subgroup except Republicans.

And in case opponents were hoping to console themselves with the thought that this is just some shoddy pro-labor propaganda (the poll was funded by a coalition that includes Working Washington, UFCW 21, Nick Hanauer, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, the Teamsters, and the MLK County Labor Council), well, no luck there. The survey of 805 likely Seattle voters—an unusually large and robust sample—was conducted January 14 through January 22 by the reputable polling firm EMC Research, with a margin of error of ± 3.5 percentage points.

These numbers may be off the charts, but they're rock solid.

"We were certainly surprised," admits EMC Research principal Andrew Thibault about the unexpectedly positive results, "but it seems that there is a tipping point." Thibault believes that the $15 campaign in SeaTac, the fast-food strikes, and the embrace of the issue by winning candidates like Council Member Kshama Sawant and Mayor Ed Murray last year have all increased awareness and support for the issue.

But Thibault suspects another factor may have come into play, one beyond the control of either side of the debate: Seattle's surging sense of self-confidence. According to the survey, 63 percent of Seattle voters believe the city is "going in the right direction," up from 53 percent in September and 43 percent in 2011. "That's a crazy number," says Thibault.

But perhaps more impressive is the "wrong track" number, which has plummeted to just 19 percent. "There's a tremendous amount of optimism in the city," says Thibault.

And that optimism may help explain why even when a narrow majority agree with one of the leading talking points against raising the minimum wage, it doesn't move the dial very far. For example, 51 percent of voters actually agree that "increasing the minimum wage will hurt local small, minority owned, and family owned businesses." But at the same time, 71 percent of voters also agree that a higher minimum wage would "help" local businesses "because more workers making more money means they will have money to spend at local businesses."

Seattle voters aren't ignoring the concerns of small businesses; they have simply determined that the benefits of a higher minimum wage outweigh the costs: 82 percent agree that raising the minimum wage "ensures more families can make ends meet and get ahead," while only 40 percent call it a "job killer." Seattle voters simply aren't moved by the classic argument that a higher minimum wage would shutter businesses and destroy jobs. "People right now aren't buying it," says Thibault.

And neither are they buying efforts to water down the ordinance. The survey tested tip credits, small-business exemptions, and applying the wage only to certain industries, none of which increased voter support. A three-year phase-in does bump up support to 73 percent, but stretch the phase-in to five years, and both overall support (67 percent) and intensity (28 percent "strongly") begin to erode.

By contrast, provisions that strengthen worker protections consistently increase support: all the way up to 88 percent support for requiring that all tips go to workers.

All of this means that if the city council and the mayor ultimately back a compromise measure that's too weak (phased in too slowly or containing too many exemptions), activists can feel confident taking a more aggressive measure to the ballot this fall knowing that voters are resoundingly behind them.

That is the sound of bricks hitting porcelain in executive washrooms citywide. recommended


Comments (51) RSS

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Raising the minimum wage would be huge for working class individuals but I think it needs to happen in tandem with other legislation to really be a success. If minimum wage goes up drastically while college tuition continues to rise, it's going to be a tough sell to ask a person of any age to take on the mountains of student loan debt and spend 4-5 years in college vs taking a $15/hr job starting at the age of 16 and having no college debt. And quality education has been shown to be THE best way to break the cycle of poverty.

Raise the minimum wage AND find a way to make higher education more affordable/accessible to people of all ages and then we could really be onto something.
Posted by db206 on February 12, 2014 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Kinison 2
Do you support it being changed overnight, or phased in over several years?

To do this overnight, is going to cause some knee jerk reactions from business owners.
Posted by Kinison on February 12, 2014 at 11:39 AM · Report this
Oh god, this makes me so happy.

I never understand why businesses are so against this. Sure, if Restaurant A had to pay their workers $15 dollars/hour and Restaurant B didn't, then
A would be at a big disadvantage. But when everyone does it at once, then prices go up a tiny bit for everyone and the competitive field stays level. Even better, some of those workers might even be able to afford to eat at your restaurant every once in a while.


This had better fucking happen. Then we can be an example to the rest of the country.
Posted by ohthetrees on February 12, 2014 at 12:03 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 4
@2 Then we will all get to appreciate that owning a business does not confer magical powers of logic and finance onto people. Jerks going out of business because they've run out of ways to steal from their employees & state will actually help the economy.
Posted by Sir Vic on February 12, 2014 at 12:05 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 5
Please tell me you only spent zero dollars on those hideous donut charts.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on February 12, 2014 at 12:11 PM · Report this
@1) A higher minimum wage makes it possible for students to take on less debt while attending school because they are earning more...

No need to boil the ocean. This, as simple as possible, is just good.
Posted by regg on February 12, 2014 at 12:12 PM · Report this
watchout5 7
"It would be terrible for the economy, it would break all the rules, chaos would erupt"

68% support

Posted by watchout5 on February 12, 2014 at 1:20 PM · Report this
Anybody else get the feeling $15 is just to make sure we get to $12?
Posted by dkjndmsahksdhksal on February 12, 2014 at 1:33 PM · Report this
No crosstabs ? Weak.
Posted by ChefJoe on February 12, 2014 at 1:44 PM · Report this
Posted by Goldy on February 12, 2014 at 2:22 PM · Report this
Kinison 11
@4 Not every small business is run by jerks. I have personally worked for two, but not all of them are like that and even if they are, they dont deserve to be run out of business for being jerk boses. Just because your boss is a jerk, doesn't mean he/she is stealing from you and paying someone $9.32 an hour isn't stealing.

As Chris Rock once said "Minimum wage is like your employer telling you, you know, if I could pay you less I would, but I cant because its the law!". Following the law in regards to minimum wage isnt stealing, its following the law.
Posted by Kinison on February 12, 2014 at 3:03 PM · Report this
honestly i havent read any of this nor i have researched into nearly anything, but if Johnny Bizowner has to charge $10 per widget in order to make his biz work wouldnt forcing him to pay his staff more in turn force him to charge $11 to make the same amount of money needed to make his biz work?

Which leads us right back to the now $15 an hour guy needing even more money to buy the same item newly price adjusted item?

wouldnt it be better if the $12 hour guy simply finds a job making $15 an hour so the cost of the $10 item stays that way for the rest of us?
Posted by SparkyJoh on February 12, 2014 at 3:03 PM · Report this
Comments beginning 'nor I have a researched into nearly anything' are an easy sign to disregard (come on, dude. Read the 'minimum wage' article in wikipedia. It's not that hard.) but the reason minimum wage increases tend to work is that there are far more people working minimum wage jobs for McLarge Corporation than Johnny Bizowner (Johnny often has to offer slightly above the minimum wage to attract the talented workforce he needs) and that, if he *does* have to pay his workers more, there are frequently ways he can make his business more efficient without charging the customer more. (also, a higher wage automatically increases employee loyalty, meaning longer job tenure and less 'shrinkage' (employee theft), fewer job retraining costs (since ppl stay there longer).
Posted by gregm91606 on February 12, 2014 at 3:55 PM · Report this
This poll showing 83percent approval of across the board raise to 15$ an hr is propaganda that was probably taken on Capitol Hill. Minimum wage will always be minimum wage what ever the number is. If Buisneess are forced to raise their wages that high , Guess what, the prices go up accordingly to cover the mean and nasty biz owners expenses. Sheesh
Posted by steve treadway on February 12, 2014 at 4:43 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 15
I love how this poll, financed by BIG LABOR is 100% accurate, but if I post a study funded by Freedom Works everyone cries "bias"!

And even if Seattle does pass this, no big deal. Just one shitty city filled with shitty ass anti-choice hipster morons shooting itself in the foot. I'm an opponent of this crap and if it passes and my minimum wage serving job gets put out of businesses, I'll just move to Texas, Alaska, or some other free state that will NEVER go along with this.

Hell, I wouldn't even have to go that far: Bellevue has a Republican Mayor and it will never go along with this shit.

And if it does pass and goes into effect before I manage to escape for Bellevue or Houston and my job manages to stay afloat for any length of time after being forced to pay me the higher rate, I have a promise for Goldy: ANY EXTRA MONEY I MAKE I'M DONATING TO THE WASHINGTON STATE GOP. Granted, I hate the Republicans almost as much as I hate the democrats, but its the least I can do to spite these Marxists pieces of shit.

But I better hurry up and get out of here. Next the SStranger will support an ordinance banning all contributions to non-neo liberal and/or Marxist political organizations.
Posted by collectivism_sucks on February 12, 2014 at 5:32 PM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 16
@12: If people could just get a high paying job at will, there would be no need for the minimum wage at all, genius.

You must be a dummy account or an astroturfer, because no one is stupid enough to think what you said is logical.

You should have just stopped typing about 15 words in and tried to actually learn about the issue. But since this is your first and only post, you are just here to muddy the waters with inane bullshit and should be ignored completely.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on February 12, 2014 at 5:43 PM · Report this
auntie jim 17
Huge majorities favored an income tax on high earners and opposed liquor privatization too, before the propaganda deluge poured it on. Since it's only Seattle they won't be successful so expect them to try to outlaw local minimum wage ordinances state wide.
Posted by auntie jim on February 12, 2014 at 6:34 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 18
You expect readers of the SStranger (spelled with an appropriate double "s" on purpose) to understand simple economics?
These are the same morons who think stopping the coal train did anything. Yes, they may stop in Washington...and the companies will just build it in California or Texas or Louisiana and ship through the Panama Canal. Some "win."
These are the same morons who support banning non-leftists from demonstrating in the city and want all guns banned.
Yes, this would result in lost jobs, higher prices etc. But just as some four year old children can't be convinced Santa isn't real, these Sawant-voting morons can't be convinced of the FACTS.
Let them ruin Seattle. I'll move to Texas or Colorado (which recently voted against a tax increase to fund education) and keep my freedom to work and prosper.
I would suggest anyone with a brain move as soon as they can. Socialist have a habit of keeping people in cities they've ruined by force:
Posted by collectivism_sucks on February 12, 2014 at 7:06 PM · Report this
Apparently 68% of Seattle are fucking morons. Probably the same idiots who voted for the tunnel. Its like saying you want to see an increase in inflation. If you are middle class you will not see a raise but costs will go up for you. If you are a proponent of this post some proof that this idea won't affect inflation.
Posted by Middle Class worker on February 12, 2014 at 7:06 PM · Report this
I just think the people at my local bakery and breakfast place and movie theatre and grocery store would be nicer, happier with a little extra, to be able to go home to shop groceries, take their kids to a movie, eat out at the local breakfast place or bakery. A store clerk stocking food or school bus driver is just as important as a doctor in town. If you employ someone, they are as valuable as the employer. Many businesses opposing this have a nice house and car they own, a couple or more of vacations per year, and spend too much on worthless things for their kids.
Everyone will benefit in ways they don't seem to be able to stretch their minds or hearts. Its a no-brainer.
Posted by dursuurzula on February 12, 2014 at 7:49 PM · Report this
I look forward to the 2014 election with an astounding 90+% voter participation rate.

This memo is based on a telephone survey of 805 likely November 2014 voters in Seattle conducted January 14th–22nd, 2014. Participants were screened to ensure they are voters and were asked about their participation in the upcoming November 2014 elections; 90% said they are certain to participate, and an additional 10% say they will probably participate.
Posted by ChefJoe on February 12, 2014 at 8:55 PM · Report this
Hrm, with the January 2014 survey (you know, after we have a new mayor and a socialist on the city council) 63% of those polled said the city was on the right track and only 19% said on the wrong track. That's a very sharp decrease from the 31% reporting Seattle on the wrong track in September 2013.
Posted by ChefJoe on February 12, 2014 at 9:04 PM · Report this
The cost of living is going to rise a la San Francisco.

You cannot just vote yourself money without any consequences on the economy or local cost of living.
Posted by lawdawg on February 12, 2014 at 9:22 PM · Report this
No solid ideas on how to keep jobs from going to more skilled workers from other municipalities that live outside of Seattle or what will keep small businesses from leaving. This is going to end horribly.
Posted by The Artful Dogger on February 12, 2014 at 10:01 PM · Report this
I own a business and pay all my staff in excess of 15.00 per hour worked, along with benefits, like health care etc.

I think working folks need to have a reason to show up, and 9.00 or so does not really cut it.

Arguments about on all sides. But to be sure, if there is to be an increase, it should apply to all businesses and we ought not give a pass to someone due to their size or ethnicity. THat is absurd. Small businesses are not less likely to be profitable or able to pay a decent wage than a large one. Only proven difference is scale.

And let this diner be very clear. If the goal is a higher minimum wage and this is accomplished by legislation, I promise that the percent that I tip will decrease by at least 5%, knowing that my server and all staff are now legislated to be making a better wage, and knowing that they are, at any moderate or higher priced restaurant, now likely clearing $25.00 plus per hour worked. I would like to hear from some tip earners how much they clear per hour in tips, declared or not. Just write in these comments. Your restaurant and tip earnings, so long as your handle is a pseudonym.
Posted by Park Place on February 12, 2014 at 10:50 PM · Report this
@Park Place,
so will your staff feel ok about their wages if they've worked their way up to "over $15/hr" over many years but the new hire starts out at $15/hr with no experience?

FWIW, the widespread use of credit cards means that most tips have a real paper trail associated with them that results in W2s showing tip income.... at least back when I was a server years ago.
Posted by ChefJoe on February 12, 2014 at 11:13 PM · Report this
tike0vitz 27
@18 "I would suggest anyone with a brain move as soon as they can. Socialist have a habit of keeping people in cities they've ruined by force:"

You do know the Berlin wall was built around West Berlin to keep people from getting into it, right? Unless you think the Russian built it to keep the greedy capitalists from sneaking across the border for free healthcare or something. But that theory kind of goes against your inane and unsubstantiated rants of the past.
Posted by tike0vitz on February 12, 2014 at 11:36 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 28

Ahhh...the whole "keep people in" in the quote you copied and pasted should make it clear that I was talking about keeping people in East Berlin and out of West Berlin. East Berlin is a city, and hence the wall around West Berlin was to keep people out of that city and IN the city of East Berlin.
And indeed, saying "Texas would never raise its minimum wage to 15/hour" is indeed an "unsubstantiated rant" (rolls eyes)
Posted by collectivism_sucks on February 13, 2014 at 12:01 AM · Report this
29 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
tike0vitz 30
@28 I feel like the certainty you use with words like "never" undoes your argument brilliantly. But even if that's the case. If Texas doesn't raise its minimum wage the Fed will.

Also, you know what a more effective means of keeping people locked in place is? Perpetuating myths about American "Freedom" and exceptional-ism. Fanning the flames of xenophobia. And, certainly, by keeping people's wages low so they are unable to travel to other cultures and see for themselves how poor and backwards the socialist states of Canada, Germany, U.K., Australia, etc. are.
Posted by tike0vitz on February 13, 2014 at 8:56 AM · Report this
A better headline might have been "68% of Seattle voters want a pony, support falls to 45% when they are informed that the pony will cost something."

Posted by Mr. X on February 13, 2014 at 9:30 AM · Report this
Nevermind the polling being conducted during business hours.

#30, they're also kept unaware of what genocidal trash the lot of you are. Quite the little conundrum, isn't it?
Posted by Drano - The Freshmakerâ„¢ on February 13, 2014 at 1:06 PM · Report this
tike0vitz 33
@32 "they're also kept unaware of what genocidal trash the lot of you are."?

I have no idea what you are talking about. Who is "they" and who is "the lot of you"?
Posted by tike0vitz on February 13, 2014 at 1:14 PM · Report this
Just curious how many would support a $20 an hr minimum wage.
Posted by bakatya on February 13, 2014 at 3:42 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 35
The national minimum wage will NEVER go that high, ever. There are too many Republicans in the Senate and congress to allow that to happen.

As for xenophobia, racism, American exceptionalism etc I ask this: huh? What the hell does that have to do with anything? I'm a libertarian and hence I consider myself a citizen of the world first, American second, and I'm African-American.

And Canada, Germany etc are NOT socialist, they are just countries with bigger welfare states. You may ask why "socialist" Sweden and Denmark don't even have government mandated minimum wages but have a lot less poverty than the US.
Posted by collectivism_sucks on February 13, 2014 at 8:08 PM · Report this
tike0vitz 36
@35 hahaha, what if in the very near future there's a lot less Republicans in the Senate and Congress? Texas is turning blue, it would probably be purple already if it weren't for their incredibly successful voter suppression techniques.
As for your second paragraph. First, it's not always about you but congratulations on all those accomplishments, e.g. being a citizen of the world and African-American. Anyways, that was directed at your statements that socialist build walls to keep people in the cities they've ruined. And i was pointing out ways capitalist keep people in cities they've ruined. Surreptitiously and more effectively, i would say. I should have also mentioned gutting public education as an effective means of keeping people trapped in their station in life.
Also, countries listed are a lot more socialist than the United States. All modern day first and second world countries are a mix of capitalism and socialism states. It's only a matter of degree which side they lean closer to. The U.S. being the capitalist juggernaut, with say Norway leading the charge for full on socialism.
Posted by tike0vitz on February 14, 2014 at 9:00 AM · Report this
Why is $15/hr the magic number? With a full time worker receiving just a $1/hr raise they would already be able to spend up to 150 bucks more on groceries, pay a cell phone bill or even buy health insurance and help obamacare succeed.

Is there a middle ground? I think those most deserving of legislation are mimimum wage earners with dependents. Maybe tax credits based on household size and level of income would be a more targeted approach in the war on poverty without raising the politically costly calls of 'socialism' by conservative opponents. Young singles living a carefree life getting by without career ambitions will be fine with a modest increase in minimum wage. Earners who struggle to care for their families and have no time or energy for higher education should be the focus of this progressive reform.

I have twenty thousand in student loan debt. I make $20/hr in my desired field after earning a science degree and I am lucky to have a job. I will probably stop tipping 20% if the $15/hr raise gets voted in. Why would I continue to do so? I worked my way through school making less than 10. I didn't go college to earn the same income as a bartender (no offense, Seattle mixologists, but I prefer beer and tilting a glass and pulling back a tap is not that difficult... dealing with drunks? well you got me there).

That raises another point for service industry workers- what if everyone tipped less because of the wage increase? Where is the crossover between earning $5/hr more in wages and losing 5% (or more) on tips?
Posted by geologist on February 14, 2014 at 7:27 PM · Report this
Fish Wrench Asteroid 38
What's to keep the landlords in the city from raising rents the day after this law goes into effect. Rents are set to extract the maximum amount of money renters can pay. Without rent control, the employers of low wage workers should just skip the middle man, and write checks directly to the property owners the poor rent from.
Posted by Fish Wrench Asteroid on February 15, 2014 at 3:01 PM · Report this
I took the survey. It was extremely biased in support of $15 min wage. Questions like "Do you agree that employers should not be allowed to steal tips should this law be enacted?" Or "Do you agree that greedy corporations making more than one million dollars should pay the $15 min wage?" What a load of crap!!!
Posted by Cdd on February 17, 2014 at 10:18 AM · Report this
I fully support the $15/hour economics class and look forward to the lab work and final exam.
Posted by Homple on February 17, 2014 at 4:26 PM · Report this
The corollary of raising the minimum wage is instead mandating that businesses lower their cost of goods sold so people with less money could afford stuff. Let's lower taxes, bus fares, food, gas, cars, and theater tickets. Of course employers would have to lower their wages to "keep up" so we're back to square one either way, aren't we since the only option employers have under a bigger minimum wage is to raise prices across the board.

Posted by Bone on February 18, 2014 at 3:16 PM · Report this
We need to remember that it's best to pull all three levers (federal, state, local) when doing minimum-wage policy.

For example, a federal wage floor of $10.10 (or maybe even a $9 compromise plan) would set the stage for something like $12 in the more expensive West Coast and East Coast states, and that would make it a lot easier to turn $15 into a reality for cities like Seattle. If you try to raise Seattle to $15 while the rest of Washington is still just over $9 (or raise Washington to $12 with Oregon still at $9 and Idaho still at $7.25), you're introducing the problem of too much wage gradient across city or state lines - and that increases the likelihood of cross-border 'job sucking,' especially in towns straddling state lines or some businesses fleeing central cities.

It takes a concerted push at ALL three levels in order to make a stronger wage floor possible for all.
Posted by Karl Bonner on February 18, 2014 at 9:29 PM · Report this
How many of you only buy products from people who make as much or more than you. What IS the minimum wage in China?
Posted by Daddio7 on February 22, 2014 at 2:53 PM · Report this
The unintended consequences of a $15 minimum wage hike will be very interesting to analyze and will probably include:

* Older workers losing their jobs to younger workers who have more energy that an employer can use to try and recover the additional expense.
* Uneducated minimum wage workers losing their jobs to more educated workers, creating a more impoverished underclass.
* More educated workers applying for work in areas implementing the new higher wage and taking away jobs from locals.
* Some small businesses will go under for sure.
* Franchise owners in the fast food industry will raise prices to cover a huge wage increase, causing inflation and making their cheap, nasty food that much more expensive for poorer people who are their target market.
* Business owners will fight for tax concessions, lowering the tax base and creating more government debt or tax increases to everyone else in the form of state sales tax, etc.

I could go on.

Sawant and her socialist buddies will always be able to find a vast swathe of support for "something for nothing," the survey demonstrates this adequately. America is now addicted to the notion of something for nothing, but the unintended consequences of such a massive hike will likely be felt most by the lowest people on the food chain - the very people she professes to want to support the most. What is also interesting is how many of those low income jobs will now be potentially exported to her native India (or other developing countries) where wages are $2 A DAY!
Posted by Squak! on February 27, 2014 at 8:38 AM · Report this
I would love to know how much Sawant and other organizers of $15now are making per year and what there net worth is.

My guess is they are making or worth a lot more then any independent small business owner. And misleading the hard working lower middle class into believing this will improve there quality of life.

They need to realize that a dramatic jump in costs will kill jobs in Seattle. Small businesses are already seeing stress in being complaint with universal health care while making ends meet. Piling on a unprecedented 50% wage hike will only kill businesses that are struggling and will open the door to big chains to fill the void.

Do we want Seattle to be filled with national chains only?
Posted by Seattle Native 1978 on March 10, 2014 at 11:51 AM · Report this
I am an extreme lefty, super pro labor, pro union, pro 99%er. I'm a die hard democrat and a lover of all things liberal. I have parents who moved to the United States (illegally) in the '20's and grew up as migrant workers and were followers of Cesar Chavez. I am also a business owner, with a business partner. We have been in business almost 12 years. We have struggled. We have barely made it through the Bush years. Barely. We have NEVER shown a profit. Have had to borrow to repair our equipment. (We just paid off that loan-YAY!). We have grown to 4 employees, which we have always paid 10.00 an hour. In the last 5 months we have finally begun to see a profit. Which tells me, the economy is definitely turning around and recovering with this administration. Since we have started to pull ahead, my business partner and I gave our employees a $3. an hour raise for Christmas. We feel that they saw us through the roughest times and we all deserve a piece of the pie. We don't drive new cars and we don't go on big vacations. If you have ever been a small business person you know you are married to your business. It's been the hardest endeavor of my life. For those of you making all of these comments, you have never walked in the small business owners shoes. You have absolutely no idea what it takes to put everything into your business, your passion and have people make the assumptions and comments you leave made. You have no idea the expenses we have, quarterly taxes, licenses, rent, overhead. You think ever dime we receive goes into our personal pocket.
Elaine, and I are founding members and on the board of the Seattle Dog Daycare Association. We are all looking at what this will do to our businesses. Some will have to let employees go. There is a possibility some will have to raise rates.So we will probably lose business. I can see that most small business owners are going to have to do the same. And there are a lot of small business owners in Seattle, in King County, in Washington.
I have been researching the cost of living in US cities vs the minimum wage. Look it up. We are not the most expensive city to live in by any means. It just seems that way. But we do have one of the highest minimum wages in the country.
There is a lot to understand and consider and educate yourself on. It's not cut and dry, black or white, there is gray area. I just ask that you please do your research and not just listen to TV ads and assume what is. As always, do your homework before you vote. And please, don't assume that the small business owner is greedy. It's blood, sweat and tears, baby.
Posted by TheMex27 on April 17, 2014 at 9:15 PM · Report this
Initiative 518
Shall the state minimum wage increase from $2.30 to $3.85 (January 1, 1989) and then to $4.25 (January 1, 1990) and include agricultural workers?

Initiative 518 = 85 percent increase in the state minimum wage over two years, it did not include using tips to pay a work's own wages.

SIMPLE, enforceable. 15 bucks, Do it now.
Posted by 15 Bucks, Do it Now on April 29, 2014 at 7:01 AM · Report this
PLEASE PLEASE look at what this will do to small businesses! The things that I love about this city are the open spaces and all the walkable small businesses. If this passes chance are your local sandwich shop, coffee shop, bookstore or Thai food spot will be out of business. They CANNOT survive a 40% hike in labor costs. It also means the places that do stay in business will need to raise prices by at least 20% to stay in business. This means everyone in Seattle who makes over 30 K who currently eat out, drink coffee, go to shows will all take a hefty pay cut. 20% inflation? No thanks,
Posted by caracell on May 4, 2014 at 6:15 PM · Report this
I hate $15 minimum wage. How the f is that a good idea? My $5 per hour first job prepared me to later make $100-$200 per day as a restaurant server. If the minimum wage were artifically jacked up, I would likely have never gotten that initial experience. How do argue against that?

Posted by Helloisitmeyourlookingfor on May 8, 2014 at 6:53 AM · Report this

"ANY EXTRA MONEY I MAKE I'M DONATING TO THE WASHINGTON STATE GOP. Granted, I hate the Republicans almost as much as I hate the democrats, but its the least I can do to spite these Marxists pieces of shit."

Wow, that's a great plan you've got there: "Since I'll be forced against my will to receive a higher income, I will simply refuse to make any sort of productive use of my newly-increased purchasing power because - SOCIALISM!"

Enjoy being a noseless, broke-ass douche-nozzle.

And seriously, don't let the bug-door slam you on the ass on your way out of town...
Posted by COMTE on May 14, 2014 at 11:53 AM · Report this
I still think the true test of this would be to send it to the voters. The Mayors Income Inequality Advisory panel included Union Representatives and Business Representatives, but there are many people in Seattle who aren't in a Union or who work for companies outside Seattle or who just live here and don't work, and they weren't represented. They will be affected by this change though and should have a voice and the only way for them to get it now is to vote on it.
Posted by Newsmama on May 30, 2014 at 3:41 PM · Report this

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