When the city council rejected an employee hours tax on large businesses last month, some council members who voted against the plan said they didn't oppose such a tax in theory. After all, any new revenue from the tax would be used to pay for homelessness services, and nobody is against homelessness services. Council members just needed more time to suss out the details, they said, promising to deliver on a new progressive tax by March.
So instead of passing a head tax as proposed, which would have affected businesses grossing more than $10 million annually, the council voted to put together another task force. The Progressive Revenue Task Force, not to be confused with One Table, will come up with a plan for an employees hours tax or another kind of progressive tax by late February. They'll also identify investments to best tackle Seattle's homelessness problem.
More than 40 people applied for the gig. The council selected 16. Here they are, including four co-chairs:
Council member Lorena González (Co-chair), who voted against the employee hours tax in November, saying she wanted more details on how the new revenue would be spent
Council member Lisa Herbold (Co-chair), who as budget chair, put the employee hours tax to her colleagues up for a vote
Kirsten Harris-Talley (Co-chair), the Program Director for Progress Alliance of Washington, who voted for the tax during her time serving as an interim council member
Tony To (Co-chair), executive director of HomeSight, a community development corporation
Jennifer Adams, a case manager at the Bridge Care Center in Ballard who said in her application that she once lived in her vehicle for 5 and a half years
Andrew Coak, information and referral case manager at the Downtown Emergency Care Center who serves as a delegate for SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
Lisa Daugaard, Director of Public Defender Association
Ian Eisenberg, owner of Uncle Ike's
Samantha Grad, political and legislative organizer for UFCW 21
Brianna Little, organizer and advocate with Real Change
Daniel Malone, executive director of Downtown Emergency Services Center
Tom Mathews, owner of Walsh Construction Company, which has built multiple affordable housing projects
Fernando Mejia-Ledesma, Washington State Director for Main Street Alliance, the progressive policy advocacy group
Courtney O'Toole, board member of SHARE (Seattle Housing and Resource Effort) and external affairs coordinator for Nickelsville
Katie Wilson, campaign coordinator for the Transit Riders Union, an organizing group
Maiko Winkler-Chin, Executive Director of SCIDpda (Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority).
The council is scheduled to vote on the task force in early January.