Morning Fizz: U.S. Rep. DelBene's UPS Stunt
Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring donning UPS brown, losing K-12 money, and losing Jim Compton.
1. In a (kinda) reverse-Nickel and Dimed stunt, though still a tone-deaf one (Fizz can't wait to read the GOP statement about her $24 million net worth), U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA, 1) is doing a job shadow today—or "adventure" as her press statement puts it—as a UPS delivery person to "highlight a successful company" that pays well above minimum wage. (DelBene is co-sponsoring Democratic legislation to raise the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25. Entry level workers at UPS earn $10 an hour and drivers there earn between $32 and $35 an hour.)
DelBene's press release hypes an added dimension of her "undercover" day at UPS delivering packages throughout the Redmond area, describing it as "creative ... constituent outreach that, quite literally, brings the community’s congressional representative right to their doorstep."
Where to begin?
Why does DelBene need to play UPS driver to do door-to-door outreach? Couldn't she just do door-to-door outreach as herself?
Why does DelBene need to play UPS driver to do door-to-door outreach? Couldn't she just do door-to-door outreach as herself? After all, she already has a job that pays above the minimum wage that presumably already includes keeping in touch with constituents?
And is the UPS job so easy that she can pick it up in one day?
And to level the now-rote critique of these NPR-liberal style job shadow stunts at her: DelBene is not really a UPS driver. It may be fun to "don a brown UPS uniform" for a day, but given her stratospheric personal wealth—and what she's actually getting paid for the day (U.S. representatives make $174,000 a year)—the suspension of disbelief hardly translates.
2. Given that the legislature failed to pass a change from "can" to "must" on teacher evaluations and statewide testing—a change originally sponsored by Democrats, but eventually killed by Democrats because of union pressure—Washington state is now expecting to get a letter from the feds saying local districts are out $38 million in direct classroom dollars for low-income students.
The result in Seattle where we're out $2.4 million: cuts to after-school and early learning programs, cuts to intervention for struggling students, and layoffs to teaching coaches and curriculum specialists.
3. Former KING 5 star reporter, and later Seattle City Council member, Jim Compton, 72, died from an apparent heart attack on Monday night.
Two former City Council colleagues, Nick Licata and Jean Godden, issued heartfelt statements.
"His work as a journalist, author and legislator has improved our region and City. He will be deeply missed."—Jean Godden on Jim ComptonLiberal Licata, often at policy odds with the more conservative Compton, particularly on police accountability issues, said in part: “Before being elected to the Council, we all knew Jim for his career in journalism, working first for NBC and ultimately as producer and host of the top-rated weekly news program 'The Compton Report.' Like so many in Seattle, I relied on 'The Compton Report' for an in depth analysis of local issues. Jim served with conviction and enthusiasm. His death leaves an undeniable void for us all, and his inquisitive spirit will be missed."
Godden said: "During the two-plus years we served together, Jim was more than generous with advice, serving both as a friend and mentor. He often extended a helping hand on issues of importance to us both. I remember his zeal for historic preservation and his recognition of Seattle’s role in maritime history. His work as a journalist, author and legislator has improved our region and City. He will be deeply missed."
Compton resigned early in his second term, opening up a spot that was eventually filled by current council member Sally Clark.