Main Street Alliance Says No Support for Specific Minimum-Wage Proposal
A small-business group says they're waiting to see what the mayor's income advisory group comes up with before coming out formally in favor of a specific minimum-wage alternative.
Although PubliCola has heard from reliable sources that the Main Street Alliance—a group of progressive small businesses that also supported the 2011 ordinance that mandated paid sick leave for most businesses in Seattle—is open to the idea of a phased-in $15 minimum wage, without exemptions like a "tip credit" or "total compensationm," MSA spokesman Joshua Welter called us this morning to clarify that the group hasn't taken an "official position."
As we reported in Fizz this morning, one option on the table—the one the MSA is reportedly OK with—is a $15 minimum, phased in over seven years for small businesses to give them time to adjust to the new economic reality.
Socialist city council member Kshama Sawant is open to the idea of a phase-in, Socialist Alternative spokesman Philip Locker says, but wants the phase-in to be three years, not seven.
Welter told us the MSA doesn't "have any specific policy that we've come out in support of," and is just hoping to come up with "an opportunity to find common ground on a solution that raises the minimum wage" while also protecting small businesses. When I asked him whether there was any proposal on the table that the group was not OK with, Welter responded, "One thing I'm not OK with is negotiating our positions in the press."
Mayor Ed Murray's income inequality advisory committee, which includes representatives from businesses, nonprofits, labor, and low-income advocates, has until the end of April to come up with a proposal to raise the minimum wage. If the group doesn't come up with a plan they can live with, the group 15Now.org has said it will put a $15 initiative on the ballot; another group, Forward Seattle, just formed to promote a $12.50 minimum, phased in for small businesses.