1. Could there be an announcement on the minimum wage this morning, in advance of this afternoon's May Day protests?
Mayor Ed Murray got back in town last night, and Fizz's Spidey senses are tingling. Big time.
Fizz says watch for an announcement from the mayor's Income Inequality Advisory Committee today.
UPDATE: The mayor's office just sent out a press release saying he'll announce a proposal this morning at 10:30.
Our big question is not whether City Council member Kshama Sawant will be standing at the podium with Murray—Spidey Senses say 'no' on that one—but whether King County Labor Council heavy David Freiboth and UFCW, the lefty food workers union, will be there.
An $18 minimum wage in ten years with no "total compensation" like "tip credit" or health care watering down the mandated wage.
We've heard from labor sources that Murray has more than 17 members of the committee (a supermajority now) on board—which indicates that labor is with him. And credible rumor has it that King County Labor Council executive secretary Dave Freiboth will be among the supporters this morning.
Without labor's support, Sawant's potential 15Now alternative measure may have a tough time at the polls.
Here are the details we've got: $15 minimum wage for big employers phased in three years; $15 minimum wage for smaller businesses in five years; and an $18 minimum wage, according to CPI adjusment, in ten years from hitting $15, with no "total compensation" like "tip credit" or health care watering down the mandated wage.
2. We're going to keep bringing up our "Unified Theory" theory—the idea that the Democratic Party, once plagued by the rap that it was a mess of different so-called interest groups (labor, environmentalists, women, gays, African-Americans)—has found the common thread among its supporters and is putting forward a holistic, logical platform.
A formidable union of public interests.
The latest example: Check out the list of names on Gov. Jay Inslee's Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce. There are some likely suspects on there of course—longtime environmentalists like KC Golden from Climate Solutions; Democratic leaders like green King County Executive Dow Constantine; urbanistas like Vulcan's Ada Healey; and business leaders with a vested interest in the issue like Puget Sound Energy CEO Kimberly Harris and Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden.
And certainly it's not a surprise anymore to find labor in on the environmental agenda (Chris Youngmark from the steel workers, Adam Glickman from SEIU, and Jeff Johnson from the Washington State Labor Council are all on Inslee's task force); the idea that green retrofitting the economy is pertinent to labor—and has created a Blue/Green alliance within the local Democratic Party—is now a given.
That five-year old Blue/Green alliance, in fact, may have been the harbinger of a more increasingly networked left: The name that jumped out at us—once again, as they already jumped out during the campaign to help fend off major cuts to Metro bus service—is immigrants rights group OneAmerica. Their executive director Rich Stolz is on Inslee's climate task force.
What do immigrant rights have to do with climate change (and saving Metro)?
Climate change (and the related issue of transportation) are social justice issues—land use planning, hazardous sites, and transit inequity are all factors in disenfranchising immigrants, people of color, and the poor.
Having Stolz, whose base is on the losing end of environmental injustice, on the committee (not to menion lefty economics think tank director Remy Trupin of the Washington State Budget and Policy Center), is the latest sign that the Democrats are no longer a weird amalgam of "special interests," but rather a formidable union of public interests.