Morning Fizz: Our Friday Likes and Dislikes
Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring radical politics, parking lots, education funding, lesbians, math, and U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene.
1. Fizz likes that in the post-Occupy, post-Kshama Sawant election world, radical left politics have been normalized to the point that they are part of the discussion in the mainstream media.
Some thought the problem was the system, not the wage. A white-haired woman who was passing out Communist Party newspapers, and who would not give her name, said a $15 minimum wage “would make our chains a little longer.”
2. Fizz doesn't like that at last night's city council planning and land use committee meeting about a proposed up-zone around the Mt. Baker light rail station so many neighbors were hellbent on defending the Rainier Ave. S. Lowe's and its giant parking lot because they're afraid the property will ultimately be redeveloped into 12-story housing.
"The time to pass a plan was during the 60-day legislative session, and we didn't do that."
3. Fizz doesn't like that the Washington State Supreme Court's big April 30 deadline on the legislature to come up with a plan to meet the McCleary decision K-12 funding mandate, came and went with nothing more than a 6th-grade-book-report-style report from the legislature documenting how they didn't fund schools.
...though we did like state Sen. David Frockt's (D-46, N. Seattle) candor about it. "We're telling them what happened," Frockt told Fizz. "And what happened is we didn't pass a plan. We can't report on a plan we didn't pass."
Pointing out that the Republicans control the state senate and rejected the Democrats funding outline legislation, Frockt concluded: "The time to pass a plan was during the 60-day legislative session, and we didn't do that."
4. Fizz likes that Gov. Jay Inslee appointed lesbian King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu—a Chinese/Mexican-American—yesterday to replace ultra conservative Justice Jim Johnson, who is retiring for health reasons in the middle of his term.
5. Fizz doesn't like the GOP math in its anti-U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA, 1) hit piece. In taking a clever shot at DelBene—a co-sponsor of the Democrats' Paycheck Fairness Act to mandate equal pay for men and women—the Republicans say Rep. DelBene's office is just as sexist as the rest of the country.
Comparing six male staffers to three female staffers, while DelBene's office actually has 13 staffers (and oddly, the GOP left out DelBene's legislative director Lisa Kohn who makes $83,000), women were at $32,000 and men were at $60,000. And that number compares meidans, not averages.
Failing to include the highest paid women in DelBene's office (Kohn), the GOP simultaneously included DelBene's highest paid male, chief of staff Aaron Schmidt, who's gay.
And we definitely like Rep. DelBene's rejoinder to the GOP gotcha.
"You can't compare a nation of hundreds of millions of employees vs. an office of 13 people, when they're the ones [the Republicans] doing everything they can to block equal pay for the country as a whole," says DelBene spokesman Viet Shelton. "They won't bring it [the Paycheck Fairness Act] to a vote in the house and the GOP blocked it two weeks ago in the senate."
6. And more on our "Unified Theory" theory: Fizz likes that state Rep. Jessyn Farrell (D-46, N. Seattle), elected as an ultra environmentalist, was the one state legislator who saw fit to issue a statement on yesterday's big $15 minimum wage deal.
Sounding like Woody Guthrie as opposed to Bill McKibben, Farrell said:
I wish to congratulate Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and his minimum wage task force for proposing a minimum wage increase for those who work in the city. ... During the recovery, top earners have done quite well, the stock market has seen record highs, and corporate profits have never been better, but the recovery has not yet reached our working class, and the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow.
Of course, Farrell, in a sign that the Democrats are keenly connecting issues like the environment and wages, sponsored a minimum wage increase at the state level this year. It didn't make it to the house floor, though.
Which leads us to also like Farrell's follow-up dig at leadership.
While Mayor Murray’s proposal will help workers in Seattle, it won’t help the thousands of minimum wage workers outside of the city limits. Last year I introduced House Bill 2672, which would have raised the minimum wage statewide to $12/hour over the next three years. Unfortunately, it did not make it to the House floor for a vote.