Thursday Fizz: Still Smarting Over the Minimum Wage Deal
Thursday Fizz featuring the $15 minimum wage, the new deputy mayor, and staffing changes on the second floor of city hall.
1. Fair Elections Seattle, the campaign pushing for public campaign financing in Seattle, says city council member Tim Burgess—who is on the record questioning whether this year is the right one to put a property tax funding city council campaigns on the ballot, given the likelihood of two other ballot measures, one funding universal preschool and one funding Seattle-only Metro bus service—is single-handedly blocking their public campaign finance proposal.
The group, according to Fair Elections Seattle chair Estevan Muñoz-Howard, is hoping to convince six of the nine council members—the number required to move the proposal forward—to agree to amend one of the upcoming June council referral calendars to include their proposal so that the full council can vote on it.
Burgess says that while he supports campaign finance, "I just place a much higher priority this year on preschool and transit funding. Putting another measure on the ballot is something I do not favor, but council member O'Brien can introduce legislation and he has not chosen to do so." O'Brien, Burgess says, doesn't have the five-vote majority he needs to pass the legislation. "I know that a majority of the council does not support it," Burgess says. O'Brien has not yet returned a call for comment.
2. Jon Scholes, the longtime spokesman for the Downtown Seattle Association, says he isn't in line to take over the position formerly occupied by longtime DSA president Kate Joncas, who took a job as Ed Murray's new deputy mayor yesterday. "Negative," Scholes told Fizz by text, when we asked him whether he was the new Kate Joncas.
3. Speaking of Joncas, here's Fizz's read on why Mayor Ed Murray tapped her as deputy mayor: The businesss community is still smarting over Murray's $15 minimum wage deal; they believe Murray sided with labor duing the negotiations. By going with the longtime head of the downtown business group, Murray is signaling to the establishment groups that helped him get eletcted—though so did the $15-an-hour architects at SEIU, don't forget— that he's not a card-carrying member of the Socialist Alternative Party.
4. Working Washington, the pro-$15 minimum wage group, burns the franchise owners who are suing to stop Mayor Ed Murray's minimum wage proposal, pointing out that every image of "business owners" and "small-business employees" on their web site comes from a pool of stock images, including videos labeled "Young Asian Woman smiling face," "Young happy handsome man in glasses," "Young pretty woman working in a florist shop and smiling," and "Attractive female business owner on the phone behind the counter of her shop." No actual business owners appear to be featured in the web site's images.
5. Christa Valles, a longtime city council central staff member, is reportedly the latest central staffer planning to leave the city council (following, among others, central staff director Ben Noble, who left to become Mayor Ed Murray's budget director). No word yet on what Valles' post-council plans are.