Thursday Jolt: Fighting the Minimum Wage and Fighting Abortion Rights
The day's winners and losers.
1. The winner or loser in this one may depend on your opinion of the $15 minimum wage, but we're going to declare these businesses losers, because it's never good to be on the receiving end of a high-profile boycott.
If you support the $15 compromise reached by Mayor Ed Murray's joint business-labor Income Inequality Task Force, you'll want to take a look at Working Washington's list of businesses that are supporting Forward Seattle, the group that's trying to roll back that hard-fought compromise and replace it with a city charter amendment initiative that would increase the minimum wage to $12.50 by 2020.
Working Washington is encouraging $15 minimum wage supporters to boycott the businesses behind Forward Seattle, calling them "right-wing conservatives, real-estate developers, and corporate executives." Which may be giving Forward Seattle a bit more credit than is due, given that the boycott list is limited to a couple of dozen businesses, including several with the same owners.
We've contacted several of the businesses on Working Washington's list, and have included the responses of those we've heard back from; we'll update this post with any additional responses.
• Flying Apron Bakery in Fremont, whose owner Angela Cough has contributed $1,000 to Forward Seattle.
• Mr. Villa Mexican restaurant and El Norte Lounge in Lake City, both owned by Forward Seattle founder Kathrina Tugadi, who has contributed $500 to the campaign.
• Bright Star Care, a senior and child care provider in Greenwood.
• Liberty Bar, whose owner, Andrew Friedman, has been an outspoken opponent of the higher minimum wage and has contributed $500 to the Forward Seattle campaign; through an email, Friedman declined to comment, saying PubliCola was engaged in a "dishonest" and "integrity-less crusade" against small businesses.
• Whisky Bar in Belltown, whose owner Colin Pickering was not around today, but whose wife, Donna, said Pickering was furious about the proposal, given that his bartenders can make upwards of $40 an hour with tips. Through one of his companies, Pickering has contributed $400 to Forward Seattle.
• Lam's Seafood in the International District, whose owners have given $1,000 to Forward Seattle.
• Poquitos on Capitol Hill, whose co-owner James Weimann says he is "not affiliated with Forward Seattle"; we have a followup out to him to find out why he's on a list of $15 opponents. One of Poquitos' investors, Rich Fox, has given $150 to Forward Seattle.
• The Blarney Stone Pub downtown, which has contributed $150 to Forward Seattle.
• Ohana restaurant in Belltown.
• And KaffeeKlatsch in Lake City, which has contributed $150 to Forward Seattle.
2. And another loser today: Women seeking reproductive health care.
The Supreme Court just ruled unanimously that harassing women outside abortion clinics is a First Amendment right, and that "buffer zones" restricting where protesters can stand are unconstitutional. Which is pretty rich given that the Supreme Court itself is protected by a massive buffer zone consisting of a 252-by-98-foot plaza, restricting all protesters to the sidewalk far away from the Court itself.
If you're curious how anti-choice activists choose to practice their "free speech" in reality (as opposed to within the intellectual confines of SCOTUS' airless, highly protected chambers), here's one clinic escort's account of protesters who attempt to physically block women from entering clinics, scream that they're killing their children, tell them they're going to hell, and spew blatant lies about the health impacts of abortion. This is the kind of "free speech" that leads, inevitably and predictably, to the murder of abortion doctors and the closure of abortion clinics.