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Morning Fizz

1. Prop. 1, the 0.1 cent sales tax increase and flat $60 vehicle license fee (VLF) to raise $130 million annually ($80 million of it to stave off pending cuts to Metro bus service and cover a low-income fare and VLF rebate), got its lead story treatment in today's Seattle Times.

Curiously, of all the recent public meetings on Prop. 1—Tuesday night's Federal Way City Council meeting, the 43rd District Democrats' Tuesday night meeting, Wednesday's 36th District Democrats meeting, and Wednesday's King County Coalition on homelessness meeting, where each one of these groups endorsed Prop. 1—the news peg for the story is an obscure meeting in front of the Eastside Transportation Association (ETA), a conservative group that opposes the measure.

So, rather than reporting on the powerful testimony and 5-2 pro-Prop. 1 council vote in Federal Way, for example, where council member Lydia Assefa-Dawson noted that poor people and people of color will be hit hardest by the bus cuts, readers got ETA talking points like the soundbite that Metro's operation costs have outpaced inflation. The article didn't give any context, though, detailing Metro's operating costs such as increased ridership over the same period. Fizz has a message in to King County for a response.

There was also ETA member and Bellevue real estate executive Dick Paylor's line that bus riders should cover more of the costs. Funny, the ETA opposed user fees when they hit drivers back in 2011 as part of an I-405 funding plan that proposed HOT lanes

2. Some fun Fizz follow-up to our story that two Seattle Times politics reporters, including their state legislature reporter, Andrew Garber, were leaving.

Asked if he was quoting All the President's Men, Boldt joked: "No, heard from pres Clinton re: a question about sex with an intern."

We also reported on the rumor that reporter Erik Smith, who currently writes for the conservative Washington State Wire politics blog, was joining the Times' editorial board to replace conservative Bruce Ramsey, who left in December.

Smith did not respond to our email. But Jim Boldt, the Wire's senior editor, gave us this playful, meta email: "'I can neither confirm, nor deny.'"

Asked if he was quoting All the President's Men, Boldt joked: "No, heard from pres Clinton re: a question about sex with an intern."

3. Fizz has been frustrated by one of the arguments against raising the minimum wage: That it will hurt nonprofit social service organizations that help poor people, the very people the $15 minimum wage campaign wants to help.

The rejoinder, obviously, is that raising the minimum wage will make less dependent on those non-profit organizations in the first place. And we noted that when we reported on the Seattle Human Services Commission's pro $15 minimum wage white paper, which candidly acknowledged that the wage would affect them.

In a definitive statement supporting the $15 minimum wage released today, the Seattle Human Services Commission, along with Working Washington, Kids First, and the Service Employees International Union 925, addressed the supposed contradiction by putting it the broader context.

They say:

The current citywide conversation about income inequality and the minimum wage should not be used to pit one low income group against another, because we know that those who work in poverty-wage jobs and those who receive human services can be the very same people.
Thousands of low-wage workers can't feed themselves without help from food banks, and can't possibly afford early childhood education for their children without public support. And at $9.32 an hour, a housing crisis is never more than a paycheck away.
Their full statement is here, where they list a broader set of recommendations, including paying nonprofit workers $15 an hour and ensuring that the wage increase "does not lead to a reduction in needed human services." 

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