1. According to a new study published late last week by Puget Sound Sage, the idea—promulgated, most prominently, by restaurant owners like Dave Meinert—that most waiters make on the order of $30 to $40 an hour, is off the mark.
The study finds that the average tipped worker in the city of Seattle makes around $22,000 a year, which is significantly less than $15 an hour (which works out to just under $32,000 a year).
Additionally, tipped workers are disproportionately women: 59 percent of tipped workers in Seattle are women, even though women make up less than half of the Seattle workforce.
Read all their findings here, which includes testimony like this from a 25-year-old worker on Capitol Hill:
Tips vary a lot from day to day, so it’s really hard to rely on them to pay the rent. The other day, my boss told me: “You make a good hostess, especially if you’re wearing a skirt like that.” I don’t like the idea that a tip credit would mean my boss has to pay me less if my customers tip more. That means he’d have even more reason to care about what I wear, and that’s not ok.
Tipped workers are disproportionately women: 59 percent of tipped workers in Seattle are women, even though women make up less than half of the Seattle workforce.
2. A group of 48th Legislative District Democratic activists sent a letter to state Senate Democratic leadership on Friday proclaiming their support for state Rep. Cyrus Habib's (D-48, Redmond) potential run for state senate.
All eight signators—including two former district chairs, the district's current state committee woman, three precinct committee officers, and the current 2nd vice chair and PCO coordinator—are women.
In the aftermath of last week's news that incumbent state Sen. Rodney Tom (D-48, Medina), the leader of the Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus, is not seeking reelection, Habib is reportedly considering a run for the seat even though Democrat and Kirkland mayor Joan McBride was already running.
Habib runs the risk of turning off female voters—and gays (McBride is a lesbian)—by muscling in after McBride took up the Democratic mission to oust Tom.
Thus the letter from eight Democratic women, who wrote, in part:
Representative Habib has an excellent record of supporting women’s issues, as well as education, housing and business. There are many opportunities this election for the Democrats to win the seats necessary to restore our majority. We will need all of the resources that can be made available, and we need to spend those resources judiciously. Representative Habib is well known and respected in the 48th and in Olympia and has shown he can win. That is why we are choosing him to be our candidate.
Specifically, the letter went to Democratic senate leader Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-34, W. Seattle, Vashon), 2nd in command Sen. David Frockt (D-46, N. Seattle), and the executive director of the senate Democratic campaign committee, Adam Bartz. Nelson is reportedly miffed that Habib is considering taking on McBride.
Word from the King County Democrats is that the endorsements committee plans to go ahead with an early, sole endorsement of McBride this Tuesday.
Habib has not responded to our email.
3. And who will step up on the GOP side to take Tom's place? We've heard the usual names mentioned: Gregg Bennett, the wealthy Republican businessman who Tom (running as a Democrat) beat in 2010; Diane Tebelius, the former GOP chair; and various Republicans who have run for state rep in the district before against Democratic state Rep. Ross Hunter.
However, one name that has not come up is Luke Esser, the former Republican state senator from the district (who Tom beat in 2006) and the former GOP state party chair from 2007 to 2011.
It could be because Esser is now a contract lobbyist for the powerful left-wing SEIU 775 union, which helped pass the $15 minimum wage in Sea-Tac and is part of the 15Now campaign in Seattle.
4. In the run-up to tomorrow's big vote on Prop. 1, the tax and vehicle license fee to help prevent devastating cuts to Metro bus service—156 routes will be reduced or eliminated—King County Executive Dow Constantine and Mayor Ed Murray will be riding the bus in to work this morning where they'll be talking to commuters at the bus stop and along the way urging them to vote yes.